By Marc Gelbke One of the single best tools a manager can use to improve his or her club’s services is to introduce customer surveys to its members or public players.  Businesses like airlines, restaurants, and hotels live and die by customer surveys, and the reason they are so successful is because they are so in-tune with their customers’ desires and dislikes. To run a successful golf operation, you, too, must find out your clientele’s likes and dislikes. Conduct a golf course survey of your own, and with the Internet being so popular, why not introduce surveys through your website, Facebook, and e-mail blasts?  Some simple guidelines for successful survey writing you may want to consider are:
  • Write a short questionnaire.  Only the most essential things you need to know should be included.
  • Use simple words.  Remember your clientele’s variety of backgrounds, so keep it short with simple language.
  • Don’t write leading questions, as they demand a specific responds.
  • Avoid double negatives when writing a question, as it may confuse the respondent.
  • Put your questions in a logical order.  Remember, the issue raised in one question may influence how people think or respond to a subsequent question or issue.
It is a good idea to begin a survey with general questions and then ask more specific ones later on.  Complement your survey with a good cover memo or introduction. You may still need to motivate your participants to complete the survey, so the cover memo or introduction is the perfect opportunity to do so by including things like purpose of the survey; why is it important to hear from your players; what impact could the results have for the club and/or players. Include a due date and a person of contact about the survey. You may also consider including a giveaway or raffle for all participants as another form of motivation, such as a dollar amount of your next round of golf, free range balls on the next visit, or raffle off a new set of clubs or gift card for the shop.  Stay in-tune with you players and eliminate the reason why some parts of your club’s business aren’t as successful as they could be.
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