59club Spotlight on Service as told by Karl Hepple of Stoke by Nayland

Stoke by Nayland is one of the busiest 36-hole venues in the UK with a significant membership who like to play a lot of golf.

Managing the differing needs of members, hotel residents and pay-and-play golfers represents a challenge, but also being just one moving part in a significant resort business means I have to coordinate the activities of the various elements of my own department – booking, retail, starters and marshals, greenkeeping and academy – as well as managing a relationship with key partners such as membership committees and other hotel departments, such as rooms and F&B.

I’ve worked with 59club for around 11 years – the last three here at Stoke by Nayland. Of all the many benefits we’ve enjoyed from working with 59club, I would say the most significant – and something that helps us grow as a golf club – is the ability to benchmark against other venues.

For example, how do you know that what you’re doing is any good, in comparison to other properties? The beauty of 59club is that it gives us the ability to choose a cluster of venues that are very similar to us and our operation and to see how they perform as a collective; and with that peripheral view ultimately, we’re able to benchmark ourselves in terms of where we lie in the market.

And that mystery shopper intel isn’t limited to those competitor properties either; we also benefit from insight into 59club’s industry benchmark defined by the 3 best performing venues, which is always slightly higher than the actual industry average data. So, we’re comparing ourselves constantly not only to our immediate competition but also with a range of properties, which really helps us.

I have an excellent relationship with 59club and we speak regularly, whether it is to discuss ideas related to the club, or to discuss challenges. We also use the data we receive as part of our internal induction process and ongoing staff training. We have monthly team debriefs where we use that data as the key training issue or the tool to highlight the training need.

If, let’s say, our mystery audit comes back and it appears that a retail member of staff wasn’t particularly clued up on an item of clothing they were trying to sell, that indicates, clearly, a requirement for further training for the team. Pretty much every month we’ll highlight the big downfall, for want of a better word, within any audit and we focus our training on that area over the next few weeks.

Again, the ability to benchmark our member and guest survey data against similar facilities, is absolutely vital for us. An example is where I ask the members to survey the bunkers – and we score six out of 10. To the untrained eye that score may look pretty poor, but what 59club can do for us, in terms of the survey platform, is telling us the average score that club members across the industry have rated their bunkers, and a lot of the time that industry data is not as high as you’d imagine.

In a perfect world you’re aiming for a 10 out of 10 but the ability to know that some of the better courses may only be scoring 8.8, for example, is a good tool for us to be able to manage what we’re trying to achieve. Six no longer looks as low as it might have done previously.

The benefits to staff training and planning are also manifold. It could be somebody in the halfway hut, who hasn’t greeted a guest in a particularly great manner, or the example of the retail staff. We go through a series of meet and greets and building relationships with people.

We sit down at the start of the year and one of the big things we do is we review the mission statement we have with the golf club. The mission statement doesn’t necessarily change much, year to year, but some of the measurements we use to ensure we’re on track do change.

In the last couple of years, we’ve set benchmarks in terms of the member satisfaction scores generated from our 59club surveys and a guest satisfaction score from our mystery shopper audits, and, additionally, one of the measurements we aim for has been the 59club silver flag award, which are presented to the venues that not only achieve the required standard of service as part of the mystery test audit criteria, but also provide excellent facilities for customers to enjoy… It plays quite a big role in the bigger picture.

We didn’t get to win the silver flag award we covet, so that’s something we’re aiming for this year, but we have seen multiple success at the awards based on our appetite for gathering feedback from members and guests and the effective management of the survey data we received. We won an ultimate service excellence award in 2019, being one of only two venues recognised at that standard, and again in 2020 we retained that premium title, and also in 2021, we were honoured with a service excellence award in the same category.

From a personal perspective the most important and valuable element 59club delivers for me, is the data; collecting data, helping make sense of the feedback and being able to action any kind of changes accordingly, because of what our actual customers and a panel of mystery shoppers are telling us. Ultimately, it’s a really objective measure of the performance of the golf business.

Furthermore, every year we run the members’ survey and, as a result of that, we identify the three or four lowest scoring areas, and we implement changes based on the feedback. The changes we’ve made in the past are ongoing, and we will address any further necessary changes when we complete this year’s member survey.

We deliver pretty much the same survey, annually – albeit we break it down into three different parts: you and your membership; the course and its facilities; and staff. So, we can track progress that way.

