Alderley Edge Pro makes 1,500 lesson bookings using Foremost’s new Online Lesson Booking System

    Alderley Edge Pro makes 1,500 lesson bookings using Foremost’s new Online Lesson Booking System

    Editor Dan Owen caught up with Charles Le Sueur, head pro at Alderley Edge Golf Club, to find out about the impact that Foremost’s new online Lesson Booking System has made to his business.

    When was the last time you bought something over the phone? From the likes of TicketMaster to the takeaway delivery monsters that are Deliveroo, everyone likes to order and book events online now. So why should golf lessons be any different?

    Foremost introduced their Online Booking System earlier this year, and its users are finding it to be hugely successful in saving time for both the PGA professionals and the clients. Foremost already have 60 Foremost members ‘LIVE’ using the system, with another 100+ in the set-up phase.

    Alderley Edge Golf Club and Foremost member Professional, Charles Le Sueur, has been using the system since January this year and has since made over 1,500 lesson bookings; 20% of customers have booked those directly online. We spoke to him to find out how the new system had positively impacted his business.

    Why did you start using Foremost’s Online Lesson Booking System?

    I’ve used online systems for a long time, and they have helped me grow my business. But the big difference since changing is how it has allowed me to integrate the booking system into my weekly EMP newsletter, the golf club website, and also my personal coaching website. This means that all my members and my other clients know where to go.

    Do you think golfers expect to be able to book lessons online?

    Seven years ago, Alderley Edge implemented BRS online booking for tee times and that’s been really popular. When we first implemented that, it was surprising to see how many of the older members took on board how to use the online booking system. And they’ve done the same with my lessons.

    Do you find that Foremost’s Online Lesson Booking System saves you time?

    It has cut down time on the phone, which is always a good thing as it allows me to focus elsewhere. The other aspect is that it has cut down on no-shows. As soon as a lesson is booked online, I’ll get their email address, they’ll receive an immediate automated booking confirmation, and then they get a reminder email 24 hours before the lesson. It’s really cut down on people just not showing up. With that 24-hour reminder, I now get a courtesy call when someone has realised they have something else on. It maximises time and you don’t lose out on money.

    With the old system, I’d take the client’s details, input them into the old SetMore system and I would have to then manually transfer them across to my Foremost database. Now it’s all in the same place which is a great time-saver.

    Has it helped you increase your bookings and thus increase your revenue?

    Around 20% of clients are booking online, and when I finish a lesson, I aim to get them to book their next one there and then. But there are some people who will need to go home and check their diaries, then book online because they know how easy it is. The shop is only open ten hours a day, whereas as a website is open 24/7.

    I’ve had new clients who I don’t know who have booked online at nine o’clock at night. They may have called back in the morning, but they may have gone elsewhere and looked for a lesson with someone else.

    One of the really good things about the reporting section is that it allows me to see which clients haven’t booked anything within a set time frame. I can then contact them with a reminder to say they haven’t had a lesson recently and ask them whether they would like to book one. So, it hasn’t only helped me get new clients, but it’s helped me retain my current clients as well.

    Is the system easy to use?

    I use the Foremost Online Booking System to make all my appointments. If I’ve got a meeting with a sales rep, for example, I can just mark it down as an unavailable slot on the online booking system.

    When you first sign up for it, info bubbles come up and walk you through every step of the process, which is very helpful. It runs very similarly to some of the other systems I’ve used in the past which, considering they are by huge international software companies, is a big compliment. And I was having to pay for those, whereas this comes as included in the EMP programme.

    I migrated on January the 1st, knowing that is probably the quietest three or four weeks of my year. But it was just a case of importing and manually importing what I had already in my diary. The whole process took me no more than an hour.

    Would you recommend it to other members of the Foremost Group?

    Absolutely. It saves me time. I use the Foremost Online Booking System to make all my appointments and it means that I never double book myself anymore.

    I’m the only one who teaches on my site at the moment, but you can add various teaching areas to the system. You can have the golf course, the short game area and the studio, for example. So, if there are two pros working simultaneously, it wouldn’t let you both book the studio at the same time or the short game area at the same time. It’s great functionality that helps us maximise our revenue, and not waste anyone’s time.

    It makes setting up package deals very simple. The system allows me to offer lesson packages so that someone can sign up for that. And then they effectively get six credits which they can use online or they can do it through the shop, and they will have a record of how many credits they’ve got left.

    Although I don’t take payments online currently, I recommend it for others. I can really see the benefit of online payment for group lessons. You can list all your lessons online, then someone can click and pay instantly. My assistant is just about to start his PGA training, so when he gets going with the junior coaching, I’m going to encourage him to use that. Having worked in group Junior coaching in the past, getting upfront payment makes the whole process much smoother.

    For more information on Foremost Golf contact Ian Melham. Email: Tel: 01753 218890

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.