Interview with a Product Manager
Are you losing more than $100,000 a year from no-shows? Golf courses that require prepayment have a show rate up to 98% – while golf courses that don’t require prepayment have average show rates that are 16% lower.
That’s why foreUP Customer Checkout was designed – to make online prepayment simple, beautiful, and intuitive for your golfers, with intentional consideration given to crafting the premier customer experience.
Check out this interview with foreUP Product Manager Eric Loosle as we dig into the details behind the exciting new Online Booking | Customer Checkout updates!
1) Why did we make these updates to Online Booking?
- When COVID hit, everyone had to go contactless. A lot of golf courses started requiring prepayment in their online booking, which was a big change from the golf standard of ‘reserve now, pay later.’ After they did it they realized there were a lot of benefits.
- Previously they wouldn’t take prepayment online. Then a golfer would book for four on Saturday morning at 9 o’clock; then that golfer’s plans would change, they wouldn’t cancel their tee time, and then suddenly that golf course is out $200.
- We did some research on this and learned that courses that require prepayment have a show rate up to 98%, while courses that don’t require prepayment have a show rate of around 82%. For the average golf course, that’s about $100,000 lost a year. To help with this, we decided to make switching to requiring prepayment easy.
- Our new checkout flow allows a golfer to pay with a saved card, gift card, or rain check. Our saved card checkout flow is very similar to many major retailers like Amazon – an experience many consumers are accustomed to. Before these updates, golfers wanting to use their gift card or rain check to pay for a tee time struggled to get a tee time with how busy most golf courses are. This required a separate booking process where golfers needed to call the golf course to book & prepay with the payment type they wanted to use. We wanted to streamline operations and provide a consistent experience for golfers as well as free up the golf shop staff from receiving calls to book tee times. We built tools to make online prepayment easier for everyone by allowing golfers to prepay with a saved card and/or additional payment types of gift cards and rain checks.
2) Online Booking is a golfer-facing product. How did you make it easy for customers to use?
- If you go to Amazon or a major online retailer, and you’re shopping around and you add something to your cart, you can easily hit ‘checkout.’ From there it’s “Which payment method do you want to use?” You have your default and maybe a couple other cards on there. With our Customer Checkout updates, you can have that; your saved cards right there, you can easily select them, and from there is a confirmation step prior to finalizing the transaction. Golfers can easily check their day, time, number of players, holes, carts that they’re reserving… to help prevent errors in checkout. The summary page also breaks down fees individually. It’s designed from start-to-finish to be frictionless and intuitive.
3) I’ve noticed some design changes in the demos. Can you tell me about the updated designs on the reservations details page?
- The golfer-facing tee sheet was simply outdated. We also had a lot of different modals [little pop up windows] throughout the process which were also outdated. We have been able to consolidate a lot of that information onto a webpage, which not only looks better but improves the user experience. We completely redesigned the reservation flow with brand new pages, splashes of branding for courses, and high-visibility details that give a much more modern, cohesive experience to the customer, which exceeds industry standards.
4) What updates are coming next to online booking?
- We’ve got a lot of really exciting things locked into the roadmap, but I can share this one right now: Aggregate booking! This will be a big update for MCOs (multiple course operators.) With aggregate booking, you’ll be able to display multiple tee sheets part of an MCO from one booking page, and the presence of the tee sheet logo provides a stylish visual indicator which tee times are for which tee sheet. Customers can easily pick a tee time and then go through the checkout process from any of your courses. The customer doesn’t end up bouncing around different webpages to see tee times from these MCO courses, or even worse – deciding to book a tee time at another course in the area. By displaying availability from all tee sheets associated with an MCO, the golfer is more likely to book a tee time at one of the other courses if their top choice is unavailable.
Decrease no-shows and increase your revenue by requiring prepayment!