In 2020 we used the survey platform more frequently for really nuanced stuff. For example, when coronavirus hit, we surveyed the membership on its preferred choice of touch-free hole inserts and, from the golf-club perspective, it’s really factual. It’s not my decision to use option A, for example, it’s the decision of the membership, because they’ve voted on it. I’ve found it’s far easier to justify a decision with a set of data to support you.

Without doubt, if we weren’t working with 59club we’d have a really subjective view of the golf club’s performance. I would only have opinions to judge my business on, rather than truly objective measurements.

If you look at the real top-quality venues in the UK, there’s a very high possibility those venues are working with 59club and what that says to me is that 59club gives you a really good, stable platform upon which you can build your business, whether that be a service or a product.

There’s a very experienced team of people inside 59club, and, ultimately, if you follow the guidance of these guys you’re not going to go far wrong.

Knowing that, I don’t understand why clubs in our sector wouldn’t work with 59club, to be frank. It’s a tool that offers so much in terms of looking at the broader picture, as well as somebody who wants to look at minute details in terms of, for example, selling golf shirts.

It’s a no-brainer for me. I’ve worked with 59club for years and I will continue to work with them wherever I go in the future. It’s incredible value for money.

59club expande sus operaciones a Canadá con un maridaje perfecto

59club, empresa líder en análisis de ventas y servicio al cliente, ha anunciado hoy la expansión de sus operaciones globales a Canadá.

La nueva apertura apunta a una gran oportunidad de mejora en el mercado canadiense del golf y la hostelería ya que las herramientas de gestión del rendimiento e información global exclusivas de 59club ya están disponibles para las empresas de la región.

59club ha impulsado una revolución de datos dentro de la industria, ganando fama mundial por sus concienzudas  encuestas de satisfacción del cliente, auditorías de “compra misteriosa” y formaciones de los empleados. Su experiencia y conocimiento de la industria sobre el desempeño de las ventas globales y los estándares de servicio al cliente están bien avalados, ya que muchos de los nombres más importantes en la industria de golf dan crédito a 59club por el éxito de sus propiedades, trabajando con ellos para medir, capacitar, apoyar y reconocer a su fuerza laboral mientras logran la excelencia en ventas y servicio al cliente, al mismo tiempo que elevan la adquisición y la satisfacción de clientes y las ganancias operativas.

Con sede en el Reino Unido y firmemente establecida en los sectores de golf, hoteles, ocio, spa y restauración, la empresa 59club ya cuenta con siete divisiones en los EE. UU.,  MEA (Medio Oriente y África),  Asia, dos en Europa y ahora también en Canadá.

Entre sus clientes figuran nombres como TPC Sawgrass, Bobby Jones Links, Emirates Golf Club – Dubai, Thai Country Club, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Gleneagles, Le Golf National y Marco Simone, por nombrar solo algunos, ya que cuentan con cientos de propiedades repartidas entre sus diferentes regiones. Cuando se trata de impulsar las ventas y la excelencia en el servicio al cliente, 59club se enorgullece de trabajar con lugares de todos los tamaños y perfiles, apoyando a la administración del club para brindar una experiencia de servicio sin precedentes y, al mismo tiempo, generar ingresos y ganancias.

El líder detrás de 59club Canadá es el propietario de la empresa “Club Study” y miembro de la PGA, Ryan Tracy. Según Simon Wordsworth, fundador de 59club, “Ryan será un gran embajador de nuestra marca, y todos estamos emocionados de comenzar a trabajar con él y sus clientes existentes a medida que presentamos nuestros productos y servicios a la comunidad empresarial de hostelería en Canadá. Somos líderes en la ‘excelencia en el servicio’ y, con esta nueva división, el golf como entidad global sólo puede volverse más grande, mejor y más fuerte, con servicios mejorados y mayores experiencias adaptadas a los entusiastas del golf y la hospitalidad más exigentes, diseñadas a partir de información y experiencia en vivo ”.

Tracy añade: “He tenido la suerte de servir a la industria del golf en Canadá durante los últimos 20 años, y específicamente con Club Study los últimos dos años proporcionando datos operativos personalizados para la gestión de clubes. Cuando un cliente mutuo me presentó a Simon, las conversaciones sobre nuestra pasión común  y, posteriormente, las similitudes entre las dos entidades hicieron que la decisión de trabajar juntos fuera una progresión natural. Inmediatamente me di cuenta de que la información que crea 59club ayudará a los operadores en Canadá, y estoy emocionado de llevar estos recursos al mercado”.

