“Spinning plates”, “balls in the air”, “wearing many hats” are all expressions that could have been coined for the busy PGA Professional. How do you manage everything during the height of the season? How do you keep on top of stock and optimise sales, when your team is coaching all day? How can you keep customers happy, when shop admin takes up so much of your time? In our new 3-part series, XPOS Unwrapped, we’ll be looking at the habits, processes and tools to make your work life easier, better and more profitable.
You’ve got a custom fit at 12.30; the phone is ringing off the hook with people asking about lessons and if you have a particular brand of putter in stock; a member is querying his account balance; you’ve been meaning to catch up with Mr Roche about the regrips he needs; and, oh, hang on, your Saturday assistant just called in sick.
There are no two ways about it. PGA Professionals have their fingers in a lot of pies and time is a precious commodity. It’s what makes the job so interesting and exciting. But, with tough competition from eCommerce, stressed margins and ever-increasing customer expectations, it can feel like the pressure is coming from all angles, especially during a busy season.
The early electronic point of sale systems (epos) were designed to make the retailer more efficient and productive; replacing the original paper-based methods of recording what came in and went out of the shop; hand-written receipts; and stock-takes that could take a whole week. More recently, epos solutions, such as XPOS, have brought even greater advantages to the pro shop: helping to bridge the gap between online and the bricks and mortar shop, while giving customers more of what they want and freeing up time for the retailer.
Mark Hopkins is XPOS’s Business Development Director and warns that retailers must get the basics in place now so they can benefit from the tools that will make their lives easier during busy seasons ahead. “After the 2020 boom, we’re expecting all those new golfers to come back this year, while others have been cooped up indoors and are excited to return to a sport that’s safe to play.”
“When multi-tasking through a busy day, you need to focus on what’s important to you as a business. Retailers shouldn’t have to worry about checking up with a member to see if he’s enjoying his new clubs. There are tools that do that for you. We’ve made sure that all our new software is designed specifically to introduce automation to the pro shop. XMAIL is an automated email service that sends a short email from the pro shop to follow up on sales. The customer doesn’t know it’s an automated email as it looks personal”, says Mark, “Similarly, if another customer wants to know her account balance, she can just check her XPOS Caddie app, rather than ask the team in the pro shop. That’s more time saved. Members can also use the XPOS Caddie app to see what brands you stock, check stock levels, book golf lessons and view digital vouchers: all with little, or no effort for the retailer. It just makes life easier for the customer and better for the Professional team.
Know Your Customer
New technology can help to relieve a lot of pressure and it starts with good foundations. Collecting customer data at every purchase is a great starting point. Not only does it help you truly understand who your customers are, but it paves the way for adopting new tools that can open up the world.
One PGA Head Professional who enjoys the benefits of having captured customer information is Sean Pearson from Pennard Golf Club in Southgate, Wales, “Every transaction is recorded in XPOS and we now even set up visitor accounts to enable me to look at visitor spend as well. I now know that around 35% of my shop customers are visitors and this helps me to plan my inventory”.
A self-confessed technophobe, Sean says he had to embrace a more digital route to keep in touch with customers during the pandemic. “I haven’t had a great online presence so my communication with members has been a bit hit and miss in the past. While the shop was shut during lockdowns, I put together a weekly PDF with photos of products from the shop, which was sent out with the Club news. It was a great way to showcase shop products and keep cash coming in, but it also very time consuming. I’m now using the XPOS Caddie app and am looking forward to an easier way to display and sell my stock with the Reserve & Collect feature”. Sean now sees the need to take advantage of new tools and was able to get up and running quickly because of his customer email database.
Post-pandemic, a digital connection is going to be an essential element of the customer relationship. What’s more, this needs to co-exist with the shop’s sales system, XPOS, so that the business can take advantage of automated processes that will improve efficiencies, as well as help to build resilience in the event of future events such as bad weather, or lockdowns.
In the future, these digital tools and services may also be the best way to give customers more of what they want, and expect. Pro shops that are slow to embrace technology may miss out now and struggle to catch up in the future.
XPOS Caddie is the new app for golfers who love their pro shop. For more information on the app’s great benefits, including how to set up your new Reserve & Collect store, visit www.crossovertec.co.uk