I recently read an article that I liked very much in which the 20-second rule is discussed. It basically tries that, in order to create a recurring habit, you have to have it accessible in less than 20 seconds. In this case, I wanted to talk in this article about how to encourage a buying habit in our players so that they spend more in our golf club and thus generate more income. And since I don’t dare to talk about anything else, it will only be ideas related to the technologies that we have available today in our golf clubs.
Although this idea is more than obvious, I want to point out a few things. The first thing is that I am surprised to see that there are still golf courses that do not have online reservations activated. The fact of having a 24/7 point of sale available to serve many people at the same time is an obligatory tool nowadays. Like the 20-second rule, if in order to book I have to look for the club’s phone number, wait for them to answer, give my credit card… I may be too lazy to start that process. A good online sale makes it possible to book in less than 20 seconds and that is key.
But you have to have an online sale not only for your players but also for your agencies. Activate this online service and make them work directly on your tee sheet avoiding emails and calls. You will have them more satisfied and it will result in more income. Don’t just sell to traditional agencies, connect with as many OTAs as you can (GF 365 or Golfscape are some examples) as they can attract customers from their DB and take advantage of their large investments in online marketing. Not only does it offer a booking website and open your own APP where booking is even easier. If possible, it can be a native application connected in real time to your tee sheet like Visualgolf or Clapphouse. Remember the 20 second rule, if your customer can book at your club in less than 20 seconds you will get more sales.
It’s a bit related to the previous point, but I’m interested in going deeper. Online conversion means: how many of the people who visit you on the web end up buying. Not many clubs pay attention to this point and it is vital to comply with the 20-second rule. Put in a privileged situation of your website the button of reserve so that it is very easy to find it, do not force to create an account of user to finish the reserve, do not force to put the names or licenses, allows to keep the credit cards of your clients, are some of the ideas available today to make the process of your reserve be 3 clicks and lower it of the 20 seconds.
Club account or coinage vouchers
This idea can not only save you transactions at reception, but I am sure it encourages consumption. It happens with credit cards, right? I return to the main idea of this article: to create a buying habit in your customer. If buying some balls is a process as simple as “Take it off my bonus”, “Write it down for the end of the month” or “Pay for it with my profile card (thanks to card tokenization)”, and I don’t have to look for the wallet, take out the card, put the pin, wait for the ticket… Don’t you think your customer can spend more? I think so. And at this point I add the following idea: “Coin purse bonus offer. Recharge 100 euros and we’ll give you 20 euros for free”. Boom! You just made this player able to pay for his next purchases comfortably in a few seconds, thus increasing his consumption, and you just made sure he’s going to come back to your club to spend them and not to another course.
This is a common-sense idea, but how many clubs put it into practice on a daily basis? As this article is directed to ideas related to technology, I am not going to talk about going to fairs, putting up local advertising, etc. Just 2 ideas, invest in Google Ads and send your offers regularly by email to your BBDD If you have not worked with Google Ads you will be surprised to see how cheap it is and the results you will get. Organize a meeting with a company that offers these services and you will see the potential.
On the other hand, send emails to your clients. You probably won’t do it because the process is not so simple: export the emails, filter, update your list, create a template… a tedious process that does not favor habit forming, so the club rarely sends a newsletter. So get a golf software that comes with a built-in email system. If you can communicate an offer to your clients, in a segmented way in less than 20 seconds, you will carry it out and you will notice the difference.
Upselling is common in other sectors but not so common in the world of online golf. When I buy a plane ticket I am asked if I want to choose a seat, a rental car, a hotel, etc. before finishing the purchase. Why don’t we implement the same ideas on our website?
The idea is that a player enters your website to reserve a green fee, but ends up adding more products to the cart that he did not plan to buy: a buggy, a set of premium clubs, a menu, some practice balls…… If you have a good offer you have to make it known and make it easy to buy. What better way than to promote an offer during a customer’s online shopping process and make it available in one click. And not just add a buggy. I give you another example that I like very much. How many people do you think would buy from you for a cancellation insurance for only 2 ?? If they buy it from you you have an extra income. If they don’t buy it you don’t have to worry about returning a no show.
Commissions for reservations
Traditional golf programs around the world often charge a commission to your client for booking online. Can you imagine that this commission would go entirely to the club’s bank account? Today your club needs a software that does not charge commissions for bookings to your players, but at the same time gives you the option to keep them in case you are interested. If for example your course makes 500 bookings online per month, this will mean an extra income of 750 ?. You decide whether to accept that extra money or reward your client by removing them.
Without a doubt my #1 advice is to make every effort to implement dynamic pricing in your club. Every time I see a course that is 100% occupied I think about how much more could have been entered that day by applying the dynamic prices. And I don’t mean
simply make a discount in low season, working days, or well in advance. The algorithm to get a better performance is a bit more complex and requires a lot of knowledge. You are not asked to be an expert in dynamic pricing since nowadays there are companies like GF Revenue that can advise you on this subject, and tools like Priswing that connect to your software to give you the best price automatically. Does it seem impossible to grow 20% in your turnover? I do see it as possible with the strategy and technology available.
Here are my ideas to get a better performance from our golf course revenue. I hope some of these tips have been useful and encourage you to digitize your software to get the most out of today’s technology. As always I look forward to your comments.
And as always, if you want us to help you implement any of these ideas, we are at your disposal.
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