Y ahora que Club Study forma parte del arsenal de 59club, la pareja puede brindar aún más información sobre la industria, ya que las encuestas quincenales nacionales que anteriormente conectaban a los gerentes de clubes en Canadá y EE. UU., ahora están disponibles para toda la red global de 59club.

Para obtener más información dirígete a 59clubcanada.com.

59club expands operations into Canada with perfect pairing

59club, the industry leading sales & customer service analyst, has today announced its global operations are expanding into Canada.

The new opening signals great opportunities for the Canadian golf & hospitality market, as 59club’s signature performance management tools and global intel are now made available to businesses within the region.

59club has driven a data revolution within the industry, and are famed for their insightful customer satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping audits and employee education pathways. Their expertise and industry insight into global sales performance and customer service standards are well documented, and many of the greatest names in the club industry credit 59club for their properties success, working with them to measure, train, support and recognize their workforce as they achieve sales and customer service excellence, while elevating customer acquisition, satisfaction and profits.

Headquartered in the UK and firmly established in golf, hotels, leisure, spa and restaurants, 59club now has seven divisions across the USA, Middle East & Africa (MEA), Asia, two in Europe, with the latest opening in Canada.

With customers who include the likes of TPC Sawgrass, Bobby Jones Links, Emirates Golf Club – Dubai, Thai Country Club, The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Gleneagles, Le Golf National and Marco Simone to name just a few, alongside hundreds of other properties. When it comes to driving sales and customer service excellence, 59club are proud to work with venues of all size and profile, supporting club management to deliver unprecedented service experience whilst simultaneously driving revenues and profits.

And the front man behind 59club Canada is Club Study owner and PGA member Ryan Tracy. Commenting of the new opening, Simon Wordsworth Founder of 59club said; “Ryan will be a great ambassador for our brand, and we are all excited to begin working with him and his existing clients as we introduce our products and services to the wider hospitality business community across Canada. We champion ‘service excellence’, and with this new division, golf as a global entity only serves to become bigger, better and stronger, with enhanced services and greater experiences tailored to the discerning golf & hospitality enthusiast, engineered from real live intel and expertise”.

Tracy added; “I have been fortunate to serve the golf industry in Canada for the last 20 years, specifically with Club Study providing customized pools of operational data in club management over the last two years. When a mutual client made an introduction to Simon, conversations over our shared passions and subsequently the similarities between the two entities made the decision for us to work together a natural progression. I realized immediately that the insight that 59club creates will help operators in Canada, and I am excited to bring these resources to market”.

And now as Club Study falls within the 59club armory, the pair can deliver even more industry insight as the bi-weekly national surveys, which had previously been connecting Club Managers in Canada & US, are now made available to the entire 59club global network.

Head to 59clubcanada.com for more information.

Clubs in Canada can sign up now for a Demo and to unlock a Free Trial by contacting ryan.tracy@59club.com 

El CMAE destaca un estudio de caso 59club: INFINITUM, marzo 2022

‘Identificando las fortalezas de INFINITUM con 59club’, por Agustín García Pascual

Nos asociamos con 59club hace dos años y hemos cosechado los beneficios desde entonces.

El ejercicio del mystery shopper es una forma fantástica y auténtica de revisar el nivel de experiencia que brindamos a cada huésped. Cada visita que hemos recibido nos ha ayudado a identificar dónde necesitamos pequeños ajustes para mejorar.

Una oportunidad importante que identificó el ejercicio es cómo podemos llevar adelante nuestra mejor experiencia de huéspedes en su clase, de modo que, desde el primer punto de contacto con el resort, incluso antes de reservar, establezcamos el estándar para una experiencia de viaje perfecta que invita a los huéspedes a abrazar su mentalidad vacacional incluso antes de poner un pie en el resort.

Entendemos que nuestros huéspedes buscan la mejor experiencia y eso comienza desde el primer contacto que tienen con la marca INFINITUM. Para nuestro equipo, este compromiso inicial suele ser a través de una llamada telefónica o a través de nuestros canales digitales y, en última instancia, marca la pauta para todo el recorrido del huésped.

Sin duda, nuestro trabajo con 59club, nos ha permitido comprender mejor esta experiencia inicial y cómo podemos usarla para elevar todo el viaje del huésped y asegurarnos de brindar excelencia en cada oportunidad.

