This month we are very excited to feature a relatively new client of ours, The Evergreen Club in Palm City, Florida, and its very dynamic operator, Alix Dannewitz. The Evergreen Club has had their app since May of this year, and they are off to a flying start in their off season, getting ready to really kick some butt with the app as they head into the 2016-17 winter season, their high time of the year.
I recently was fortunate to sit down and talk with Alix about their operation as it relates to their mobile app.
Rob @Gallus: As a new mobile app operator, can you tell us a bit about what your initial goals and strategies were for your first year with the app at The Evergreen Club?
Alix: Our first-year goals are to obtain the 33-55-year-old demographic market here in Palm City, and to do that we figure that our online marketing and smartphone marketing are where golfers are today. Not so much print ads or newspapers - people who are younger just aren't there. So our strategy is trying to get them hooked on the app by having the loyalty program, the ability to book through the app, course flyovers and more. It all has to do with the innovative ways to have fun at the club.
Rob @Gallus: You and your team have done a really great job so far, especially considering you launched the app out of season and you continue daily to grow your downloads -- I mean you're well into the hundreds and you're still very new at this. For other new app clients, like yourself, looking to dedicate or rededicate themselves to an effective way of managing the app, where would you recommend they begin or start in managing their app's?
Alix: I would definitely start with the educational materials Gallus provides- the links, the videos, the marketing materials, are all fantastic tools to educate yourself and your staff, not only to benefit our staff but to get them to go out and use the app. Once they know first hand how to use it they help our members and customers with exactly what to do because some older people, that aren't so savvy, having a staff member show or actually going out golfing with them and using the app makes them excited to go out and use it the next time for themselves, and to suggest it to their friends.
The dashboard is super easy to use, and definitely take advantage of the webinars that you guys provide. One big thing we did was have those marketing cards, the scorecard inserts you provide, put on every golf cart. Every customer or member who comes out to play sees them for 4-5 hours each time they play. Those alone provide great exposure for the app.
Rob @Gallus: It's definitely working for you, just to add some perspective for those reading this, at The Evergreen Club, in a typical calendar year, about how many rounds of golf are played on your course?
Alix: Typically we hit about 32,000 but we are now transitioning from a private club to a semi private club-this season, so there will be a large chunk of new players, and our goal is to hit around 40,000 this year.
Rob @Gallus: Just a couple more questions for you, how do you feel the app is already affecting revenue at the club, and how do you feel it will continue to in the future?
Alix: So far the revenue driven by the loyalty program in the app has really helped us with members that come in frequently. They want their punches. They want to come in and spend more to pick out that free item, so that has definitely helped. The increased online booking through the app, that younger customers and members who don't want to talk anybody utilize by going right through the app and booking their tee times is definitely improving our goals of hitting the younger demographic here and increasing revenue along the way.
Rob @Gallus: Again you're still relatively new at this and I imagine your goals are changing as you adapt and grow with the app. As you continue to grow, being one of the more savvy business people we deal with, what are some of your long term goals for the app? What can Gallus do for you to help you reach this growth and what would you like to see happen as we move forward?
Alix: Honestly, I'm very happy with everything you guys are offering. I looked into the app before, periodically I would get an email from you guys, saying oh we have this now, oh we have that now, watch our webinar, and so forth. I'm often surprised by something new, which is fantastic and you do often - it keeps it fresh. Maybe the only thing that i can think of which could be a bad thing but could be a really good thing is to have a feedback area -- if anyone wants to write a review and they can post about it on there -- maybe write a little review and other app users could read those reviews.
Gallus is always coming out with something new and different, it relieves me from having to think!
Rob @Gallus: Actually, there are ways already we can include something just like this to provide feedback for you. My experience has been, when it comes to bad feedback, a bad review can be one the best things to happen to your business. It all depends how you react to it and how you handle it, and if you are viewing it as an opportunity in its constructive criticism.
Alix: This originally happened on our facebook page on Memorial Day with some veterans who thought they were mistreated. I went through this whole thing right through the Facebook page and gave them a free foursome and they came back grateful for us making it right. So, yes I understand what you're saying.
Rob @Gallus: we are always working with the Gallus Think Tank here, and I'm certain we will have a big announcement of something new at the PGA show this January.