Changing the Game
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The most important aspect of any private club is the member experience, and as club planners and designers, we are always looking for new ways to increase the value of their membership. Private clubs are increasingly taking cues from hotels with regard to design and policies, but there are other hotel services that can be explored as well.
By traditional definition, a concierge is a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests by arranging tours, making restaurant reservations, and being an overall caretaker for guests for the duration of their stay. These concierge services add value to a guest’s hotel visit and improve their overall experience—and they can affect a private club atmosphere in the same way. Here we highlight four concierge services that will foster convenience and commitment for your members and enrich your club’s top-quality service.
IN-HOUSE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Take a moment and think about your past resort vacations; although they can differ in many ways—the scenery, décor, excursions offered, etc.—there’s one thing that they all provide: transportation. Resort vehicles are always available to help get you where you need to go during your stay, stress-free and planned ahead of time. Clubs can—and should—provide that same luxury. Think of in-house transportation as an amenity on wheels. As clubs continue to broaden their social events and offerings, transportation is a key consideration.
Rather than continuously booking shuttles through third-party services, some clubs may consider purchasing their own instead. Charlotte Country Club (CCC), for example, saw the value in offering safe and affordable transportation and purchased two dedicated vehicles for their members’ convenience. CCC now manages a daily schedule for transportation services while balancing requests for all-day rentals and shorter trips to the airport and/or to and from the club. Because of this accommodation, they’re now able to easily coordinate events and intraclub outings without members having to worry about the nuances involved with traveling. The benefits are twofold: it helps senior members who may have difficulty driving or those who refrain from driving in the rain and provides a convenient option and smooth operation for the club and your members alike.
The inception of Uber and Lyft took the world by storm in 2011 and 2012, respectively—and have since made traveling around a city more accessible than ever before. Both companies provide transportation services much like a taxi cab; however, requesting a driver is achieved through the simple tap of a button on their respective apps, which then tells its user how far away their driver is and how much the trip will cost. The app also uses GPS to provide real-time location updates throughout the duration of the trip—providing convenient, simple and guaranteed alternatives to get from point A to point B.
Today, private clubs are responding to this opportunity to help make transportation easier for members. Cherokee Town & Country Club, for example, established a partnership with both Uber and Lyft in which the companies give CTCC credits to use for their service. Members are then provided a certain number of these credits—paid for by the club—to use towards either an Uber or Lyft ride. Such partnerships help instrumentally with parking challenges during large, club-wide events, offer members a safe alternative to drinking and driving, and also provide convenience for older members who are unable to drive or avoid driving at night or during inclement weather.
There’s a reason why food delivery services have been around for years, and why more and more companies are jumping to actualize the concept. It’s a timely option for people with ‘on-the-go’ lifestyles and has yet to—and probably never will—go out of style. Both carryout and delivery services provide yet another great opportunity for clubs to offer their members greater convenience—and an unparalleled experience.
With this service, the club happily delivers food to its members; an invaluable opportunity for families’ with busy schedules, members hosting gatherings at home, and for senior members who are not as likely to leave the house as often as they once did. Additionally, the carryout option is helpful for busy members who may not have the extra time every night to prepare a meal. Today, clubs are seeing dual-income families—limiting the time necessary to cook a decent meal even more. Appetizing carryout meals blended with a delivery service create a recipe for success—and the only items your members will need time to locate are utensils and a plate!
And speaking of plates—your members have a lot on theirs. Another great way to add value (without muddling the bottom line) is to assist in organizing members’ travel arrangements. This opens up a wide array of options—from dinner reservations to tee times to overnight accommodations and beyond. Scheduling these arrangements on a member’s behalf is another way to stay present in your member’s busy lives, and they’ll appreciate having one more thing checked off their to-do list. As clubs continue to integrate technology, creating an in-house app that provides members with mobile access for scheduling these arrangements is another option—a digital concierge service, if you will.
The key is to take a look at your Club offerings through the lens of your members. Aim to get ahead of their wants and needs and implement services that will make their lives easier—and the club more desirable. As a Club Leader your responsibilities may differ from those of the hotel concierge—but your goals are one in the same. By taking a closer look at the services a hotel would provide to your members as guests, you’ll be able to ensure they receive the same year-round commitment when they come back home.
Have you incorporated concierge services into your Club’s offerings? Comment below and tell us more!
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