How to Retain Members During COVID-19
What Membership Directors and your Team can do to engage your membership during this time of social distancing and strategies you can put into place to increase membership retention rates.
There are so many unknowns of what is going to happen at your club within the next couple months. One thing that you can control is what you are doing at this time to stay connected with your membership.
Keeping your members happy is hard enough when they are at the club; now we have to think of ways to take the club to them as well as adapt to the new normal of so many restrictions. More than ever, it is important to retain each and every member.
Keeping your current members engaged virtually is something we are not use to; but it is the most essential thing you can do as a management team. Think outside of the box and give your members value add other than takeout and email updates during this pandemic. Refusing to change the way we do business can lead to the downfall of an organization; don’t let that be your club. Check out this quick inspirational video to help get you and your team get inspired to reinvent yourself and your clubs’ operations These Are Not Unprecedented Times | Simon Sinek.
Be creative; empower all department leads to come up with ideas to send out to the membership. Here are some examples of what your team can be working on to keep your members engaged and reminding them why their membership to their club is so valuable.
Showcase your exceptional staff.
Have your golf pros create short video segments on golf tips and tricks, how to practice in your home, golf exercises, etc. Your golf staff can also create virtual brackets for tournaments ie: virtual bracket for the TaylorMade Driving Relief Skins Game.
Your fitness instructors can stream their classes to do in the comfort of your homes (good to get staff to take the classes as well).
The culinary department can be doing video cooking tips from their personal kitchens or even live Q&A’s with the Executive Chef, sharing their favorite or healthy recipes to the membership, writing nutrition plans, creating meal kits for pickup and even setting up a shopping market at the club.
This time even allows for our Superintendents to get involved! Most of your members have a lot more time on their hands to be working in their yards or gardens. Any tips on how to grow grass, planting tips, trimming of trees etc. would be great information to share! ADDED benefit: if your club has the ability to do soil testing, have the membership bring in soil samples to give suggestions on fertilizer applications or other lawn treatment plans; it’s that time of the year!
Have your beverage team organize mixology classes and/or virtual wine tastings with your sommelier.
Arrange each “club within the club” to continue as scheduled using virtual chat rooms to organize the meetings, like Zoom, (might even be a good time to start new clubs; like a book club)!
Host social events virtually for the membership; like a trivia night.
Get your Club Historian or a long-time member to host Fireside chats and tell your clubs story and engage your membership in the rich history of your club.
Most importantly don’t forget about the kids! They miss their “club” friends as much as their parents. Create a Spring packet with games, scavenger hunts, coloring contest, photo contests, etc. to mail out to those members who have children and have them post on your social media outlets or mail back to the club.
Preparing to re-open.
Organize your member database. Now more than ever is the time to do the tedious chore of going through member by member to make sure the correct information is collected. Click Here for a sample survey of what demographic information you should be collecting for each family. This information will then be used to create segmented communication lists for the members!
Connect with the membership; break up your membership list and have your managers call the members to check in on how they and their families are doing during this pandemic. Have talking points for your managers so a unified message is being communicated. Tell them what the Club’s plan is to stay connected with the membership. Take the time to ask them for feedback and what they would like to see in 2020. But, most importantly make sure to tell them how much they mean to the club and how excited the Team is to see them once you re-open.