How your club’s website can improve your member engagement
By Srishti Singh
It's no secret. The more your members are engaged, the greater the success of the club. Both today and tomorrow.
The key is to keep them connected. Even when they are not on the premises. Then make it easy for them to interact. And serve them up a regular helping of surprise and delight. There is no mechanism better suited to do all this than your club's website.
Don't just create a website. Create an invaluable engagement tool for members.
It's easy to think of your club website as simply a marketing tool for introducing your club to new members.
Leading clubs understand that a website holds much more potential than that. And they deploy sites designed to be functional and engaging tools.
The optimal way to achieve this is to find club management software that allows you to build your website on the same database that your other systems use (i.e. accounting, F&B, golf, etc.). We'll look at some examples of the advantages of this single database approach in just a bit.
Taking this approach can turn your website into your members' club away from the club. Picture them securely logging into your site where they have customized their profile. Imagine them greeted with a highly personalized experience that looks great whether they're on their computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
This is the kind of club website that has the exceptional ability to strengthen the members' connection to the club, leading to improved utilization and higher satisfaction.
Empower members to plan and manage their club experience virtually
Choosing a smart website builder opens up a world of possibilities for your users. First and foremost, it takes the work out of keeping them updated on news, events, member's birthdays, new committees, and more. And that's just the start. You can give your members the ability to:
Look up and reserve tee times
Shop at the club's online stores
Sign up for an event, seminar, or a class
Book a room, a court, fitness session, spa visit, childcare, and more
Make dining reservations or order Grab-N-Go
Plus, you could add in the functionality of a buddy list. For example, when the member makes a dining reservation, the system will present her buddy list. She can then choose those friends she wants to invite to dinner right on the club website and the system will send them an invitation from her.
You can also set up online account statements for members so they can see current charges, minimum balances, and historical statements. And you can give them the ability to pay right online.
This is the type of functionality that strengthens engagement with your club and encourages interaction between members even when they're not on the grounds.
Streamline how you manage the experience with your club management software
A big factor in assessing the value of a website builder is the ability of the club to easily manage the site.
You can't overstate the importance of connecting your website platform to all parts of your club to provide instantaneous coordination and to reduce the frustrating task of manually inputting data from one system into another. There are key features to look for as well. Features that easily allow you to:
Create forms, announcements, blogs, and marketing content
Enter information once and have it update across all appropriate locations on your site – and in your mobile app
Build new pages using a template-based, point-and-click interface
Tie your online stores into your inventory control system
Plus, your website builder should:
Offer a media and photo gallery for easy access to your graphics
Deliver insightful website statistics reporting
Allow you to assign credentials and permissions – for example, giving the golf director access and allowing him to set up a golf event that populates across the site
Automatically generate sitemaps and provide SEO
Offer 24/7 support for any help you need
All of this functionality helps transform a club website from a nice brochure to a powerful tool that members and staff can easily use.
Expect more from your website
Today, a website can do so much more than present some nice pictures of your club. It can make the operation more efficient, streamlining work and creating opportunities for you to delight members. Better yet, it can become an indispensable tool for members, helping them interact with the club and others. All of which help foster engagement and build an even better member experience at your club.