Players 1st Client Conference: The Importance of a Positive New Member Integration Experience

New golfers bring new golfers.

Once a new golfer has found a club and entered the club’s ecosystem, it becomes a critical point for a club to make an impression. A positive integration experience for any new golfer into a club, or a golfer who has changed clubs, is crucial to their long-term satisfaction and eventual loyalty to the club.

Michael Jürgensen from the Danish Golf Federation, Dansk Golf Union (DGU), shared how a strategy they developed in 2016, used metrics to identify the warning signals of unsatisfied new-joiners, and then how these can be specifically focused on by the club and ultimately track improvements.

The four metrics which were used to explore the integration of new members and their satisfaction were:

  1. NPS score – identified members new members who had scored <49 or under

  2. Churn rate – those clubs with a churn rate of 45 percent of their new members within the first 2 years

  3. Response to the question “Sufficient attention towards me” from the club, if scoring <75 or below

  4. Response to the question about “Feeling integrated in the club”, if scoring <49 or below

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Clubs which satisfied the four selection criteria, were provided with support from a DGU consultant and the impact was positive.

For the clubs who received a visit from a consultant from the DGU, their NPS scores increased on average by +26.

The clubs who did not receive a visit from a consultant from the DGU, but still had the opportunity to analyse their data, also saw their scores improve, but to a lesser degree (+11 in average).

It was also recognised in the data, that the clubs who improved the two survey questions relating to attention and integration the most, also improved their overall satisfaction the most across the new members surveyed.

Beyond the strategy, a number of best practice recommendations were made across Danish clubs to promote satisfaction of new members:

  1. Registration of no shows of new joiners

    • Suggested that no shows are followed up with by the club directly to understand the members situation

    • Appoint a dedicated ‘New Joiner Ambassador’ to focus on specific new member communication and integration into the club.

  2. Personalised communications to all members

    • If a new joiner is made to feel that their membership is at a personal level with the club, they will feel valued. This can be done by:

      • Keeping accurate customer data records in the clubs CRM system

      • Segmenting membership types etc. to make communication relevant to the specific member

      • Using the members syntax in communication

      • Using the preferred method of communication for the member

  3. Active steering towards ‘Clubs in Clubs’ and encourage members to engage within these clubs

A case study from one club in Skals is where a ‘Golf Reunion Day’ has been organised for new joiners who have held a membership at the club for less than three years. By making their newest members feel valued and considered, this reunion aims to integrate the members further with their club and grow their relationship and loyalty with golf. Whilst the opportunity also encourages long term members to volunteer and support their integration. 

For more key takeaways from the Players 1st Client Conference, see this link.

Morten Bisgaard