The first phase of 59Club’s pilot project with England Golf, the governing body for English amateur golf, has been completed at 10 clubs in the Midlands.
59Club, Europe’s leading customer service analysts and training consultants, assisted with the England Golf project in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire to trial new ways of increasing participation and club membership.
The 10 clubs each took advantage of 59Club’s in-depth mystery shopper experience, comprising an initial new member enquiry call, a show-round visit, a society call and a full visitor experience. In addition, each received a full day’s training on ‘best practice’ from 59Club’s team of experienced trainers. This enabled analysis of sales systems and customer-service levels, including those offered to non-members who visit as day guests.
59Club will now supplement the first phase with member surveys to establish viewpoints of existing members.
The partnership between the two organisations supports the aims of the England Golf strategic plan – Raising Our Game – which calls on all who care about the game to work together to create a brighter future for golf, including more players, more members and stronger clubs.
England Golf’s project to trial new ways of increasing participation and club membership involves working intensively with clubs and county organisations in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire over two years. Clubs receive increased business support, including marketing and training, and have the opportunity to test new ideas – such as shorter and faster formats of the game, different types of membership and improved customer service – to see if they make the game more accessible and membership more attractive.
Richard Flint, England Golf’s director of participation and club support, said: “We are delighted that clubs have been able to take advantage of 59Club’s expertise to strengthen their customer service and make sure their members and guests enjoy a great experience. This is absolutely critical to successfully recruiting and retaining members.”
One of the clubs involved in the pilot project was Henley G&CC, in Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, and general manager Adrian Cooper was effusive in his praise of the experience.
He said: “As a new general manager it was good to be able to see how we were performing in relation to our competitors and the market leaders. To have that information, as a benchmark, after just a few months in the job was very, very beneficial.
“We also benefited from a full day’s training with 59Club, but the angle they took made it feel more a part of a plan we were rolling out, rather than a traditional training seminar. And, consequently, the staff here have really embraced it. I’ve found it really good as I’ve been able to combine my sales background with strategic input afforded from 59Club.”
59Club director Matt Roberts added: “Once we have completed the member surveys for the initial 10 clubs we will take the partnership with England Golf to the next stage and look forward to welcoming more clubs into the fold.
“We have been delighted to hear the positive comments from the clubs we’ve been working with and are pleased they have found it so beneficial. We are enjoying our role within the ‘Raising our Game’ initiative and look forward to measuring the fruits of our labour.”
59Club is fast becoming the industry standard for measuring and comparing customer-service levels and analysing all key revenue streams for golf venues, and is committed to the on-going development of club managers and PGA professionals.
The industry experts at 59Club are on hand to provide support and assistance for all golf and leisure businesses keen to develop customer service and sales systems. Its products and insight provide measurable indicators which allow you to exploit every opportunity presented to each department within your club, from the sales team, front-line operators and those responsible for member and visitor retention.
England Golf www.englandgolf.org