Managing Data with an Integrated Business Solution

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Advice, High Technology, Retail | 0 comments

If your business’s processes cover everything from maintaining data consistency to creating and keeping sales reports, you know how challenging data management can be. An integrated business solution can streamline operations across departments, but this kind of system may sound too complicated to deal with on a daily basis, especially in a fast-paced retail environment. New data integration technology can manage some processes automatically, making these systems simpler and more user-friendly — not to mention profitable in the long run. If you’re running one system to track sales and another to manage contacts and another still to track inventory, tracking changes and updates and ensuring consistency can be nothing short of a nightmare. If your club is struggling with managing data, find out how an integrated business solution can help you harmonize your operations. Sales Reporting A powerful solution is one that provides up-to-the-minute reports on various aspects of your sales performance. The more reports that you can obtain from across your operation, the picture of your overall performance will be more reliable and complete. An integrated data solution should be able to show you, for instance, a backlog sheet with items that are waiting to be processed, an inventory availability table showing stock levels of merchandise for clearing the backlog, and a table of items that are reserved for customer pickup. For accounting purposes, your solution should be able to compile a table that shows the total sales against sales tax collected. When your back office system is integrated with a point-of-sale device that records and updates your sales sheets and inventory tables every time a transaction is made, you have a powerful and elegant tool that can help you to optimize your business’s performance. Sales Tracking With a properly integrated solution, you can track and use your sales data much more effectively. A totally integrated solution should include a CRM module for recording and managing customer preferences, which then enables you to provide an optimal experience for your customer.  When your system is integrated across all aspects of your business — from your food and beverage operation to your pro shop to your spa and sports operations — your staff will be able to anticipate and meet your members’ needs, creating an ideal experience for the guest. This is a great example of the ubiquitous application of Big Data, something that is here to stay, and which your integrated business solution must be able to collect and track. Mobile POS In our era of instant access to just about everything through mobile devices, there is increased pressure on businesses to ride the high technology wave. Customer service is taking on a new aspect, as consumers themselves have...

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Advanced CRM: Tracking Customer Preferences

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in High Technology, Service | 0 comments

In our previous Big Data post, we explained why Big Data is good for your club. Knowing your members is the difference between providing “what’s good enough” and giving the best service possible. Today, we’ll talk about exactly how you can gather big data with customer relationship management (CRM) tools and put that information to use through customer service skills. Data Collection Your membership application process is the first place you’ll collect data on your members, and it can include general questions about age, gender, marital status, education, occupation, and income level. Because each demographic group will need certain services from your club, it’s helpful to know this information so that you can tailor your club offerings. To begin building more specific information on your membership as a whole, you can send out an online or email survey. While your initial membership forms allow you to create a demographic profile of your members, these surveys can begin to give you insight into the harmony between your services and amenities and your members’ needs. Ask for an evaluation of your customer service, for instance, or send out a survey asking what they might like to see on the calendar in the next quarter. As you construct these surveys, you’ll need to consider your business objectives: these types of surveys are likely to be anonymous, so we are still in the realm of general data gathering. Using Your CRM System Once you’ve collected some initial data from each member, you can create files for them in your CRM client. The ideal CRM client will have a notes field that can also synchronize with a mobile version of the client, which will be able to pull up this information whenever he or she comes to the club. The mobile client can enable staff to make note of preferences — anything from shirt or cleat size to food allergies to a favorite drink from the bar. This forms a history that gives your staff a detailed picture of the member’s unique needs and desires, and this in turn enables them to offer superior service that anticipates rather than simply reacts. Once you have this level of data on your members, you can begin to tailor offerings to their history. For instance, you can offer them a special sales promotion in the pro shop, or some variation of a “buy 3, get 1 free” deal on the beverage cart. This CRM data is also invaluable for up-selling — you know exactly what types of purchases your members make, what they are likely to need in the near future, and what they might most enjoy. Whether it’s upgrading them to a more expensive bottle of Merlot...

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Big Data and the Club Industry

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Advice, High Technology, Service | 0 comments

If you navigate cyberspace on a daily basis, you will have likely come across a web site that claims to use “Big Data” on a daily basis. You were probably left wondering what the big deal with “Big Data” is, too; after all, only the big dogs have the resources to hog all the data they could desire. It’s possible that you didn’t even know what “Big Data” is in the first place. If you came here to learn more about Big Data, and how you might realize its potential for your country club, you’ve arrived at the right place. In short, big data is what results from the daily interaction of customers and businesses. An example of this interaction can be illustrated in the form of a typical visit to Amazon.com — you land on the home page, click on the item that catches your eye to look up more information about it, and decide whether to place it in the cart (or one-click-order it) or look at some other item. What Amazon does with your brief interaction – the operating word being “does” – is furnish up more items for you to consider purchasing from them and sends you a short list of those items in an email, provided you’ve created an account with them. So what does this have to do with you, the country club? Everything, in fact. Even though your primary function isn’t selling loads of merchandise to consumers (except perhaps in the pro shop, though with extremely limited supplies and space), it is just as important to gather data from your club members and patrons, so that you can focus on giving them the best service possible. If you prepare application forms for prospective members to fill out, include fields with identifying criteria, such as age, gender, income, education, and occupation. How old are the members of your most commonly attending group? Is the group of active members well mixed in the gender area, or is one half more prominent than the other half? How much more involved is your most affluent group than the others who can barely afford? The more you know about your patrons and prospective members, the easier your business decisions become with the extra guidance that your data gives you. “How could I truly make this sort of data work for me,” you ask? You could create a reward program of any sort to show your most frequent members some appreciation and to keep them coming to your hip and happening club. You may invite a group of members to a special event that you plan just for them (and do the same for every other group so that you may...

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