Tennis Industry magazine

 

Get your customers online

By Peter Francesconi

Remember when the internet was new, when simply sending and receiving email or visiting a website was a wonder of technology?

Now, just about anything you do has some sort of internet component to it. And consumers have come to expect this, because it makes their lives easier. But as a retailer or tennis facility manager, the internet also should be making your life easier, too.

In the tennis business, there are a number of groups committed to using technology to help this sport grow — and to help your business grow. One of the ways this is happening is by providing tools that make it easier for customers to find your shop or facility online, to figure out what products you carry or programs you run, and to learn more about how to get involved in tennis.

For tennis facilities, one key to using the internet to help your business grow is giving consumers the ability to sign up online for courts, leagues, lessons, clinics and other programs. Online program enrollment is the future of the tennis business. If you aren’t offering it at your facility, you aren’t catering to your increasing computer-savvy customers.

Nowadays, if I can’t sign up for or order something online, I actually feel it’s an inconvenience for me. For your customers, online enrollment is a 24/7 convenience. They can go online anytime to book courts or lessons. And here’s the kicker: They’re not only doing your work for you (and saving time for you and your staff), but they’re also enjoying having that kind of control.

So not only does online enrollment reduce your costs, it also makes it easy for customers to play more frequently — and to play more frequently at your facility.

Is there a downside to offering online program enrollment? Not really. Sure, there might be fees depending on what you want to offer (such as adding fee collection or other web-based conveniences), but you’ll quickly make up those fees and much more through increased participation.

Various companies offer products for online enrollment, and the Tennis Industry Association has a number of online enrollment options that you can offer your customers. Visit GrowingTennis.com to see what will work for your business.

Then, just let the reservations roll in on their own. If you’re like other facilities that already offer this, you’ll probably notice court reservations increasing, more people playing, lessons and clinics that are full, and less time your staff needs to spend on the phone.

Peter Francesconi

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 

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