At Landscapes Golf Management, we survey our customers regularly. We utilize the data we gather to generate insights on our customer service levels, course conditions, food quality, pricing, and much more.
Peter Drucker once said, "Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it."
This quote still rings true today. Even armed with the best intentions and the right expertise, no business can be successful without customer feedback. The very best companies use customer feedback as a core strategy for improvement. Surveying, and the feedback loop it begets, are central components of these companies.
We believe surveying in the golf industry is even more critical because of how diverse our businesses are. Think about a typical private club - the functional areas of the business include components of retail, agriculture, food & beverage, and fitness. It is hard enough to run any business in those categories, nevermind all of them rolled under a single roof.
Surveying creates an ongoing feedback loop and allows us to get close to our customers. It is an additional touchpoint, and sometimes it is all a customer needs to feel a more intimate connection to the course or club. Everyone wants their voice heard, and it is a massive component of generating loyal customers.
It is essential to survey customers in the various aspects of the club or course. It helps the club refine the operation and grow, and it helps the club deliver on member and guest expectations. These two factors are the keys to any successful business. Without continuous adaptation, a business will grow stagnant and eventually die.
We use two types of surveys to keep in touch with our customers and generate the insights we need to improve.
Transactional SurveysThese surveys are short, to the point, and are delivered when a customer interacts with us. For example, we have an automated system that polls customers who have checked-in for a tee time. It covers everything from clubhouse cleanliness to customer service to course conditions.
This type of survey is great for tracking customer sentiment and progress towards benchmarks over time. Our system even notifies our managers when customers provide negative sentiment. This way, we can reach out directly to address their concerns.
Listening to your customers through a short and straightforward transactional survey is just one way to improve your club's overall experience.
Annual SurveysUnlike transactional surveys, we administer annual surveys to all members and guests at a set interval. While transactional surveys focus on the individual aspects of a single customer visit, annual surveys concentrate on the overall impressions, strategy, and direction of the business.
For example, a transactional survey may ask, "How were the course conditions today?" An annual survey may ask the question, "Do you believe the golf course is too hard or not hard enough?"
The transactional survey insights help drive operational and tactical decisions. Annual survey insights drive the long term strategy and business planning components.
Both types of surveys are essential, and you should be implementing both at your course or club. When you do, you'll be closer than ever to your customers, and you'll know the exact steps to creating more loyalty.