The customer experience begins at the time the golfer books his or her tee time, so CKT's customer service starts with the initial handling of the customer on the telephone, walk-in customers in the pro shop, or with a user-friendly on-line tee time reservation system. The check-in and payment process is handled efficiently, quickly and very courteously. Counter staff is provided with extensive training for checking in golfers as well as capturing their e-mail addresses, traffic sources, and other information critical to the marketing efforts of the courses.
Once out on the course, player assistants are used to keep play moving and avoid the backups that can lead to unexpected waiting and longer than planned time on the course. Coordination between the player assistance professional, the pro shop, the starter and beverage cart service allow any problems to be discovered at their earliest possible moment. The beverage cart service is monitored to insure that the cart passes all of the groups frequently. In addition, every staff member encountered by a golfer while out on the course, including the maintenance staff, greets the golfers courteously and is available to assist them in any way possible.
When the golfers finish their rounds, CKT continues its customer service in assisting golfers with getting their bags off of the carts and into their cars. Our staff encourages the golfers to stay and relax and enjoy food and drink in the restaurant before leaving.
The direct e-mail addresses for the top CKT executives are posted throughout the clubhouse so that the golfers have direct access for communication. We take every comment, both positive and critical, into consideration when conducting reviews of procedures and staff. We always respond personally to these e-mails, with typically an e-mail from both the CKT executive contacted as well as the general manager of the course. Thus, even when the golfing experience is over, we are enhancing the golfers' experiences and continuing to foster the relationships. E-mails can also be sent to golfers that are new to the course asking them to fill out evaluations of their experience. Always having access to e-mails and evaluations instead of only conducting periodic surveys results in an ongoing process in which minor issues can be identified and resolved before they become major problems.
Regular maintenance is provided for the course itself, the facilities, the equipment and the golf carts to avoid the increased costs associated with deferred maintenance. CKT conducts water and soil analyses to determine proper treatment with the conditions present at each course. Nutrient levels are determined from these tests so the fertilization program can be specifically tailored to each location for optimum results. CKT also conducts irrigation surveys to monitor how much water falls not on the greens as a whole, but in every area of each green. CKT executives and golf professionals continually update their research and education on the latest turf management products, including recently developed biological products that can be used in place of toxic chemical applications. Aeration, verti-cutting, topdressing and core cultivation are done regularly to help prevent infestation and to improve the tolerance of the turfgrass to low water, insects and disease. A nursery green is used when possible for turf replacement on the greens.
Since CKT has experience with management of many real estate asset types, we have been able to bring a fresh perspective to golf course marketing that gives our courses a competitive advantage to those only using standard, historical golf marketing practices.
Marketing methods include extensive use of the Internet (course websites, e-mail and social media), print advertising, outreach marketing in the community, increasing memberships and regular games, traffic tracking, and use of a point of sale/tee time reservation system. CKT treats every course independently, and creates marketing campaigns, collateral materials and advertisements specifically tailored for each individual course. Regular golfers are made to feel as if each course is “their” club, and become part of that course's family. Members and regular groups are treated like VIP’s since they are truly the lifeblood of each club. Regular leagues, club championships, and numerous other activities that create loyalty and a sense of identity for the clubs are all promoted by CKT. Player development programs, as well as incentives for youth golfers, also help build brand loyalty. Promotion of junior golf programs, including summer junior programs, working with local high schools and middle schools, offering family clinics for parent/child and husband/wife, all with PGA professionals involved, create a positive feeling in the community about the CKT clubs. A regular newsletter about activities at each club, upcoming tournaments and events, tournament results, hole-in-one celebrations, holiday activities, news about player development events, along with golf specials and promotions, also helps develop a sense of club loyalty and strengthen the brand of each course managed by CKT.
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