What is profiling?
Profiling is a simple way of understanding your members better. It’s not about becoming a trained psychologist in order to understand the deeper workings of peoples’ minds, just a few questions and ways of categorising people so you are able to know what they want from their golf club membership.
Profiling is also only the first step. Once you have the profiles of your members you should work out how to utilise this information and schedule regular reviews.
1. Profile all your members
2. Have a plan to provide what they want
3. Track their behaviour
Why profile your members?
There are several good reasons why doing this is beneficial for the club
- Understanding what the member’s goals are and why they have joined helps to categorise them as a golfer. This way it is possible to target them with offers and club events which will enhance their golfing experience.
- The more you know about your membership, the easier it is to review whether their needs are being met. If they are getting the maximum out of their membership they are more likely to be happy and remain loyal to the club.
- You are able to identify patterns which may help you address some issues without people even having to mention them.
Example: A decrease in bar spend overall or by certain members could be addressed with a bar promotion to see what happens. You could also take time to speak with members to understand why they are using the bar less.
- You can segment the members in your club in multiple ways. Some of this can be done with basic profiling of information you already have e.g. men, women, juniors, but more detailed segmentation can help maximise the impact of your communications and activities.
Example: If a member is seeking to improve their game but is not interested in social events then communications around lessons, pro clinics and encouraging the use of practice facilities has more appeal than telling them about annual club dinner.
- It can help you plan club events and activities. If a large proportion of members are looking to reduce their handicap / improve their game then you could focus key activities and communications around lessons, clinics and competitions so they can achieve their goals and maximise the opportunities where they can get their handicap reduced.
There are loads of activities which can be done as a result of profiling. Knowing your members goes a long way towards retaining them BUT, only if you do something with that information.
How to profile your members?
Chances are you have the structure for this already in place. It really depends on what you want to know about your members. Some profiles may be as simple as identifying which members play in competitions and which don’t. This sort of profiling can usually be achieved within the existing club systems as the information is stored there – you just have to get it and review it.
For new members, the easiest way to capture the information you require is to get them to fill in a profile form when they join. This can be as part of an initial meeting with the club manager. The form does not need to be complicated. Think of what you want to learn and try and ensure the majority of the form is simply ticking boxes to reflect their views.
Once you have the information it is a case of entering the information onto a spreadsheet. This will then give you the ability to segment your database. Some of the information should be able to be obtained from your club systems and then you just have to combine the two.
For existing members you should try to use the same form. You can get them to fill this out when you see them in the clubhouse or you can run an email campaign to encourage them to provide you with the information.
To guide you further there is also an example of a flowchart for profiling and reviewing.