For the 4th year in a row, the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has been collecting feedback from visiting golfers. The English club does this to enhance the small details and gauge the impact of major decisions, aiming to take its already highly-rated guest experience to even greater heights.
Situated along the east coast of England, the links course and captivating holes at the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club have been obvious reasons for golfers to swing by for a swing. But this natural appeal hasn't resulted in the club resting on its laurels, knowing that only the visiting guests can speak up about which parts of the whole experience make them return or not.
Since 2019, the high-end golf club has been using Players 1st Guest Surveys to gather this feedback from guests before, during, and after their visit. In 2023, the club tripled its number of guest responses compared to the first year, making the voices of their guests even louder.
And the message is clear: even the finest golf clubs can level up by listening and acting on feedback.
Charles Molony, the Assistant Secretary at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club for the past five years, has been part of the journey of using guest feedback at the club. Responsible for day-to-day operations, including golf management and food and beverage, he has gained deep insights into what guests truly enjoy.
One of the minor areas in focus has been the booking process, where Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has increased the satisfaction score from 89 to 92 within recent years. The most commonly used methods for booking a round at the club are online through the website or by phone, accounting for more than half of all bookings.
By using feedback to see the booking process from their guests' perspective, the club has improved how it sets the stage for a fantastic guest experience right from the start.
And what about the end of the experience? In fact, nearly half of the visiting golfers at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club head to the restaurant to wrap up their day after a round. Since the restaurant is often an important final step in the golfing experience, the club can rightfully celebrate its improvement in the Net Promoter Score for the restaurant, slowly reaching for nearly a tripling of the score since 2019.
Over the years, the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club has used feedback to pinpoint where to direct its efforts. Since the following areas have affected the overall guest satisfaction score in recent years, the club is also considering introducing complimentary range balls, a course guide, and a first tee gift.
Despite focusing on fine-tuning details, the club hasn't forgotten the course. After all, the guest feedback reveals that the greens are key for their experience.
For this reason, the club has paid special attention to the putting greens in the past 15 months. After putting some serious effort into making the greens even better, the club has improved its satisfaction scores in the survey categories involving speed and smoothness of the greens in this period.
Before diving into guest surveys, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club had a less structured approach to gathering guest feedback.
Now, the traditional club with roots back to 1892 and recently ranked among the world's top 100 best golf courses has embraced the modern and data-focused approach, helping it improve the club's overall guest experience – an approach Charles Molony believes would benefit all clubs.
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