Very Happy with Lightspeed - Looking Forward to Additional Adjustments to Fit Our Private Club Needs
The 2019 season was our first with Chronogolf, and our experience with the system from to this point has been stellar. From implementation and working with the onboarding and customer service teams, from opening day and throughout the season, Chronogolf has been the product we were looking for in a golf management system, even though we are a 9-hole private course that does not utilize tee times. We are using the management system to renew our memberships, pay GHIN fees as well as outstanding 2018 fees, check in members and guests at the first tee, charge guest fees before rounds, and send out monthly billing statements to members with outstanding balances.
The 2018 golf season was our first with a golf management system, after years of using several third party tools to collect annual member dues, monthly fees, as well as guest fees at our golf course. We went with a management system [Chelsea Reservations] after some research that we thought would fit our needs. While the system proved adequate, it helped us realize what we really needed in our system, and we started to once again explore the various options most used in the golf industry. After much work to compare and trial a few our of top choices, we decided that Chronogolf would best suit our needs for the 2019 season.
In December 2018, we started to collect Member payments through Chronogolf, and completed the implementation/transfer phase from our previous management system. It was immediately apparent that Chronogolf was far more intuitive, and the customer service is a complete 180 from what we experienced with our previous system. The team at Chronogolf is readily available, and you can direct message them at almost any point during the day. Our main contact Mylene was great with training and answering all of our questions as well. We soon felt we made an excellent choice in Chronogolf.
From the member side, they provide a Member Portal which allows our private members to set up automatic payments, see their current balance, see play history and keep an unofficial GHIN at the Club. Invoices are also automatically emailed to members at the first of each month, and cards kept on file are charged on the 15th. We provided our own instructions to members for how to activate their Chronogolf Member Dashboards, and as a result have had to so less admin work collecting and accounting for member checks and individual monthly payments.
Before the start of the 2019 season, Chronogolf worked with us to train the starters who would be working with the tee sheet, as well as collecting payments from members and their guests at the first tee for guest fees. Chronogolf offers us a customized training session with the starters, along with a practice tee sheet / POS setup, and a series of tutorials for all involved. With these training materials along with working with the system from opening day, our starters quickly determined that Chronogolf was far superior to the previous system we utilized, and starters were soon comfortable managing both the tee sheet and POS no matter what their technological skill level. Note that since we are a private walk-up course that does not utilize the tee time reservation system, starters add members and guests to the tee sheet upon arrival for tee off, and also account for guest fees at that time either by charging the member account, or collecting a credit card payment for the existing balance.
As the season went on, any time we had a question or issue, we reached out to the Chronogolf team and they were happy to respond. It is a running joke here at Nehoiden that we seem to come up with unique scenarios and situations, and the team at Chronogolf seem to always find an answer for us either right away, or after consulting with others in the related departments. They also check in with us through an assigned support person, so we never feel out on our own with the system.
Our first year with Chronogolf was certainly one that has enabled us to streamline our workflow, cut down on administration time, helped us facilitate the collection of annual dues for 2020, as well as see detailed reports on rounds and revenue from the 2019 season.
The 2020 season was obviously a different one for us, but we were glad we had a capable golf management system to help fit our needs. For the first time in our Club’s history, we activated a tee time reservation system allowing members to book online. Chronogolf was able to work with us to facilitate this adjustment, and what was once a foreign concept for our members was made easy through bookings online or through the Chronogolf application. Overwhelmingly, a member base that was quite apprehensive when it came to talk of tee times in the past embraced the ease of use, and now want to keep the system in place in the future.
We have been with what is now known as Lightspeed (formerly Chronogolf) for two seasons now, and we are pleased with the customer service as well as the product themselves. Lightspeed is also cloud-based, and as an administrator I can apply different levels of access to different levels of employees. I can also access the tee sheet from anywhere to track daily activity off the first tee and in the shop.
As a private club, there are some features we are looking for that are not available - ability to cap an individual's guest rounds per month and capping number of guests a member can reserve are two specifics. That said we continue to make suggestions to Lightspeed's technical team as far as needs and they add to their list for possible future releases. We have seen some of these requests come through in the past and look forward to more in the future. They are fantastic to work with and we have a great relationship as we both look to grow and meet each other's needs.
We look forward to continuing to adapt Chronogolf to fit our specific needs, and will certainly see the benefits of the system in the seasons to come.