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Why customer experience management is especially relevant in the golf business

4 min read
Apr 29, 2023

Golfing is not just about swinging a club on the green; it is a complex experience that involves many parts – from the booking system to the restaurant. So, if you want to take your golf club to the next level, it is time to talk about the importance of customer experience management (CxM) in golf clubs.

Customer experience management (CxM) is not only a buzzword used by marketing gurus and self-proclaimed business advisors. It is a powerful tool for any company or golf club that wants to grow and succeed. Like, truly powerful. Improving customer experiences can lower churn, increase retention, and achieve more loyal customers, members, and players. 

And in golf, CxM is a whole different ballgame, which makes it even more crucial to master. 

Golfers base their overall club experience on more than just the course 

Golfing is not just about hitting a few balls on the course or at a simulator. Far from it. A great golf experience comprises several small positive encounters and aha moments when the golfer is involved with your club – both on and off the course.  

In fact, golfers actually rate these smaller experiences very highly. And they base their golf experience on elements such as the ambiance, atmosphere, social community, sense of belonging, and the outstanding experience they believe only you can provide.  

Below are some of the areas that your members base their overall golf experience on.

These are some of the areas included in the Players 1st Surveys


So, because of the complex experience, it is even more critical to track and manage every step your golfers are going through compared to a one-click customer on a webshop. 

Word-of-mouth is vital when a golfer is choosing between golf clubs 

CxM is also extra relevant when you want to attract new golfers. And here is why. Golfers carefully consider their options when choosing a golf club. And we know from various studies that recommendations from fellow golfers play a massive role in their decision-making. But which golfers recommend their golf club?  

The loyal and satisfied members with a positive NPS.  

In the golf business, compared to, for example, the retail industry, members are personally and socially involved to a very high degree. And word-of-mouth referrals have a huge impact to the point where, if you just focus on retention and the customer experience, your loyal members and satisfied guests will handle the bulk of your marketing and attraction needs. 

In other words, this is why CxM is especially relevant in golf. You have much to lose by neglecting the players but also a lot to gain by ensuring they have a good experience.
Players 1st

By focusing on making great experiences and improving the customer journey, you can develop a robust base of golfers that promote the clubs on their behalf.  

CxM is at hand for (nearly) everyone in the era of technology 

The arguments for using CxM in the golf business are pretty straightforward. Making players feel welcome and gaining their loyalty simply requires the right set of tools, a little guidance, some expert advice, and a dash of inspiration. Sounds easy, right? 

But some clubs still object to using CxM. They find it too time-consuming, expensive, or difficult to implement. And it is a shame. Because in the past, they may have had a point. But today, the barriers of time, money, and skill are no longer valid excuses.  

Thanks to recent technological advancements like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), putting CxM into practice is now both easy and affordable with the Players 1st platform, which removes previous barriers.  

Key features within the Players 1st platform

  • Golf-specific survey templates for your relevant player segments.

  • Integration with major tee-sheet providers for automatic survey send-out.

  • State-of-the-art dashboard with benchmark tools, priority maps, call-to-action notifications.

…and much more.

And the size of your golf club doesn't matter. The technology behind the platform is based on customizable tools to fit the unique needs of your club. This way, you can quickly get started with CxM and the so-called Closed Loop Process, which enables you to listen to your players, interpret their feedback, and respond to their needs.   

An example of the importance of CxM in golf clubs 

If you have come this far, you are probably already aware of the benefits of using CxM in your golf club. But we have created an example to showcase its importance.  

Imagine two golf clubs located in the same area with similar amenities and facilities. It could be you and the closest golf club in the area. Now, imagine that you neglect customer experience management in your club. In contrast, the club next door invests in the latest technology, focuses on the customer journey, and starts using CxM strategies to improve the customer experience. 

You can probably guess the outcome.  

As a result of the other club's effort, its members will have an exceptional experience – from the moment they book their tee time to when they go home. They feel welcome and valued during their whole experience, whether it is the friendly restaurant staff or the club's personalized communication.  

The members will be over the moon about their experience and rave about it to their family, friends, and colleagues. Boom. Satisfied members with a high NPS ready to bring a fresh wave of new customers to the club. 

Why golf clubs should focus on customer experience

Now, let's get back to your club. Without any customer experience management solution in sight, your golfers will most likely have a mediocre experience. At best.  

Due to the lack of feedback, you have not had the chance to respond to their frustrations caused by the outdated booking system. And you have no clue about their thoughts of the atmosphere being cold and that your club lacks a welcoming social community– not to mention the members' dreadful encounter with the unengaged staff.  

In this case, as you probably already have figured out, many members will leave the club feeling frustrated and disappointed. A bunch of them will perhaps never return. The effect of word-of-mouth is not to be seen, as it will be minimal and most likely harmful, resulting in no new golfers coming to your club.  

In the end, the club next door reaches new heights and becomes the go-to golf club in the area. In the horizon, your club will be seen struggling to stay afloat. The difference? Customer experience management.  



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