Here’s an old adage:

  • If you lose more customers than you keep, this is not good.
  • If you don’t know how many you’re losing versus keeping, this is even worse.
  • If no one’s asking the question or caring about the answer, you’re sliding down a slippery slope.

Successful businesses know that understanding what customers need and want is critical in delivering on it. Knowing what drives your customers to support or leave your facility is critical information to have. Figuring out the best metrics for your facility may take time to settle on, however, determining how best to serve your customers is also key. Yes, a focus on measuring sales and total rounds is important. Knowing your customer should be at the top too.

The ones that come around the most are the easiest to get to know and perhaps are your best also. It is the next tier of customers that you should target to garner more business. It doesn’t take big marketing efforts as they already come to the facility. Just conversation and a little note taking.

So what do you need to find out from them? Ask the questions that will reveal which products and/or services they desire.

  • When do they play and why at that time?
  • Is the pace of play ok?
  • Why do they ride?
  • What snacks and beverages do they prefer while playing?
  • What do they enjoy about the golf course?
  • What other courses do they play and why?
  • In what areas of the course do they find challenges?
  • Were there adequate supplies on the course?
  • What policies do they wish would go away?
  • Do they purchase the hottest new clubs and apparel or?
  • At what price points will they purchase?
  • If they have children, would they utilize a child care service?

Here’s an example – In questioning Sally about which shot she had the biggest challenge, she relays “I always get into that bunker on number 8 and can never get out.” That can tell you that she could use a lesson or may not carry the best club for the shot. If you get this same answer from a few customers, perhaps offer a clinic or make sure you have a variety of sand wedges for sale.

Getting your customers to open up about their needs and desires can reveal what you are doing right as well as areas for improvement or new services. A good time to do this is right now as the season gets into full swing. So find a moment or two to spend with them. Utilize this wisely and it can add to your and the facility’s future success.

Contact Carol Pence by calling (510) 706-1583 or via e-mail at