Retain members in 2021 the smart way with GolfClubSubs

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 21, 2020 13:15

Golf clubs in the UK and Ireland have experienced a huge surge in demand for visitor rounds and memberships since the end of lockdown restrictions, writes GolfClubSubs’ CEO Daniel Halliday.

However, attention has now shifted to measures clubs can introduce to ensure those members will renew next year.

As David Shepherd, CEO at The Scandinavian Golf Club in Denmark, points out: “I wouldn’t celebrate just yet, there’s work to do. If clubs can retain the new members and change their opinion about the value of golf club membership then all will be well. If not, the boom will be very short lived.”

GolfClubSubs can help clubs counter some of the financial and psychological reasons for members not renewing, including:

● Concern about loss of income due to redundancy (not wanting to pay a lump sum in January).

● Concern about missing months during the year due to Covid illness (value for money if not playing).

● Unaffordability for under 40s (lump sum looks too expensive).

● Lack of action by the member to renew (paper based renewal processes don’t remind them to act).

GolfClubSubs offers a ‘Smart Direct Debit’ system, which:

● Allows flexibility – members should be able to stop paying when they stop playing and restart paying when they can play again and this should be controlled directly by the club. (Counters the value for money and health concerns.)

● Spreads the cost over 10 or 12 months – opening the door to the under 40s to see the cost as a monthly outgoing rather than a large annual payment.

● Chases members to remind them to renew and even allows clubs to create a ‘rolling membership’ that continues year on year.

With many members new to the sport or previously casual visitors, it is essential for clubs to implement appropriate planning and systems to ensure these new members are retained in 2021.

So what can you do to retain members and sustain the growth?

Flexible payments

Job uncertainty, younger demographics and unemployment can make the upfront annual fee appear too big a commitment.

Providing a flexible monthly payment option for your members is a kinder option, giving them more flexibility with their membership and reducing any concerns surrounding illness or further lockdown restrictions.

With GolfClubSubs Smart Direct Debit, the payment schedule is completely controlled by the club as there is no loan or credit being provided to the member by a third party. So the club can pause, stop and start monthly installments as negotiated directly with the member. We believe membership is about providing a personal touch so the system enables the club to maintain the relationship even through difficult times.

Implementing the right systems

Implementing a Smart Direct Debit system with GolfClubSubs allows for club administrators to see the live status of all the members that have and have not renewed their membership.

The system automatically sends two reminders to join before prompting the administrator to phone or send a follow-up email to any non-renewers. Administrators can then track the demographics of the members that are not renewing their memberships and further investigate the reason why.

Managing any failed monthly payments couldn’t be easier. As with renewals, GolfClubSubs Smart Direct Debit will automatically notify all members with failed payments up to a further two times over a nine-day period via email and SMS before any administrator intervention is required. If the member has money in their bank account then the system will collect automatically and show the success or failure in the dashboard. This significantly reduces the need for awkward phone calls to members about missed payments. And, if a payment is missed for a genuine reason, the club can manage the relationship directly with the member and work out a solution, potentially retaining them for many years to come.

Allowing payment breaks for your members due to illness is absolutely necessary during these uncertain times. With GolfClubSubs, the administrator can easily pause the Direct Debit on the dashboard with just a click and memberships can be restarted the same way because the Direct Debit mandate, authorised by the member, allows the club to have full control over payment schedules and amounts.

A note on Direct Debit and the FCA for UK clubs

Direct Debit is simply a payment method and does not imply that credit or a loan is being offered to a member – just like paying in cash is a payment method, and does not imply credit or a loan was  offered.

This means that Direct Debit can be used in conjunction with any unregulated, FCA approved or  exempt membership payment plan offered by the club. For further guidance and information on how clubs can structure their membership payments in line with the UK FCA regulations, please see here:

Promotion – 1 Year Free Voucher Code

To support UK and Irish golf clubs we are delighted to offer an excellent promotion to readers of The Golf Business.

Please quote ‘THEGOLFBUSINESS-OCT20’ to receive one year of free onboarding, training and support when you contact us, using the details below. (Offer ends October 31, 2020)

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Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 21, 2020 13:15
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