We know running a golf course isn’t easy. When times get hectic you’ll be thanking yourself for having a solid POS system in place. Having a modern golf point of sale (POS) equals a smoother operation and happy customers, that’s why we put together this helpful guide to help you understand what needs a good golf POS will satisfy.
Golf has a long and rich tradition that has been important to so many people for decades. Unfortunately, this long tradition has not always translated into modernization in the pro shop. In fact, many golf courses still use pen and paper to track their daily tee times, and courses that do use computers to manage their operations often find themselves using a buggy, outdated, and expensive tee sheet and golf POS.
Not all golf POS systems are created equal
There are a wide range of options available and the differences between each service are substantial. Some golf POS systems run on an expensive server stored directly at the golf course, which are only compatible with certain computers, printers, and accounting software.
Modern golf POS systems have an open application program interface (API) which allows best-of-breed software to easily connect into the POS and help with marketing, accounting, and other aspects of golf management.
Make sure your system is cloud-based
Instead of purchasing and downloading POS software, cloud-based systems are accessed and used via the Internet. A cloud-based system offers several benefits:
Manage operations from any device, anywhere
- Enter your purchase orders at the PGA buying show
- Track sales, inventory, and operations from home or on the road
- Be more in touch with operations at the course
No on-site server storage
- Cut costs and storage usage
- No expensive hardware to replace after 5 years
- Simple installation or software requirements
- Run the system easily from your browser
24/7 customer support
- Get help from start to finish
- Unlimited training sessions available for staff
- Live chat support available 24/7
Constant software updates
- Fresh new features are released every month
- We take your suggestions seriously!
Get a golf POS with best-of-breed integrations
Golf course managers can find POS systems that integrate with other tools for a centralized solution. While there are a variety of systems on the market, best-of-breed options allow you to seamlessly manage all of your business functions:
- Beautiful email templates for newsletters, promotions, or announcements
- Manage loyalty programs with balances viewable online
- Track opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes
- Know exactly what links are getting clicked
- Integrates directly with golf POS inventory and sales data
- Compatibility with all versions of QuickBooks makes managing accounting activities easy
Property Management Services (PMS)
- Golf courses that are integrated with resort management software will have no problem integrating our POS into their CRM software
Fully open API
- Lightspeed Golf is capable of integrating with any API
- Learn more about the companies our software works with
Conducting good customer service
POS systems also enhance the customer experience by helping your team members answer questions and facilitate quick transactions. New POS features offer modern ways to enhance the customer experience and provide a higher level of service.
Online tee sheet
Online tee sheet booking has revolutionized the golf industry by taking a time-consuming paper-based process that kept staff members tied to the phone and bringing it online where staff and golfers can access it.
Look for a golf POS system that integrates with an online tee sheet where you can take reservations 24/7 as well as adjust intervals to fit specific needs or formats. In addition, an online tee sheet can streamline customer data with auto-fill features.
Customer loyalty programs
Another integrated feature to look for is a loyalty program, which can help you engage and retain customers by sending relevant, customized offers. Loyalty programs let you create customized rewards that encourage your golfers to spend more money at your operation.
Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your customers. A study by 3Cinteractive found that 62 percent of U.S. shoppers make more store visits or purchases as a direct result of loyalty programs. Get them to buy a new set of clubs, visit the 19th Hole after a round or book another tee time by offering incentives.
Add onto your golf POS system with self-service kiosks. They provide a fast way to check-in, pay and play for a round of golf. An automated check-in process cuts down wait times and can speed play by getting groups to the first tee faster.
Kiosks also encourage food and beverage purchases. Offer faster restaurant service with self-ordering features that reduce order processing and payment time as well as eliminate errors. This frees up your food and beverage staff to focus on customer service. Customers buy more when they order themselves, and they pay faster
Building strong marketing strategies
A good golf POS can grow your business. Before we get into all the neat features an amazing golf course POS system offers, let’s talk about a few concrete examples we’ve observed from our customers in the past. Having a good POS means that aside just from enjoying a streamlined and efficient system, you can also build sales with several methods.
Engage in stronger email marketing
Research has shown that fewer than 1 in 10 new prospects will make a purchase, while more than 6 in 10 existing customers will buy again. As a result, today’s leading marketers are no longer sending out generic email blasts, instead, they’re “crafting consumer conversations.” Billions of emails are sent each day, so if you’re looking to cut through all that noise, you need to engage with individual customers.
The best golf POS should get with the times and send relevant communications tailored to your customers’ preferences. The email addresses you collect should be stored in a database, which you can then segment into groups that can be targeted with specialized messages. This kind of tailored marketing will allow you to reach more people in a more meaningful way, increasing the likelihood that someone will choose to make a purchase decision.
Systems that use advanced email marketing will allow you to increase your open rates, click rates, and conversions. Gone are the days of wasting your time sending out emails that no one will open, you can now drive much more revenue to your course.
Promote tee times on the Chronogolf by Lightspeed marketplace
Golf POS data will help you understand and book underselling tee times. For example, you can easily promote discounted tee times on the Chronogolf by Lightspeed and TeeOff marketplace directly from the POS. This can help you fill reservations that would have otherwise been lost revenue opportunities.
In addition, online marketplaces help you reach a wider audience and gain brand awareness. They are especially popular with customers who are looking to book a tee time online but don’t have specific course preference. This can get new customers through your doors and give you a chance to build a relationship.
Whether it’s to ask a question or send a reminder, reach your customers in the way they prefer—by text. A new survey finds that seven in ten Millennials prefer to communicate digitally over in person, especially by text. A golf POS system can have integrated SMS text message capabilities that help you communicate with customers.
