Welcome to our blog & video series, Does foreUP do it?
Each article in this series will answer another question we've received (or heard) about whether or not foreUP software has a specific function or feature.
Today's topic is inspired by Jay Karen's comment in his latest Vantage Point article found in Golf Business Magazine:
Instead of standing in line, movie patrons can pre-order their tickets, food and beverage on mobile apps. That removes one of the most annoying parts of the traditional experience. What should golf courses be doing to remove any of the annoying experiences? Can your golfers interact with you via text? If I can do this with my vet and my dentist, I should be able to do this with my favorite golf courses. But lo and behold, I can’t. We can do better. We have a nation of young people who would rather communicate by typing than talking. How are we moving towards them, instead of waiting for them?
Question: Why can't my players text my business?
A: They CAN!
We introduced two-way texting in 2018 so courses could communicate with their golfers in real time, when they are on or off the course. The feature makes it easy for you to send quick messages to your guests, but it also makes it simple for them to communicate with you. Click here to watch the video version of this article.
Why Two-Way Texting?
We want to remove any barriers to engaging and communicating with your players, and the desire to communicate via text is an understandable one.
As a customer, I want the option to text you. I don't always want to go into an app, I don’t always want to email, and—god forbid—I rarely want to call. And I certainly don’t want to drive in and check to see if anyone came across my lucky glove.
This is the case for a large number of consumers, in today's society—not just the younger demographic. It is for this reason we built this valuable tool for communicating.
Group Texting vs. Two-Way Texting
There is a difference between using our marketing texts, which require people to "opt in", and sending individual messages, which does not require the recipient to opt in.
Group texting was introduced with our Marketing module, in 2015. Our customers commonly use it to text the tee sheet, send reminders, provide group updates about tournaments, etc.
You can send an individual text to the recipient inviting them to opt in from the Customer screen. ⬆️
You can create text campaigns that are sent to all or a specific group of your players. These one-off or full campaigns can be quickly created in the Marketing module of your foreUP software.
Using Two-Way Texting
How to Access Two-Way (One-to-One) Texting
In the software, navigate to the customer you want to text. Click the “Communication” tab. Enter your message into the “phone” on the screen, and hit send. The message will appear on the recipient's mobile phone in a few seconds.
How to Receive & Respond Customer Texts
When someone has sent a message to the course, you will see a notification on the top right hand of the software. The icon is always there, with the number indicating how many unread messages you have.
When you click on the icon, it shows you all the unread messages you have waiting. There is also a little speaker icon, which allows you to turn on or off audible notifications. You can click the "reply" arrow to navigate to the Customer, and continue the conversation.
How to Get Customers Texting You
As with everything, it takes repetition to make a habit. Try to do all of the following, if you want to see people using texts quickly.
- Put the # for the course in the golf cart and saying something like: Talk to us! Text us at 555-555-5555 to order food, ask a question, or make a request!
- Put signs on your counter telling people to program the text number
- Include the information in all your customer emails
- Put the number on your social media pages (and talk about it)
- Highlight funny conversations you’ve had with other players (get their permission first)
If You Tell Them, They Will Text
I would. I’d order from the restaurant. I’d complain about the group ahead of me (vs complaining in an online review). I’d let them know there was a driver sitting off the side of the 8th tee. I’d text if I was having a struggle booking online.
What’s more, I’d love it if the course texted me.
More than anything, you should start texting them.
When they are on their way, on the course, or headed home, take a few minutes to shoot personal messages to the people you’ve seen that day. Once they SEE that they can text you, they’ll be more likely to communicate with you using this tool in the future. Tell them to save the contact on their phone, and reach out to you anytime.
Things To Text Your Players
Before They Arrive:
- We’re running about 10 minutes behind schedule today.
- Heads up: The greens are a little wet today!
While They’re on the Course:
- The last member of your party is waiting in the restaurant.
- The hospital just called. Your wife is in labor!
- Your food will be ready at the turn.
- The lady who lives on 12 said you peed in her bushes again. Please don’t do that...
While they are NOT on the Course:
- Your custom club order is in!
- Thanks for coming today! Please leave us a review!
- It looks like you left a club on hole 8. It will be waiting in the pro shop for you!
- Hi Bill. The tee time you wanted for tomorrow morning is now open, so we booked it for you. Done! See you tomorrow!