Other industries have welcomed this new avenue of communication with open arms, but golf courses have been slow to react. However, we believe this new offering can bring a tremendous value to golf courses, especially those looking to appeal to a younger demographic.
How to Enable Google Messaging for Your Golf Facility
Enabling Messaging for your golf course is relatively straight forward, as long as you manage and have verified your Google My Business page, which can be found here: https://business.google.com. Once your logged into the Google account that is associated with your GMB page, you’ll see the option to “Manage Location”. Then navigate to the “Messaging” tab and follow the instructions for verifying the phone number that you’d like to use.
In addition to this, you can also setup a Google Voice https://voice.google.com number, so you don’t have to use your personal line, and Google Allo https://allo.google.com/, which will allow you and your staff to respond to messages on multiple devices. You can install Google Allo on desktops, tablets, smartphones, which makes it convenient to use from anywhere.
Why You Should Consider Enabling Google Messaging
People overwhelmingly prefer texting over calling these days. People think calls are unnecessary, which is further accentuated by being put on hold or transferred multiple times. The average call that a golf course receives is roughly 2.5 minutes. That doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you learn the context of these calls, 2.5 minutes seems silly. Here are some of the most common questions that a golf course receives via phone calls:
- How are the course conditions?
- Is the league still on for tonight?
- What are your rates this afternoon?
- How late is your driving range open?
- Does the grill serve breakfast?
- Do you offer golf lessons?
These could have been answered in seconds via a text message. And it’s not just a benefit to the customer. Your staff will also save time, have more flexibility, and all messages are saved for training/management purposes.
Finally, if texting is the preferred choice of telecommunication, why not embrace it? It’s the path of least resistance. While phone calls have their place, especially when the questions are more complex and require a detailed explanation, they are quickly being considered more and more of a burden to the average user.
Okay, Here’s The Catch
If you decide to move forward with Google My Business Messaging, you need to be responsive. These aren’t to be treated as emails, responding to them whenever you have some free time, but more like phone calls. As soon as a message comes in, you and your staff will need to reply almost immediately. The customer is relying on you. Just because they didn’t want to take the time to call doesn’t mean they aren’t in hurry to get an answer. This would need to be stressed to your staff, as I’m sure there would be a temporary period of adjustment.