Our monthly Webinar Wednesday just wrapped up, and we’re very excited about the things we learned. Two of our partners, Gallus Golf and Players 1st, joined with members of the foreUP team to talk about the importance of strategically communicating with customers, as well as some industry best practices for doing that.
foreUP: The Importance of customer data in marketing
Presenter: Reggie Collins, one of foreUP’s longest-tenured Account Managers, led an informative session on how to collect, segment, and use customer data.
New customers cost 5-7x more to get to the course than do current customers, but the only way to keep those new customers is to stay in contact with them. Collecting customer data, then becomes vitally important.
3 Ways to Collect Data
1. At check-in
When you’re checking in someone for their tee time, be sure to get more than just their first name. If you enter their first and last name, the contact is automatically entered in to foreUP’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. Getting their number and email will enable you to communicate with them once they’re in, so it is extremely important that you get a phone number and/or email.
2. On Your Website
If you have a foreUP website, you can streamline the data collection process by integrating foreUP Forms. This plugin allows customers to enter their information on the website, where it will auto-create or update a customer record in the foreUP CRM. This is a perfect tool if you get a lot of traffic to your site.
3. Calls to Action in Emails
A call to action, simply put, is a button with text on it that links to a web page. They look like this:
You can include these in emails sent to people who aren't necessarily in your customer database as a way to collect information on potential customers.
4. "Book Now" on Facebook
This suggestion is similar to the one listed above, except that instead of including the call to action in an email, you can put it on your Facebook page.
Once you’ve collected the necessary information from your customer, you can segment that data in foreUP so you can easily access and use it.
In the Customers module, you can create an unlimited amount of groups and easily associate customers with them.
For example, every time a new senior is added to the database, you can add them to the group “Seniors.” This is extremely helpful with the types of things we’ll cover in the next section.
5 Ways to Apply Your Customer Data
1. Email and Text Marketing
foreUP offers its own email and text marketing services, which include a robust library of email marketing templates and in-browser live messaging.
Once you’ve chosen a template and filled it out with the offer or promotion you want, you can then send it to any customer in your database.
Additionally, you can send the email to any group (or groups) that you want. This is great not only for marketing, but for customer communication. If you have a group named “guests,” you can tell them about social events happening at your club, and not only marketing offers. Whatever you choose to send, collecting the data remains vitally important.
Partner Perspective: Branded Apps and Player Interaction
Branded apps are revolutionizing the customer experience landscape, and Gallus Golf, one of the leading developers of mobile golf course apps, was here to explain why.
- Unlike “container” apps, or mobile apps where another company features you in their app (like 18Birdies), a branded app gives you similar exposure but lets you keep the control. Plus, everything in the app is a direct channel to your booking.
- We mentioned above that having an app gives users a direct line to your booking, and Gallus has seen a huge increase in repeat tee times from customers and a devout loyalty to the course.
With the amount of data that is automatically collected, it becomes simple to send relevant messages to all your customers. Push notification messages make this method even more effective, with 78% of push notification messages being read.
That being said, with so many messages, customers can often feel overwhelmed with information. Gallus recommended following this schedule in sending email, text, and push notification messages to customers:
- Daily fee and municipal courses: 1-2 times per week
- Semi-private courses: 1-2 times broadcast, and up to 3-5 targeted per week
- Private clubs: 5-7 minimum per week
- Resorts: 1 broadcast and up to 5-7 targeted per week
With such simple, direct communication, it's no surprise that apps like Gallus are taking over the marketplace.
Players 1st offers a player insights software that keeps track of key indicators such as Net Promoter Score and customer satisfaction per round. They identified four reasons for keeping careful track of customer experience and level of satisfaction:Retain existing members & guests
As mentioned previously, its 5-7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an old one. Tracking customer experience helps you to keep your old customers around.
Identify new revenue opportunities
Customers are very frank about things they find unsatisfactory, which is generally a good thing, because it highlights weak areas and also gives you a unique perspective into new, unexplored areas of potential revenue.
Cultivate word-of-mouth promotion to attract new members
50% of people will tell their friends about a bad experience at a business, and 15% will go online and write an unfavorable review. With word-of-mouth becoming so important in contemporary marketing, you can’t afford to have detractors running around.Increase revenue per round
It has been proven that happier customers spend more time and more money at places where they feel they are getting value, so it's important to make sure your customers feel very well taken care of.
Customer insight software, like Players 1st, helps golf course owners and operators cut down on the time it takes to collect and aggregate customer experience data through the use of automatic surveys and in-depth reporting dashboards. They provide courses with the information they need to create a fantastic guest experience.
Customer communication is absolutely vital in our day of instant communication and digital technology. By collecting and segmenting customer data, you can easily keep in touch with your customers.
Additional technologies, like branded apps and player experience software, help you send extremely targeted messages to your players and keep track of their experience, raising retention of old customers and increasing the amount of revenue flowing to your club.