Friday, March 6, 2015

You need members, but ignore your former ones?

I wonder how many former members would come back if you simply asked? Many clubs never take the time to do this, yet complain about needing members? Discounting and Pro shop credit is lazy when the low hanging fruit is right in front of you. 
This letter took about twenty minutes to write and I don’t work in the business. What does yours look like and how successful were the meetings you had as a result of the outreach?
Mr. James Smith
123 ABC Road
Johnsonville, USA 11111
March 15, 2015
Dear Mr. Smith,
I understand you used to be a member of Forest Woods Country Club for ___ years. The reason I am reaching out to you is two-fold:
1)  We want you back at the club! We have added a couple of new membership categories since you left in 20xx. Our restaurant has been totally renovated from the ground up. We have renovated the locker room with new carpet and amenities. We have added many weekly and monthly programs like an expanded men’s league, couples getaway nights with child care and dinner, affordable group lessons focusing on the various skills you need to improve, a junior league, and “play with the Pro days”. We’ve also entered into an agreement with one of the best gyms in town, that as a member, you can take advantage of right away.
2)  We want your feedback. I know we have room for improvement Mr. Smith, every club does. I’ve found that many members don’t quit playing the game, they simply play somewhere else. I am not sure why you left, but I would love to have your honest opinion on why and what we could do better going forward. Was it our pricing or service? The value for your dollar? Were you frustrated with the way things were done or handled at the club? Even if we can’t get you back, I would really appreciate any help you can give us in improving the club overall. I’ve found that our best ideas and improvements come from simply listening…and I know in the past, after speaking to many former members, that wasn’t our strong suit.
In May of 20xx, I took over the General Managers role at the club and in all honesty, have had the time of my life working at Forest Woods Country Club. I’ve worked at XYZ, ABC, and 123 in the past, but have never received a warmer welcome. My family has fallen in love with the area and the people. I’ve hired a few key staff positions since you were a member, that I feel bring energy, dedication, and expertise to the club.
I’ve enclosed a certificate for a complimentary (food/round/month) at the club. To take advantage of this, all I ask is we meet in person either at the club or over lunch. If you don’t think there is any way to win you back, I would still like to get a few minutes of your time to go over any feedback or suggestions you might have. I’ve found that if one person has a frustration, so do others, but if we don’t ask, we can’t get better.
You may reach me at 111-1111 or I look forward to speaking with you soon.
John Townsend
General Manager
Forest Woods Country Club