Y continuaremos trabajando en los elementos del negocio destacados por los datos de 59club. En el corazón de una experiencia del huésped de clase mundial está el equipo, y estamos comprometidos a garantizar que nuestros profesionales dedicados en todo el resort estén completamente equipados para brindar esta inspiradora experiencia donde sea que nuestros huéspedes entren en contacto con nuestra marca.

Nos enorgullecemos de la experiencia general de nuestros huéspedes, brindada a través del amplio conocimiento y la dedicación de todo nuestro equipo, pero siempre estamos buscando formas de mejorar y ahí es donde trabajar con 59club ha sido realmente beneficioso.

Por lo tanto, continuaremos apoyando a nuestro personal con planes de capacitación innovadores y líderes en la industria que incorporan la guía experta de 59club para asegurarnos de permanecer a la vanguardia de la experiencia de los huéspedes a medida que continuamos evolucionando y esforzándonos por crecer en todo el resort.

Esa relación con 59club nos ha permitido identificar las muchas fortalezas del resort y cómo podemos usarlas como una oportunidad para ir más allá de nuestra oferta actual.

Esto beneficia al resort de dos maneras: en primer lugar, ayuda a reforzar la experiencia de nuestros huéspedes, que permanece al frente de cada decisión en INFINITUM; y, al desarrollar nuestras fortalezas, podemos generar oportunidades de crecimiento y ventas adicionales, que nos complace decir que ya han generado valor para el resort.

No veo ninguna razón por la que instalaciones como la nuestra no deban funcionar con 59club. Debido a que siempre estamos abiertos a comprender cómo podemos mejorar nuestro producto para brindar a todos nuestros huéspedes un servicio líder, nuestro trabajo con 59club ha creado un espacio honesto para reflexionar sobre las experiencias de nuestros huéspedes.

Animaría a otros a buscar estos comentarios con una mente abierta cuando se trata de encontrar nuevas formas de mejorar.

Agustín García Pascual es director general de negocio de INFINITUM.

El artículo ’59CLUB CASE STUDY: INFINITUM’ se publicó recientemente en la web de CMAE.

59club Spotlight on INFINITUM, 31 March 2022

Agustin Garcia is chief business officer at Infinitum (formerly known as Lumine), in Tarragona, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. It offers exclusive seafront homes, three golf courses, and top-quality facilities and services

We partnered with 59club 2 years ago and have been reaping the benefits ever since.

The ‘mystery shopper’ exercise is a fantastic, authentic way to review the standard of experience we deliver to every guest. Each visit we’ve received has helped us to identify where we need small tweaks to improve.

One important opportunity the exercise identified, is how we can bring forward our best-in-class guest experience, so that, from the resort’s very first touchpoint, even before booking, we set the standard for a seamless travel experience that invites guests to embrace their holiday mentality before they even set foot in the resort. 

We understand our guests are seeking the very best experience, and that begins from the first contact they have with the INFINITUM brand. For our team, this initial engagement is often via a phone call or through our digital channels, and, ultimately, sets the tone for the entire guest journey.

Undoubtedly, our work with 59club has allowed us to better understand this initial experience and how we can use it to elevate the entire guest journey to ensure we deliver excellence at every opportunity.

And we will continue to work on elements of the business highlighted by 59club’s data. At the heart of a world-class guest experience is the team, and we are committed to ensuring our dedicated professionals across the resort are fully equipped to deliver this inspired experience wherever our guests come into contact with our brand.

We pride ourselves on our overall guest experience, delivered through our entire team’s extensive knowledge and dedication, but we are always looking for ways to improve and that is where working with 59club has been really beneficial.

We will, therefore, continue to support our staff with innovative, industry-leading training plans incorporating 59club’s expert guidance, to ensure we remain at the forefront of guest experience, as we continue to evolve and strive for growth throughout the resort. 

That relationship with 59club has allowed us to identify the many strengths of the resort and how we can use them as an opportunity to go above and beyond our current offering.

This benefits the resort in two ways: firstly, it helps to elevate the experience of our guests, which remains at the forefront of every decision at INFINITUM; and, through building on our strengths, we can generate upselling and growth opportunities, which we are pleased to say have already driven value for the resort.  

I see no reason why facilities like ours should not work with 59club. Because we’re always open to understanding how we can better improve our product to provide all our guests with leading service, our work with 59club has created an honest space to reflect on our guest experiences.

I would encourage others to search out such feedback with an open mind when it comes to finding new ways to improve.

59CLUB CASE STUDY: INFINITUM – Club Management Association of Europe (cmaeurope.org)