Golfer Experience Management Solution (http://www.thegemsolution.com/) is a service package designed specifically for Golf Clubs that are attempting to provide not just satisfactory but exemplary customer service to their members and guests. Following the model of all great retailers this level of service demands customer profiling and the creative use of the information retained. Patrick Seither, the golf service expertise behind the GEMS product, has developed a software solution that makes the “creative” part of the service equation easier than anything else I have seen. When a user logs in they find a “Dashboard” that indicates when certain service opportunities like important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, & membership anniversaries) or particular occurrences like the need for re-gripping are coming due. GEMS seemed like such a natural extension of the service issues that I have addressed on the blog and in The Winning Golf Culture that I invited Patrick to explain in more depth.
Patrick, knowing your background and the service level you champion I imagine the development of GEMS has been a labor of love. What was the initial impetus to develop this incredible tool?
It began with a conversation with an acquaintance of mine who is a business consultant with expertise in business processes improvements and how to leverage tools to support good business practices. He asked me a simple question: what is the value I bring to the golf operation. My response was that as a service professional I knew how to provide excellent service and an experience to the membership through my knowledge of their individual preferences, for example: what golf ball they play, or what drink they like, or what their favorite team is. He observed that the real value I bring to the business as the leader of the operation is to ensure every staff member also knows these unique preferences and how to provide this high level of customer service. We determined the challenge is how to effectively retain the knowledge that each staff member has about a customer’s preferences and make that available for everyone to access and leverage. This was the start of GEMS and we continue to improve and make positive changes from the response we get from supporters, potential clients and existing customers.
How would you describe this tool and its functionality?
GEMS offers the ability to integrate a member profile with business processes such as order tracking, event management, and demo tracking. The member profile area allows you to create and build a database with the capability to store information unique to each member, such as their custom sizes (shirt, shoe, glove, waist, inseam, etc), what golf clubs they play, what food and beverages they prefer, what their favorite teams are, and much more. This information is then readily accessible through navigation or reports.
Who do you see as prospective clients for this service and is there anything comparable in the marketplace?
We see prospective clients as golf professionals at clubs that would like to enhance their level of service and increase operational efficiency. GEMS concentrates on “Pre-Sales” or “Pre-Service” transactions. Most people are familiar with “Point of Sale” or “Post-Sale” transactions. These are handled by software tools [POS] which make it easier and less costly to close out the sale. What GEMS offers is a more effective way of earning business than opening the golf shop and waiting for the customer to show up at the register with a shirt and ringing it up. We believe that Service = Sales. It is understood that there is a whole experience involved in bringing a customer to the register, and GEMS brings the customer to the register more often.
Part of the service I preach has to do with pre-servicing members & guests and the WOW factor of a follow-up on special order or significant purchase. It certainly seems that the “Speaks to You” aspect of GEMS makes achieving this service level much easier to attain. How does GEMS help a club achieve the WOW factor?
A unique aspect of GEMS is the follow up tasks and alerts that are generated through the use of the Order Tracker and Demo Tracker functions. When orders are completed and demo clubs are marked as returned, the user who created the order or assigned the demo club will receive an email alert and task prompting them to follow up with the member or guest in a specified amount of time. This is the type of service that will lead to future sales, repeat business, and a higher level of customer satisfaction.
I have many examples of what I call a “GEMS moment”. I can’t count the times I have been able to provide the “WOW” factor to members or guests who I have come in contact with because of my use of this tool. I specifically remember a time when I had a member husband and wife who came out to play one afternoon, and because we where utilizing GEMS we knew immediately it was their anniversary. In addition to everyone at the club acknowledging their special day, we went the extra mile to get them a small anniversary cake and delivered it to them on the course. GEMS is a service professional’s tool. As with any tool it takes effort and practice to become proficient.
Fortunately, GEMS takes many of the best practices in the golf service industry and rolls them into one overall service tool. Secondly, the more you use the tool the more it responds to a service professional’s needs. Furthermore, GEMS is not a “fire and forget” service. Because of its platform, the GEMS support team can monitor and assist clients in their operations and help identify service areas for improvement which leads to more recurring and better quality sales.
What is the procedure if a club decides they want to try GEMS for a period of time?
Interested clients can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out the Contact Us form on the GEMS website (http://www.thegemsolution.com/), or call the toll free line at 1-866-691-GEMS (4367).
Below is an introductory offer.
GEMS Essentials Package
Basic Member Profile
• Member #
• Unique Custom Information (sizing, favorites, preferences)
• Special Dates
• Contact information
• Important Date Gadget
• Order Tracker Gadget
• Demo Tracker Gadget
• Task Manager Gadget
• Replaces PO Book/ Binder
• Email Order Option
• Follow Up Task Linked to Task Manager
• Track Demo Clubs From Check-out to Return
• Store Demo Club Specifications
• Follow Up Task Linked to Task Manager
• Staff Management Tool
• Create and Track Tasks to Specific Staff
• Auto-Generated task Linked from Order
• Tracker and Demo-Tracker
Retail Price $299/Month
Special Promotional Offer
1 Month FREE – 11 Months @ $149/ Month
There are retail software offerings on the market that do what GEMS does in terms of customer profiling and service enhancement but none that were built for golf professionals and with pro shop service in mind. Most successful retail uses some method of retaining customer information. Jack Mitchell the author of “Hug your Customer” has a chapter in his book on how this was an upgrade that was one of the most significant that they made at his store, and many high-end retailers are having custom made systems built, realizing that keeping existing customers is their first priority in today’s marketplace. GEMS is a golf specific software tool that makes it easy to input, retain and recall a member's custom information. This is simply done through the use of drop-down menus, point and click navigation and direct uploading of data by the GEMS support team.To further promote GEMS which I am obviously a proponent of I am offering free copies of both of my manuals for sale on the blog “The Winning Golf Culture” and the “Merchandise Buy Plan Guide” to anyone who signs on with the GEMS Special Promo Offer