Three different golf clubs. Three approaches to customer service

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 15, 2013 15:43

In the last few weeks I’ve been in three different golf clubs – all within a few miles of each other – and wanted to access the internet on my phone or tablet at all three.

At the first, I tried to go online via Wi-Fi, but was told that it costs £15 per day to do this, which seemed excessive, so I used 3G from my phone to connect and felt that this was not a place where you could achieve good value for money.

At the second, the club didn’t have Wi-Fi, so I again relied on 3G. My impression of this venue was far less negative – but that it wasn’t a very forward-thinking club or one that was trying to appeal to people like me.

At the third, Wi-Fi is offered for free, and all the customer has to do to access it is type in their email address on their phone, tablet or laptop when they log in. I didn’t end up thinking too much about the golf club, unlike with the previous two, but I did spend more time in its clubhouse on my tablet, and consequently spent more money on beverages there.

A few days later I was informed that a colleague of mine needed to book a venue for a business meeting that would have too many people to be held in an office. As I was thinking about it, an email popped in my inbox from the third golf club advising that it is the perfect venue for hosting business meetings – and that there is a promotion on at the moment for this.

A couple of emails later and the third golf club was booked as the venue. And it was only after that booking was made that I noticed that the first golf club extensively promotes itself as a business meeting venue. In fact it probably has a budget about 30 times bigger than the third golf club, specifically for this marketing.

It was an interesting insight into the importance of data capture, human psychology when it comes to slightly negative customer experiences and how bigger marketing budgets do not necessarily equal more custom – it is all about investing that time and money smartly.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 15, 2013 15:43
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  1. Bob Lohr April 10, 13:50

    What a very simple idea. Its little things like this that impacts our customer base. I will make sure our Wifi is promoted with signage at each table. Thank you and look forward to additional ideas.

    American Course Owner

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  2. Stu W July 29, 10:49

    At our club the members get free coffee but the only way of getting Wi-Fi is if someone behind the bar knows the code, which no-one does.

    All too often I end up going to Starbucks to drink expensive coffee to spend 30 minutes on the iPad when I would rather be doing this after a round while looking at the course.

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  3. Mark Kemp July 26, 10:12

    Hi Alistair, I’ve experience similar attitudes, experience, costs and rewards from using Wi-Fi at golf clubs. At my own club, there is a wi-fi signal but no-one knows the code bar the Secretary. Great if you see him and he is in the office but not great for welcoming visitors or members at the weekend.

    Great signal and free wi-fi should be standard at all golf clubs since there is an constant need to access the internet anywhere (like it or not) or let our mobile devices and applications to run and stay updated are pretty life essential now days.

    The club you were referring to sounded pretty switched on and forward thinking when it comes to utilising data capture. I think some clubs get concerned that more data means more work. On the contrary, more data with automated systems and tailored processes will leverage great revenue and marketing opportunities without the managers actually needing doing anything.

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  4. @ProGolfGroup July 25, 11:38

    Three different golf clubs. Three approaches to customer service #GolfBusiness #GolfMarketing

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