ProAgenda.com helps MY Golf Academy save time and maximise income
As well as being an unrivalled lesson booking tool for golf coaches and their customers, Mike Yorke rates ProAgenda.com as a terrific business tool for helping him manage MY Golf Academy more efficiently.
One of the UK’s most successful golf coaching entrepreneurs, Mike Yorke’s MY Golf Academy is a highly successful golf teaching business that has evolved into a successful brand. So it’s hugely significant that Yorke has been using ProAgenda.com’s MultiPro online diary and lesson booking system for 12 months, and he rates it as the best time management and marketing tool in his bag.
MY Golf Academy: a busy brand working with thousands of golfers
Yorke’s coaching business now operates from five golf clubs and centres, including Horne Park, Horsham Golf & Fitness, Slinfold, Rookwood and Foxbridge, with 10 self employed PGA qualified teaching professionals tasked with improving the swings of thousands of golfers.
In short, MY Golf Academy is very busy, as Yorke put it, “As an Academy, we can typically be delivering over 400 hours of coaching a week, the formats of which range from:
– 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 minute lessons with, or without, Trackman
– Roll up groups for seniors, ladies, juniors
– Structured groups – ladies, juniors and Get Into Golf
– Playing lessons
– After school golf classes and/or holiday camps
– Custom fit sessions
– and Putting Studio sessions.”
In addition to all the normal day to day golf coaching business, Mike’s also developing and managing major schools outreach programmes, as he explains, “We’re working with up to 20 schools a week through after school clubs, or as part of their sports curriculum, or even Sports Day events,”, he said, “and it’s our goal to make golf much bigger in schools, and turn it into one of their major sports.”
Finding the right online diary system
For Yorke, managing five golf coaching facilities is a full time job in itself, and to keep costs down and focus his time effectively, he started looking around for an online diary and lesson booking system two years ago, but nothing he saw ticked all the boxes he wanted the software to deliver.
“The few I looked at were visually poor anyway,” he said, “and as a business, we’ve spent a lot of time and money on our branding. So when people landed on our website, we wanted them to see on screen something that looked every bit as professional as our branding and indeed that of our parent clubs.”
“At the time we were using an offline diary system, which wasn’t ideal but it was miles better than a paper-based diary, as we could back it up but we didn’t like the support that came with it.”
“We came across ProAgenda.com when we signing up our newest site at that point, Slinfold G&CC in March 2015. They made it clear that they wanted us to be able to offer their members a modern, cutting edge online diary system for lesson booking, and after speaking and meeting with Bob Kruijs of ProAgenda.com, the software was set up for MY Golf Academy in April 2015.”
How the MultiPro version works
Yorke uses the specially designed MultiPro version of the ProAgenda.com software, which lets him and the 10 teaching professionals each run their own diaries, and everyone can see each and every diary, the bookings and so on. It was very important to Yorke to get the version of ProAgenda.com that’s branded with his own MY Golf Academy brand identity ie. logo, typefaces, corporate colourways and so on.
As he comments, “It was at this point I began to see more clearly how important it was for our online diary and lesson booking system to match the clubs and centres own online professionalism in terms of design, appearance and functionality.”
He continues, “That said, we also needed a system that worked for up to ten coaches’ diaries and which also let me see the overall situation as well. ProAgenda.com was the only system that satisfied that key criteria.”
“In fact, with ProAgenda.com, we can easily expand the number of sites operating under the MY Golf Academy brand now, while we’ve also got something that’s highly professional and looks the business to any other potential club owner or operator and their customers or members.”
ProAgenda’ com’s online diary as a time management tool
The main benefit for Yorke, as someone who’s managing the diaries of 10 teaching professionals at five different sites, is that he can immediately see what everyone’s doing at any time.
Yorke can then set up meetings with any or all of his 10 teaching professionals simply by booking a time in their diaries, because he can see straightaway when everyone is available, and when they’re not.
Yorke explains, “Before, I had to send out an e-mail to ten people and wait for their response to book a meeting. Now I can do exactly the same thing immediately, while at the same time everyone will see that they’ve now got a meeting to come to at such and such a time on whatever day I’ve picked. That kind of efficiency saves me a lot of valuable admin and management time.”
“All I had to do is to get my teaching staff checking their diaries frequently to see what had been updated or changed. Now they are used to regularly looking to see if they’ve got more lessons, so that aspect is nicely ingrained now.”
“At the same time, I can be on the ‘phone to someone and we can both look at our ProAgenda diary screens and be able to agree times and dates for whatever it is we’re discussing. That’s another benefit which makes things easier all round.”
ProAgenda.com as a marketing tool
Yorke particularly likes the way the online diary gives him an immediate overview of the way the bookings are going at each facility. This enables him to generate special promotions to attract additional business in the quieter periods, as he explains.
“Of course, the ProAgenda.com online diary also shows me within seconds the busy periods looking ahead, and the not so busy periods. That enables me to run special offers to our customer database to build up business in those quiet times. Trying to do all that without ProAgenda.com would be next to impossible, and extremely time consuming, for just one centre, let alone five of them. As it is, ProAgenda.com means one person – usually me! – can do that in minutes.”
Proagenda.com as a communications tool
Besides being an online diary and lesson booking system, ProAgenda.com is of course also a database that captures every customer’s details. MY Golf Academy has nearly 700 names and related contact details for the 10 teaching professionals across the five sites. So e-shotting the database with special offers is also simplicity itself.
