80% of companies believe that they have excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree with that statement. In a business where experience means everything to success, working on your guest experience score is a great place to focus your efforts.
So how do you know if your guest experience improvements are working? What are some reliable markers that you’re using the right tools and the right tactics?
We’ve compiled some basic indicators to pay attention to. Of course, all your guest experience data can be evaluated more valuably with in-depth analysis and 3rd party tools.
10 Indicators That Your Guests Like Their Experience
1. They come back.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating to encourage you to pay attention. Managers and operators can often fool themselves into thinking that their business is doing well even when most of their players are not coming back on a regular basis.
But the numbers don’t lie, and neither do happy, returning customers. Pay attention to which customers are returning, and what things influence their experience. Are your changes making a difference?
2. They talk to you.
Do customers simply check in and head off to the course, or do they take an opportunity to chat at the desk? Do they seek out and welcome conversations, or do they try and slink off? If they engage with you easily, you can be pretty sure they enjoy social interactions. If they continue engaging, you know that you’re using communication to improve experiences.
3. Your NPS is 9+.
If you don’t know what your NPS is yet, it’s time to find out! It provides you with a score that will measure whether your customers promote, detract, or are ambivalent to your business.
Only customers who score 9-10 will recommend your course. Technologies like Players 1st, who we mentioned in an earlier section, send out surveys and aggregate the data to give your company an NPS. If it’s above 9, you’re good. If not, it’s time to consider further changes.
4. New golfers come in on a recommendation.
This is one way to see if your NPS is working: golfers follow their friends’ recommendation and visit your course. The ideal situation is to turn each of your players into little marketers for your course. Word-of-mouth is increasing as the most important marketing technique, and if golfers are coming in on recommendations, it means your service is working.
5. Your online ratings are improving.
People are extremely frank in online reviews and won’t hesitate to give scathing report if service was not up to par. On the other hand, if the service was excellent, people are willing to take the time to give your place a good review, increasing the chance that more people will come. (Sometimes they just need a little nudge, so don’t be shy asking for those reviews!)
6. They spend more money.
Sometimes it’s difficult to turn over inventory in the pro shop, especially with more and more people shopping online. But encouraging Pro Shop sales really comes down to the level of service and engagement you’re providing. If people are buying, it may be that you have an especially good inventory but it’s more likely that you aren’t keeping people waiting in lines and you’re spending your time, instead, interacting with the people in your clubhouse.
7. Players linger.
Golf is already a large time investment, so if your players stay after their round is over to hang out in the clubhouse or order something from the grill, it’s not likely because the food is great or the clubhouse has A/C (though those things are a must). People stay where they feel comfortable and want to spend the extra time, making it a great indicator to pay attention to.
8. Conflicts are resolved quickly.
Conflict is inevitable when you’re dealing with people. However, it doesn’t have to define your course. The more enjoyable their experience, the more likely they are to forgive small hiccups that arise in the day-to-day of any business. If you’re really seeking to understand and help your customers, conflict will arise and disappear without a blotch on your record.
9. Your employees are productive.
A well-trained employee responds both quickly and effectively to customers’ needs, and that attitude carries over to their other tasks as well. If your employees are productive, then you can know that you likely have very happy customers.
10. Your course is profitable.
Perhaps the most obvious: If your course is profitable, it means your players like the experience they’re having. This is always the first and last place to look when you’re wondering if you can improve your customer experience.
These 10 indicators will give you a good starting place to evaluate your customer service and the effectiveness of any changes you make. Customer service isn’t easy, but with a little practice and understanding of knowing what to look for, you can turn any course into a 5-star experience.