Before we get started going over the 5 tools, I want to establish a benchmark for collecting data from customers. Every golf facility out there should be collecting the name and email from every customer that walks through the door (and even the ones that don’t). If your business fails to get this information, now is the time to start. It’s vital that you be in contact with your customers on a regular basis in order to increase awareness and play. These 5 tools we are about to mention are to gain more insight about your customers, not collect contact data from them.
The 5 Tools
1.) Google Insights – This tool provides businesses with valuable information regarding your customers and how they found you on the world’s largest search engine. With golf courses in mind, the most valuable data it provides is the general locations of where customers are coming from. It does this by tracking Google users every time they get directions to the course. Unlike Google Analytics, Insights shows you the areas that are harvesting the most actionable customers, rather than just people that visited your website. While Google Insights doesn’t tell you customer-specific data, it is a great tool to help you focus your marketing efforts.
2.) Facebook – It’s safe to say that the majority of your customers are on Facebook these days. If looked at in the right light, Facebook can provide nearly endless amounts of information regarding your customers. People share more information about themselves on Facebook than anywhere else on the web. With Facebook, you can see the city your customers reside, their interests (besides golf), what types of posts they interact with, and much more. All of this data can be used to establish a generalized overview of who your target customer is, helping you be a smarter and more effective course operator.
3.) Survey Monkey – Your customers are probably happy to let you know how they feel. Using Survey Monkey or one of the other online survey providers can help you get all the right answers to all the right questions. Online surveys give your customers to answer questions anonymously, which is great for collecting honest opinions. Within a survey, you can ask your customers what neighborhoods they live in, what they like/don’t like about your facility and many other probing questions. This can give you enough data to establish your strengths and weaknesses in the customer’s eyes, which gives you a better understanding of how to approach them with your marketing message.
4.) Google Analytics – While GA can be used for all kinds of data mining, it’s a great tool to help you understand your customers and what they want. Google Analytics provides some pretty specific geographical data that can be helpful in determining what areas your customers are coming from. GA can also provide information on what keywords your customers are search for online to find you and what pages on your website impact their purchasing decisions the most. Analytics has helped many of our clients find potential customer “hotspots” that were previously ignored or considered “too far” of a drive from their golf course.
5.) Your Employees – Your employees are the most valuable tools you have when it comes to collecting data about your customers. Training employees to ask “Where are you from?” or “What did you think about the course?” can help gain insight on each customer. Asking these types of question not only helps paint the picture of who the customer is, they also help get to know the customer on a personal level, building a strong relationship.
With all of the data being collected these days, there is no reason to have to make guesses ever again. With a number of free tools at your disposal, it’s easier than ever to find out what your customers want, where they’re from, and just about any other detail a golf course operator would need to make an educated decision.