The vast majority of golf course owners and boards of directors conduct strategic planning for their operations by the seat of their pants. Most of these decision makers have no empirical evidence prioritizing what capital improvements, if any, should be made for the facility. Instead these vast expenditures are made on hunches as to what the owners or boards thinks is important to the golfer.
The loyalty driver vs. importance driver rankings are determined by correlating the importance question on the corresponding factor to the loyalty question, where these two intersect is the point of measure. As you can see, when these two important metrics are measured at the intersect, Overall Course Conditions, Condition of Greens and Overall Value of Course; items in the upper right-hand quadrant become key factors to loyalty and importance. Items hovering around the value boundary are a point which effort should be made to improve a facility to bring more of the overall facility into the upper quadrants. Money and effort in golf shop items, in this case, would be an improvement low on the list for importance and loyalty. However, what the golfer says is important to them, is not what drives loyalty. Remember loyalty promotes word of mouth recommendations, the most powerful tool for golfer / member retention and new membership / golfer business.
The take-away of this message is if you’re after retaining or adding memberships and additional usage, it would be worth your while to improve the customer experience on what is driving customer loyalty, not necessarily what the customer says is important to them!
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