Mindful Team, Loyal Members
Imagine all the fun if your team embraced the standard operating procedure that it’s everyone’s job, every day, to retain and recruit new members. A vibrant club comprised of happy club members and happy team members undoubtedly would be the outcome. The Membership Director’s role is to serve as the quarterback of the club team. He or she creates the play as the team’s authentic engagement moves the ball down the field with the score being a long list of happy, dues-paying members. The team creates the motivation for the new member to join and at the same time establishes loyalty to remain a club member. And with this comes a respectful and thriving work environment for the team member.
There is so much that transpires behind the scenes in an effort to receive a prospective member’s commitment to experience the amenities. Membership campaigns, marketing expenses, communication, time and persistence are most often the ingredients necessary to schedule a tour or a round of golf. With the membership director preparing the team for the prospect’s arrival and information of the prospects standing in the club auditioning phase, the team can rally and make a significant impact on the member’s decision to join the club. The more hellos, smiles, eye contact and chats by the team – the more welcome and connected the prospect will feel to the club. Membership Directors are not only the prospects on-site coordinator but they are also the sales representative, whereby the prospect will be interested in learning particulars from the team members on their specific areas of interest. Team Members taking a moment out of their busy day to communicate with the prospective member, treating them as if they already joined, will play an active role in closing the new member sale. Everyone is busy, but this engagement is critical in the sales process.
In determining if a club is the right fit for their family, the prospect often will inquire about the integration process. “Is it easy to meet members and find games?” The Membership Director will make every effort to make key introductions on the tours, in new member receptions and club parties, but the front-line team can really make a difference in finding suitable matches and expediting the integration, social-bonding process. This, in itself, will lead to referrals via the new member excitement and satisfaction. As we all know, the next hottest prospects are the new member’s family, friends and business associates. Armed with this insight, you should also introduce guests to members and initiate their club connection.
The member receives an email promoting a club event multiple times, the flyers are posted throughout the clubhouse and the event is highlighted in the newsletter. Seems like that should do the trick and reservations will roll in… not necessarily. If a team member takes the initiative to enthusiastically share details about the event and personally invite current members to attend, that team member has accomplished two very important tasks; made the member feel good and at the same time increased the chances of a well-attended event. Never miss an opportunity to impress upon a club member that this is their home away from home.
Inspire Every Day
Can you imagine if each and every day all staff members commit to offering at least one customized, innovative member experience? No matter our role at the club, front or back of the house, we are hospitality specialists, we are in the business to promote happiness, emotional comfort and personalization. In the end, the intangibles make the difference when a member determines whether or not to continue paying their annual dues. There are plenty of great courses and restaurants, so what differentiates a club is the interactions with a caring staff. An inspiring, friendly team is most always identified in a member survey as the favorite feature of a club, above quality playing conditions, food quality and amenities. If the team member stays on top of daily opportunities to further member and guest satisfaction, referrals and word-of-mouth marketing will replace the need of costly membership drive campaigns.
Be observant, who’s missing
Upon a member’s resignation the question is asked, “Why are they leaving?” Often the reply is, “They are not using the club enough.” That may be true but often the reason for non-usage is that somewhere along the line they became disconnected with the club. An insightful team will acknowledge when members are not frequenting the club and jump in, notifying the membership director so he or she can then check their monthly usage and come to the rescue, if necessary. To stay one step ahead, it’s worthwhile to monitor on a monthly basis a members’ club spending.
All team members can lower attrition by simply recognizing when a member is slipping away.
Whatever the team member’s role at the club, it’s essential to connect the member to fellow members, establish camaraderie and assure their usage of the amenities. Just the fact that the team acknowledged their absence and they are missed will be invaluable. Additionally, a strategy to renew their interest will also be required by the team, not just the membership director.
Rest assured that club members recognize when they see team members working together. Members genuinely enjoy seeing the team interacting and having fun. This contributes to their member satisfaction, connection and loyalty. A team associate who wholeheartedly recognizes his or her role in the membership business, will be kind, authentic, optimistic, patient and possess a strong work ethic.
Membership hats on, one and all!
Golf Life Navigators wants to help you do a better job, so you can grow the business of your club. That’s why we asked Stacey Loring Persinger (pictured, left), President of SLP Club Partners, to offer her insight about how you can retain and recruit new members. Stacey’s certainly walked in your shoes, with over 35 years of private, semi-private, resort, golf club and association experience. We hope you benefit from this information, and should you want to learn more, please visit SLPClubPartners.com.