It’s the sheer ease and simplicity of organising the day to day activities that so impresses Yorke, especially as he’s been used to doing things using paper and then offline software. “I love the way in which I can monitor and coordinate our business activities now with ProAgenda.com,” he says, “and as it’s online and working via the cloud, it’s always updating itself anyway, and backing itself up automatically. It all helps to make managing MY Golf Academy that much easier, especially as we’re spread across five different sites now.”
What do MY Golf Academy customers think about ProAgenda.com?
Yorke’s confidence in ProAgenda.com doesn’t just stem from his own experience of it, but from what his customers think of it and the way they use it.
This has created a lot of added brand value for MY Golf Academy, as he explains, “The vast majority love the ease with which they can now make a booking with any one of us. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 o’clock at night or 2am in the morning. And I’m not joking either. In this area around Horsham and being close to Gatwick and London, many of our customers work shifts so we have to be ‘open’ 24/7 when it’s convenient for them, which of course, we are.”
“As a result, MY Golf Academy gives our customers a five star service to our 21st century customers, and their feedback about ProAgenda.com is overwhelmingly positive.”
“One of the best features is the e-mail confirmations. It’s simple but with the kind of busy working and lifestyles we all lead, it’s a terrific feature that not only makes MY Golf Academy look highly professional in terms of our service and the way we look after our customers, but it’s massively cut down the no shows as well, boosting our sales income as a result.”
“Another sales booster is the ease with which another lesson can be booked with the customer while they’re on site or on the range. We encourage our customers to go into their own diaries and then use our re-booking feature, which is another time saver for us.”
“What this all adds up to is that as the business owner, I want my teaching pros out teaching, not having to spend any time doing admin. ProAgenda.com takes care of all their admin, and all they have to do is check their diaries on their smartphones or tablets, while it simultaneously maximises their teaching opportunities for them.
Terrific support and development
Yorke earlier touched on the issues of finding a system that provided top notch support, and he can’t stress enough how good ProAgenda.com is in this respect, as he explains, “I’ve been mailed by competitors who didn’t bother to follow up their promise of a presentation. I’ve been told that ‘it’s being developed’ only to see that nothing actually happens.”
He continues, “ProAgenda.com’s completely different. ProAgenda.com’s very progressive and that’s down to Bob Kruijs. He’s always ready to listen to us and our ideas to improve things, and to develop ProAgenda.com as a product. He’s never one to let the grass grow under his feet.
Bob Kruijs: the man behind ProAgenda.com in more ways than one
“Here’s the other thing,” says Yorke, “Bob’s also been a teaching pro, a PGA member and a pretty useful golfer, and a real character in his own right. His teaching background means he really understands me and my team, and likewise, we can all relate to Bob. The guys here all liked him from the off, and that even includes Bob’s sense of humour, which is pretty dry and direct!”
Nowadays, it’s only the occasional catch up that we need, because the system’s bullet proof and we know they’re developing new features we’ve asked for, like paying for lessons when you book them, online. We’ve got a refresher lined up as well, as we’re using some of the main features, but there’s quite a few others we aren’t and which could help improve things and make our working lives that little bit easier still.”
The importance of working offline as well as online
One of the results of that attitude is that ProAgenda.com works as well offline as it does online, and even when a coach is out on the range or course where the diary will work offline if it’s out of signal range, as soon as it gets a signal, everything that was noted or arranged in the diary is immediately updated.
Yorke rates this aspect very highly, saying, “In my opinion when you’re teaching golf, you simply can’t have something that doesn’t work offline as well as online. It’s this aspect that confirms for me that ProAgenda.com’s a modern solution for a modern coaching professional.
In some ways, the systems like your dentist is now. Once it had to be phone calls and so on, now it’s next appointments made before you leave, and an e-mail to remind you you’ve got an appointment in a day or so. In this sense, Yorke reckons that Bob Kruijs and Jordy Hagedooren created a system that’s light years ahead of their competitors.
“It’s also very low maintenance,” he explains, “in other words, it doesn’t keep on needing attention or constant calls to the support team, nor does it cost that much to support either by comparison to similar complex systems that involve booking and which are online.”
“That for me is very important when you’re running a business. You’ve got enough things to manage without needing software that keeps falling over, or failing to deliver on its promises. Yes, Bob’s over in Amsterdam, but he’s always happy to shoot over and help. When we were getting the ProAgenda.com system installed and set up, Bob came over two or three times in the space of as many weeks, looking after the training and support needs of all our staff.
‘Keeping my customers within the MY Golf Academy brand’
Looking ahead, Yorke can see that keeping their software up to date and exploiting new innovations like Edufii for video sharing will always present Bob and Jordy with a challenge.
As Yorke comments, “The ideal situation for me is to keep my customers within my brand, which effectively means within my website and ProAgenda.com. I don’t want then having to migrate to other apps to do things they could do within ProAgenda.com, and that’s something that Bob and Jordy really understand.
But of all the systems out there, ProAgenda’com’s the only one I’d trust to be able to do that, and deliver the benefits. Along with the offline capability, the professionalism of the design and screen appearance, the user-friendly functionality, the proof of which is the feedback from my staff and our customers, it’s value to us as a time saving business tool, its value as a communications tool for my customers, and the great support we get, that puts it miles ahead of the competition.”
“That’s why the overall package that ProAgenda.com offers both individual teaching professionals working in one place, and for Academy owners like myself with a lot of teaching pros and many more customers, is simply the best you can get.”