Using iBeacons at your venue

Further to the video, below are just a few ways that you too can to deploy and utilise iBeacons right across your venue for both members and for guests to improve communication, engagement and service.

Improving customer service on the course

By placing a number of iBeacons around your car park and course(s) iBeacons have the ability to both give your team realtime data and improve member experience. Below is a just a few examples your club could deploy them around your venue:

iBeacon 1 can welcome your member by name to the club and let reception/concierge/pro shop know they have arrived to enable them to arrange, if required, their buggy/clubs/etc in advance of the member arriving to give them an excellent first class personalised service straight off the bat.

iBeacon 2 can be placed near the first tee giving your members today's course conditions, and let your team know they are now out on the course. This makes it perfect for those clubs who members just turn up and play. It also gives the management the knowledge of both who, and if linked to a system, how many times they have played.

By linking it to system that can give operational data on who's played and how often will give the club additional proactive data to ensure everything is fine with their members. For example if there is a member that has only played a few times in the first half of the year, this will give the management the opportunity to approach the member to discover the reason behind it and, if necessary, resolve it. Thereby allowing the club to provide excellent, proactive customer care which in turn will improve engagement and retention rates.

iBeacon 3 could be used as a great up selling tool for F&B and improve pace of play by being placed on route to the halfway house so your golfers can place their food order in advance, increasing revenues and reducing waiting time. Alternatively it could be placed prior to playing the 18th for a similar effect.

iBeacon 4 can be placed after the 18th to allow reception/concierge/pro shop know they have finished enabling them to arrange, if required, collection of their buggy/clubs/etc.

iBeacons in your venue

Because these portable devices work for short range messaging too, you can install within your clubhouse to provide both proactive customer care and use them to sell/upsell. A few practical ideas include:

Having an iBeacon located near the restaurant where the beacon can let the team know your member/guest has turned up and, in turn, welcome them, let them know the manager in charge’s name and wish them a lovely evening. They can even be used as an selling tool for example to notify them of today’s specials or an upcoming evening event that they might like to attend at future date.

This particular usage of iBeacon can be replicated throughout the entire venue. Thereby allowing your team members to know that members/guests have arrived and prepare accordingly - whether this is the preparing their favourite drink at the bar, getting their room keys ready or preparing their equipment for whatever activity with are about to participate in.

On a revenue side of things, iBeacons can be placed in areas like the pro shop to be used as the ultimate sale and marketing tool. Due to the flexibility and ease of updating the message, the pro shop can inform golfers of upcoming demo days, new arrivals, seasonal sales, special offers and so on. They can even be used to promote a certain item. For example when walking past a new (sponsored) pair of golf shoes a message can come up on the golfer’s phone and tell them about the shoes, maybe even directing them to a short video about it. Although this type of usage does fall under sales and marketing, it is own way it is still providing a customer care function because by keeping them informed and giving members the chance to book/be the first/grab a bargain/improve their game you are keeping them actively engaged with what is happening. And as we know an engaged member is happy one.

Using iBeacons for your events

Firstly, for member's social events you can use one of your iBeacons to improve attendance by notifying of upcoming an event and, if applicable, direct users to a specific landing page to allow them to book directly online with you.

For larger events iBeacons can be creatively used - along with welcoming guests, giving further information and/or directions - they can be used for interactive games that can boost engagement and social media coverage.

One of the popular type of "iBeacon game" is using some of them in a game of “treasure hunt” ; i.e iBeacon 1 sends them them a short puzzle to solve (the location of iBeacon 2) and once the player have gone to the correct area, iBeacon 2 will give them the next instructions, etc.

For an example on how to easily improve social media coverage are your next large event you can use the treasure hunt game like so:

Have banner explaining the rules (along with your club's app QR code for additional downloads) that explains that they have to solve a puzzle to find x number of checkpoints. At each checkpoint they have to take photo post it on social media, using the club's hashtag and tagging the club in. They will then need to solve the next puzzle that they will receive on their phone (via the iBeacon) and repeat until all checkpoints have been done.

Once all problems are solved, the guest claim a small prize (i.e. a logoed item of apparel) and then the best image(s) of the event win a large more lucrative prize. You might even have prize for the fastest time of the day!

For a larger member's event, like a fun Easter Weekend, your iBeacons can get families involved with Easter Egg hunts - first clue leads them to the egg (and iBeacon 2) and then the second beacon gives them to the clue to the next one and so forth .

Naturally this can be done for any kind of treasure hunt - and remember it doesn't have to be just the juniors, many love to solve these types of games whether your 6, 16 or 60! So think creatively on what the puzzles and prizes might be and use your iBeacons for a day with a difference.

Keep them returning with a loyalty system

When linked to a loyal system, iBeacons give both you data and increased member engagement. You are able to capture repeat visits without actively logining it or stamping cards saving time and queueing.

Golfers don't even need to be at a counter to collect points, as long as it an area they can't freely walk to (otherwise you'll find someone is "playing" daily just to get their reward!) you install the iBeacon wherever you like.

For example if you rewarded repeat plays - whether it's adventure golf or a normal round, you could have an iBeacon set on the 18th hole. This is both a more fun way for them to collect their points and it rewards them for finishing the game too.

As well giving them points the iBeacon can encourage them to checkout their progress by taking the golfer to their current statement or you can use it to offer them an add-on service (are you hungry? why not visit...) or book another round.

How to use iBeacons – sensibly

A final note on iBeacons. You will need to consider the golfer’s journey around your venue and the context of your messages. If you are using beacons both out on the course and around your clubhouse you need to be mindful and don’t over message - you do not want your golfer’s app to light up like a Christmas tree as they go around your venue!

Whilst some messages will always be acceptable, for example club welcome message or today’s course conditions; others, especially sales messages, will soon grow tiring and you will be in danger of golfers simply switching the factily off or even worse, deleting your club app.

However to maintain a balance is fairly easily because iBeacon messages are easy to update or have switched off until you require them. This will allow you strategically market new promotions on a rotating basis without having to keep moving the beacons or annoying your golfers.