110 employees 
Salesforce customer since 2016

60%

of bookings are repeat business

 
 

Golfbreaks.com drives more sales with Salesforce

From golfers ticking off the best courses on their bucket lists, to those looking for a getaway with friends, for the past 23 years Golfbreaks has prided itself on delivering incredible customer service.

The one-stop travel service organises golfing holidays and tournament experiences for more than 230,000 customers every year at more than 2,500 resorts and golf courses worldwide. Loyal customers love saving time and money on hotel and golf travel packages, and Golfbreaks’ dedication to service means repeat business makes up 60% of bookings.

Revolutionising processes to meet global growth ambitions

Founded in 1998, Golfbreaks has offices in the UK, Denmark, and the USA, with the latter set up as recently as 2016. Although the UK business still accounts for the majority of the company’s revenue, with 30 million golfers in the United States alone, there’s a huge market potential in North America. This opportunity has been aided by the creation of a strategic partnership with the PGA TOUR – the world’s leading professional golf tour – creating the brand ‘Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR’ in North America, helping to reach millions of new customers.

As the company continued to scale in the established UK home market and started to expand internationally five years ago, it realised that it needed a faster, more reliable CRM system to continue to deliver a great customer experience.

“Salesforce has revolutionised our business,” said Sam Barker, Sales Director at Golfbreaks. “Better visibility and stronger customer relationships are helping us to meet our growth goals without compromising on quality.”

Customer insights empower sales teams

Salesforce has provided the company with a solid platform hosted on a cloud infrastructure, useable across all future global office locations, to create end-to-end operational process control and visibility. It includes a new contact centre agent platform with omni-channel features to cover voice, email, live-chat, scheduled call-back, and case management, utilising Salesforce CRM and New Voice Media.

Since moving to these systems, the conversion rate of bookings improved by 6% between 2017-2019, with richer insights helping the company to make smarter tactical decisions. Now that the company’s leads and opportunities are broken down into stages, it is able to tailor its approach depending on where the client is in the buying cycle. The sales team can now truly manage the pipeline by stage and with the use of dashboards is able to manage an increased workload much more effectively. As Barker explained: “When an opportunity doesn’t turn into a booking, we can drill down to find out why we lost it and how we can prevent it happening in the future. Before Salesforce we didn’t have that level of visibility.”

Securing more repeat business with personalised customer services


Personalised service is crucial for Golfbreaks’ strategy, and with Salesforce its staff are primed and ready to get closer to customers while delivering that all-important human touch.

“Our sales advisors are hugely knowledgeable about golf and that passion comes across to clients. When people call us, they want advice on the best courses and hotels from people who use them. If you’re talking to someone who doesn’t have an interest, you may as well book the trip yourself,” said Stephen Clements, Operations Director at Golfbreaks. 

With access to a full customer history, agents can have more relevant conversations with customers about their past travel destinations and will receive a prompt from Salesforce to follow up with them after a trip to find out about their experience.

Simplifying group bookings and empowering customers

Booking a group holiday can be complex for customers: with multiple schedules to align and payments to make. However, Golfbreaks’ customer service agents are ready to help – and Salesforce routes omni-channel queries to the right agent at the right time.

“With more customers able to self-serve, the company has reduced inbound service-related calls by 40% over the last 24 months,” said Clements. “We have utilized Salesforce Marketing Cloud for our operational emails and over 75% of our customers now go online to self-serve in our customer portal. This allows our agents to focus their time and attention on the more complex customer interactions that add real value.”

Loyalty rewards create repeat business


For Golfbreaks, the after-sales experience is just as important as closing the deal. “We’re constantly working to improve customer relationships and show them how valued they are,” said Clements. Regular bookers earn loyalty points to make savings on future bookings, and there are discounts, merchandise, and even free places for those booking in large groups – or in specified promotional windows. Last year, Golfbreaks had more than 10,500 customers fill in a post-trip survey, with 99.25% of respondents saying that they would book with the company again. 

Empowering users with better technology

Customers are not the only ones getting a better experience with Salesforce. With its user-friendly interface, Golfbreaks has reduced time taken to onboard new staff by 50%. “It used to take six weeks to onboard new sales staff, but now our new starters can be up and running in three weeks,” said Barker.

To streamline collaboration across departments, Golfbreaks has rolled out Chatter to replace group emails. Now, staff from sales to finance to marketing have better visibility of communications, whether they’re in the office or using the Salesforce mobile app on the fairway.

Continued refinement drives further progress

The contact centre continues to progress. Using the ActOnIt application within Salesforce AppExchange, Golfbreaks has further refined its alerting and task management.

The app delivers alerts in real time to sales agents on a customer’s activity. Managers are informed if sales opportunities have not been followed up or if sales have stalled. It also provides visibility on cancellations or low-value bookings, helping redirect resources and refine training. Clements described this as a game-changer and the three main benefits have been:

  • First time contact with opportunities have increased by 25%
  • Booking conversions have grown by 2%
  • Managers have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in real time in their team

“The app has been easy to roll out and easy to use. It also continues to be customisable. We can create personalised alerts. It’s improved the efficiency of how we deal with opportunities, and our sales effectiveness.”

A flexible approach to innovation

Golfbreaks has integrated a number of apps with its Salesforce platform to streamline and automate even more processes, including Vonage for telephony, the Kaptio booking system, DocuSign, and Conga Composer. And it’s always on the lookout for new ways to improve.

“Next on the agenda, we’re looking at how AI can help unlock deeper insights to help us make smarter business decisions. There’s also a huge opportunity to re-engage with customers after they’ve booked, and hopefully Marketing Cloud can help us better nurture golfers throughout the customer journey,” concluded Clements. “With Salesforce, we can give more customers the perfect golf trip – and ensure that Golfbreaks is the only choice for golfers when booking their next golf trip.”

 

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