NEW NETWORKING APP FOR GOLFERS OFFERS OPPORTUNITY FOR CLUB MANAGERS
MemberMatch, a new player engagement and communications app, makes its debut this month, providing a raft of tools to the club manager to enhance the membership experience while simultaneously improving bottom-line profitability and utilisation of resources at the club.
MemberMatch addresses two of the major concerns of golf clubs today: firstly, the smooth integration of new members into an agreeable social and competitive setting, by speedily binding them into the fabric of their new club, and secondly, the retention of existing members, by keeping them actively involved with game opportunities and maximising their attendance at club events.
Members use the app to grow their playing and social networks within the club, enabling them to find games with their chosen peer group; with user profiles to show handicaps and personal information, even a photo of the player, MemberMatch eliminates a lot of the social barriers for new members trying to find their feet in a club. A valuable tool for roll-up and match organisers, the app boosts competition fields as well as attendance at social functions.
By effectively hosting a golfer’s network of players on his or her mobile phone, MemberMatch enables members to meet new friends and play more golf, thus enhancing satisfaction and loyalty. The app includes member-to-member messaging, vital at a time when GDPR restrictions are redrawing the landscape for member directories.
For managers, access to these player networks allows for more targeted and responsive communications, from the promotional (pro-shop tips and offers) to the practical (managing event invitations, tee yield and utilisation of the clubhouse catering services).
The Drift Golf Club in Surrey is one of the first in the UK to implement MemberMatch. Golf Operations Executive Brandon Bassett is responsible for integrating The Drift’s intake of 40-50 new members each year.
“Typically, I would spend about 6 hours a week, giving new members a welcome meeting, making introductions to club captains and roll-up organisers and helping them find some playing partners. Since we introduced MemberMatch, that has dropped to just a couple of hours. Newcomers integrate faster because it is now easy for them to find something in common with other members and they are personally invited to join roll ups, games and competitions on their phones rather than having to find out about them for themselves or put their names on sign-up sheets at the club.”
“If people are in the club more often, they’re spending more often,” observes Bassett, “and we can see this in the office, because the MemberMatch dashboard on our computer allows us to track course usage, member to member contact, club attendance and F&B spend.. This also allows us to foresee any retention issues. It is also an amazing communications tool: we nearly doubled our numbers for a charity event in just 30 minutes, after we put the notification on MemberMatch. It works so much better than emails, which are now dropping into a very crowded space.”
The MemberMatch app can be downloaded from the App Store and will run on any iPhone or Android portable device. Club management uses the cloud-based MemberMatch service, visible as a ‘dashboard’ which features a control panel, together with extensive reporting and analytics tools to provide insights into membership habits. There is no additional infrastructure required in the club office, and MemberMatch synchronises with most non-proprietary back-office systems.
WHO IS MEMBERMATCH?
MemberMatch is the brainchild of Richard Steele, a 21-handicap golfer from Surrey who has extensive experience and expertise as a systems analyst and designer, developer and IT specialist, most recently in digital mapping. Drawing on his own experiences as a novice golfer, he has spent two years developing MemberMatch, and refining it into a tool to help golf managers and golfers to get the most out of club life.
COST AND IMPLEMENTATION
MemberMatch is a subscription-based system. A ratecard of annual fees appropriate to different sizes of playing membership starts at just £1500 per year, equivalent to a single annual subscription at most clubs in the south-east UK. Additionally there is a £500 one-off configuration fee payable to the MemberMatch team to attend a new customer and assist them in customising the package for their needs.
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