Texts can be sent and received without leaving the tee sheet. You can respond to golfer questions quickly with pre-set answer templates, alert them when their pro shop orders have arrived or sent receipts by text. Or schedule automated texts when the course is closed for the night, such as confirming tee time or tournament pairings.
Powerful restaurant & pro shop POS systems
Your retail operation will have different needs than your food and beverage, but it’s best to choose a golf POS system that can handle all of your establishment’s requirements in a centralized location.
Efficiently manage inventory
Studies have shown that retailers can lose up to 14% of customers due to products being out-of-stock. The worst part is that these losses can be completely avoided by getting rid of outdated methods for tracking inventory. You no longer need to manually count out every box of balls and pair of pants that you have in-store, all of this information will automatically be tracked, stored, and reported by your POS.
Systems that track inventory in real-time will be able to give you actionable reports into which products are selling best, and which products your customer base doesn’t want. You’ll also receive notifications when the stock level of an item is running low so that you can place a purchase order. You’ll be able to manage your pro shop in a much more sophisticated way, while reducing the headache of running an efficient operation.
One of the most important features in a POS is handling payment transactions, and your customers will appreciate a fast and easy way to checkout. A golf POS system should be able to process transactions quickly by accepting a variety of payment forms, including magnetic stripe and chip cards as well as contactless payments. You will also need to be able to offer receipts in the way the customer prefers, including text, email and paper. And your golf POS should connect to your cash drawer for customers who prefer to pay the old-fashioned way.
For your food and beverage option, you’ll want a POS system that also offers features specific to the restaurant industry. For example, a POS should include the ability to split checks or comp meals. Also, consider mobile POS payments for your food and beverage business. For example, you may want to process transactions outside of your restaurant or pro shop, such as on a beverage cart. And you can boost customer service and turnover by taking orders and payments from anywhere inside the restaurant, such as tableside.
A good golf POS system helps you build relationships with your golfers and diners by creating profiles that can store details about them. As soon as a customer walks into your pro shop or restaurant you can easily review helpful information you can use to personalize service and up-sell or recommend products.
Forty-three percent of consumers prefer to shop at stores that personalize the customer experience, according to research from Accenture. In a pro shop, for example, it would be helpful to track a customer’s previous club purchases to better recommend a new driver or putter. Pay attention to repeat tee time bookings and offer to make a standing tee time. Or record a customer’s favorite food and beverage order and ask them if they’d like “the usual.” We all like to feel important and valued, and your golf POS can help you do just that for your customers.
Track in-depth reporting in real-time
These days data is your best friend when trying to understand how to optimize operations, revenue, and inventory. Great golf point of sale systems provides powerful reports that update in real-time. As a golf manager, you’ll have access to:
- Reports that show tee-time utilization rates and revenue contribution per player category
- Reports that show most profitable products, top-selling products, lowest-selling products, top-performing sales associates, busiest store hours, top brands, and online vs. in-store sales
- Information for better decision-making, such as for purchasing and staff scheduling
Simplify employee management
It can be difficult to know which of your staff members are performing best without being on the pro shop floor. However, if you’re spending your time watching over employees, you’re not focusing on improving customer experience, marketing, and profitability. As a golf manager, you should be putting your attention into big-picture tasks, and not into the tiny details of day-to-day operations.
Your POS system needs to be able to track employee hours, sales, and performance all in one place. Know exactly which employees are best by tracking sales performance numbers recorded directly in the POS. You’ll be able to level your top-performers by figuring out what they do best, and using them to teach any workers that are struggling to make sales.
Mastering data management
Your golf POS system can create insights and reports that help you grow your operation. In addition, it can integrate with other business development tools that help you create strategies and plans for the future.
Gain a competitive edge by leveraging your data to make better decisions, improve processes, and measure performance. A good golf POS system should have business intelligence tools that give you high-level insights as well as granular details.
Powerful data analytic tools can give you an edge over the competition with insights that can help you increase revenue. For example, identify and reward your best customers through special offers or personalization. You can also discourage bad behavior, such as frequent no shows or cancellations that can cost your club lost revenue.
Business intelligence also helps you understand what is happening at your operation. Data tools help you measure business performance, such as return on marketing campaigns or best-selling products. Also, track long term and day-to-day key metrics so you can make better decisions and eliminate inefficiencies. These insights can help you focus on the products and services you offer that bring the highest margins, while phasing out or revamping low performers.
Tee times are not equal and your pricing doesn’t have to be either. While you may offer higher weekend or lower twilight rates, dynamic pricing lets you take it one step further. The value of every tee time can fluctuate based on variables, such as days in advance, time of day, player type and occupancy rate. Your golf POS system can help you leverage this fact and create a pricing strategy for your course to help you maximize revenue.
Automatically adjust pricing according to the market’s willingness to pay. This can be especially successful on the Chronogolf by Lightspeed Marketplace where you are attracting new customers. You can also create specials on underselling tee times up until their expiration date to encourage bookings that would otherwise go unfilled.
Your golf POS system should also work with your accounting software to make financial and tax reporting effortless. Look for a system that:
- Integrates directly with golf POS inventory and sales data
- Compatibility with all versions of QuickBooks makes managing accounting activities easy
Now you know what the best golf POS looks like
You’ve had the chance to get a picture of what the best golf course point of sale system on the market looks like and can do for your business. It’s time to evaluate your alternatives and make an important decision. These days, it’s so important for your golf course to be modern, up to date, and ready to serve the young generation while being user-friendly enough for older players.
Of course, you know your golf course’s needs better than anyone else, but you need to make sure you have the best information available in order to choose the best option. Book a demonstration of the software we are sure suits your needs best, Lightspeed is offering a no pressure, no commitment opportunity to see our software in action.
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