Loading up new members with materials about what their new club has to offer, and adding tours and orientation presentations on top of what’s been handed out, can eventually become a bit overwhelming—and counterproductive. To improve retention, and use, of what new members of the Governors Club in Chapel Hill, N.C. are given and told, the club’s management team created a New Member Passport, designed to quickly acclimate newcomers to the club, and at the same time encourage them to experience the full range of club amenities in a timely fashion that would also set up opportunities to interact with as many staff members as possible.
THE GOAL:Make it easy for new members of the Governors Club to learn about, and retain, all that the club has to offer—and give them tangible incentives for completing a full tour and orientation of the club.THE PLAN:Create a New Member Passport and give holders one year to collect needed stamps to qualify for awards (and earn complimentary benefits along the way).THE PAYOFF: An effective way to promptly develop a sense of lasting ownership and pride among new members, while also introducing them to the full range of club facilities and services and making it easier to meet, and make emotional connections with, everyone on the club staff.
As the cornerstone of the Governors Club’s comprehensive, year-long new member orientation campaign called FYI (First-Year Introduction), the stylishly designed, 16-page Passport has helped to promptly develop a sense of ownership and pride among new members, the club’s management reports, by creating tangible, emotional connections with the club. New members are issued their Passports, which are the same size as the familiar international travel document, and given one year to complete their “travels” and experience all that the club can offer. At each stop along the way, the Passport has space to be stamped by an authorized Governors Club representative. A “successful voyage” with enough stamps qualifies the member for awards such as complimentary family golf carts for a year, greens fee waivers, priority reservations for holiday events, and other club credits. All who complete a Passport are also entered into a grand prize drawing for dinner for four at the club’s Chef’s Table.
Specific stops for new members to complete during their first year in the club include:
• Complimentary New Member Dinner
• Complimentary lunch with the club’s Chief Operating Officer
• Completing an online profile on the club’s website (this also earns a complimentary glass of wine)
• Attending a Member Mixer (with free cocktails)
• Golf course orientation, including nine holes of play with a club pro, $50 gift certificate, and complimentary guest pass
• Wellness and Recreation Center orientation, including complimentary first use of the facilities
• Complimentary one-hour personal training session
• Preferred registration for a Wine Society dinner, with complimentary bottle of wine following attendance
• Complimentary attendance at a Meet The Chef meal
• Complimentary one-hour lesson with the Director of Tennis
• Complimentary lunch for two, after contacting the Accounting Department and signing up for automatic electronic draft of monthly payments.