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September 2018

Final Thoughts with Rick Farrant

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Rick Farrant
Golf & Fitness
Great Life Golf
Topeka, Kansas

What technology do you think has most influenced the way golf courses do business?

Internet-based tee time booking.  We see this as both a positive and negative influence on the way golf courses do business. Certainly the ease of making a tee time for patrons along with the ability to shop the best price with ease is something that has benefited the consumer. The gathering of information these systems obtain and share with the courses is also a benefit to operators, not to mention the lower call volumes experienced at the counters. The downside, however, can be lack of patron loyalty because of a price forward philosophy now taking precedence over and above service and product offerings which in the past were promoted as the driving force of choice. Add to that the third parties share for providing the service and you simply have a number of dollars leaving the “green grass” marketplace. 

Do you use social media in your marketing?

GreatLIFE uses Social Media platforms as a driving force of membership communication and promotion. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the primary platforms used and have had a tremendous impact on our ability to reach a much younger demographic.

What marketing strategy have you implemented?

At GreatLIFE, it is all about lifestyle. We primarily are a membership-driven model and we focus the majority of our marketing resources towards the promotion of our membership lifestyle, events for members and celebration of member achievements. 

What technology is most used out on your course by golfers? By your staff?

For golfers, smart phone applications. We have a number of apps that are designed to improve the member and patron experience at GreatLIFE. 18 Birdies would be one example of a social media application that we have partnered with in order to improve the experience of golfers at our facilities. 

Our staff has access to a number of technology applications designed to make them more efficient and informed. Two of our favorites are Trello and Event Pro 360.  Trello is a simple to use customer relationship management platform that allows a number of our team members to find important information about our members’ and patrons’ needs, scheduled events and inquiries. Event Pro 360 allows GreatLIFE team members to share event schedules for their respective properties to avoid conflicts, assist in cross promotion and to provide information to the corporate marketing department.

What is your top customer service rule?

At GreatLIFE we live by the “Golden Rule,” treat others the way you want to be treated. All employees are empowered to make on the spot decisions in order to meet and exceed the needs of our members and patrons. Passing customers needs and concerns on to other departments or other higher-level management is often the breakdown moment in great customer service. Our point-of-contact employees are trained to see their customer’s needs fulfilled to the end.

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September 2018 Issue
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