We've all been there. It's a busy Saturday morning, there's a line that's practically out of the pro shop, and the phone is ringing off the hook with people asking for last minute reservation. Sounds stressful, right?
It's not hard on solely your staff, taking reservations over the phone is hard on your business too. Not having a better strategy for handling these customers can cost your business valuable data, resources, and even revenue.
Staffing your pro shop with a dozen pros to take phone calls on a busy day doesn't make sense. As you might have guessed, golf pros don't like taking reservations, they love helping people improve their game by giving lessons and selling fitted golf gear, two activities that bring your course revenue. So why not free them from the ever ringing pro shop phone, and let them do what they love?
Golf courses need a better strategy for managing pro shop phone calls. Yes, online booking has had an impact on these phone calls and has reduced reservation phone calls for many golf courses. Yet, 80% percent of all tee times are not booked online, meaning that most golfers still call in to reserve their rounds.
The good news is, there's a simple way to eliminate these phone calls forever: outsource your pro shop phone to a tee time booking call center! It's not a crazy idea. When you think about it, it makes sense to send these simple calls to an organization of trained specialists who can handle reservations quickly and efficiently.
Still skeptical? Here are four reasons why tee time call centres are an excellent option for reducing inefficiency and increasing revenue.
Players who call in to book tee times are what we typically call "transient customers," or customers who are not yet cardholders at the course, are unknown to the operation, and may not have played the course in the past. That means that the player's email, phone number, and credit card are not yet held within the golf course's CRM system.
Capturing this data is critical for marketing purposes. Having a customer's email or phone number allows golf courses to generate repeat visits with automated email and text message marketing campaigns. Having a customer's credit card number reduces friction for purchasing a round and increases the likelihood of the player coming back.
The problem is that when a pro answers the phone on a busy day, the chances of them capturing that data and entering it into the CRM are very low. Not capturing this data represents a missed opportunity.
When you put a call center strategy in place you ensure that a specialist, who is not working out of a chaotic and busy pro shop, can calmly ask for the caller's personal information, and accurately enter it into the golf course's CRM. The value here is that once you capture this data, you can start marketing to those players to encourage repeat visits.
If you aren't sure how tee time call centers can help you increase revenue, let us explain.
Most golf courses are open between 6 AM and 6 PM, meaning that these are the only times that customers can call and reasonably expect to get someone on the phone to book a reservation. The problem is that customers don't call solely between these hours; they may call early in the morning or the night before. A golfer calling to book a round at 5 AM is going to play golf somewhere, whether it be your course or somewhere else. Not taking that call represents missed opportunities and lost revenue.
Call centers are open 24/7, so you never have to worry about missing a call. There's immense value in this, consider the increase in revenue you would see if you added 100 extra rounds booked outside of regular hours per month. At an average of 50$ per round, that's a missing $5000 in revenue per month.
Of course, there are costs associated with using a call center, typically about $2.50 per round booked. However, these costs can be easily justified in terms of ROI when considering incremental off hour bookings. As per the example above, would you spend $250 to generate $5000?
There's nothing worse than being put on hold, and then having to deal with stressed-out employees. Experiences like this do not represent the level of service that golf courses are striving for.
Call centers offer customers a calm, relaxed, and friendly phone booking experience that isn't rushed. These employees care about giving the best service possible, and can still chat about the game and the weather.
A good booking experience is more important than you may think since it represents the first touch point a customer has with your business. So, consider the impact the next time a first-time customer gets a hasty treatment on their first phone call to your business.
Golf professionals should not act as call center employees when the pro shop gets busy. It makes no sense for these employees to be on the phone when they could be checking players in, upselling merchandise, fitting clubs, or giving lessons.
Using a call center strategy is one way to increase efficiency and outsource tasks to a focussed team of specialists. Busier golf courses may even reduce staffing costs by implementing an approach such as this.
Tee time reservations haves changed with the advent of online booking, mobile apps, and online market places. However, phone reservations remain a prevalent method of reserving tee times. Golf course managers need to be aware that sometimes the way they handle these calls is not as efficient or friendly as they maybe should be.
The good news is that outsourcing this simple to task to a tee time reservation call center is an excellent strategy for capturing more value, data, and improving service. If you see bottlenecks, poor service, and inefficiencies in your pro shop, this may be a new strategy to consider.
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