The value of technology in the workplace depends on the ability of staff members to use it.
The GOLF Business Solutions tool for tee-time inventory and revenue management, GOLFNOW Central (GNC) has been developed with ease-of-use as a high priority. That’s evident to anyone who watches a course operator log into GNC and smoothly navigate its array of business functions. As for operators still learning how GNC works, you could listen to the Partner Support team at GOLF headquarters field their myriad tech questions and readily sense the value of that support.
But for the busy operator who prefers a more hands-on learning approach, GOLFNOW wanted to take support a step further in order to help users of the platform leverage it more efficiently and confidently. That’s why the “WalkMe” project was undertaken. Launching in phases through summer and fall, WalkMe is a built-in program of step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish all tasks within GOLFNOW Central's function tabs.
Log in to GOLFNOW Central currently and you’ll find a WalkMe upgrade in five function modules:
- How to: Check Holiday Inventory
- How to: Update Live Inventory
- How to: Load Live Tee Times
- How to: Set up Dashboard Reporting
- How to: Access Performance Reports
More will be added on a rolling basis during the fourth quarter, and similar modules will be implemented for GOLF Business Solutions’ G1 management platform.
Overseeing the project is Chris Alvarez, Manager of Business Services Support for GOLF Business Solutions. Alvarez touts the visual design of the WalkMe tool, which features a “Need Help?” tab in the lower-right corner of every page, plus embedded modules that are active depending on which tab you are utilizing in GNC. During the walk-through, boxes framed in red – easy to identify but compact enough to avoid blocking other content – help indicate where an action is needed. He expects WalkMe to give operators an extra level of assurance that they can quickly perform the tasks and adjustments that lead to improved bookings and margins.
“With how-to information of any kind, a lot of the value lies in when you need or want to access it,” says Alvarez. “This is relevant with WalkMe for GNC in a couple of ways. Just as you hit a key point in the performance of a task, the instructions pertinent to that task become available to click open and read. The other timing factor is about work you might want to do in the evenings, when other forms of support may not be available. WalkMe is a big help in that regard.”
To encourage use of the technology, the GNC welcome page has a bouncing click-box installed on its lower right corner. Operators can get started there and receive an orientation showing where the how-to information is embedded and what it looks like as you access it.
“Walk Me interacts with the user intelligently, providing a variety of examples on how to execute each step of a task,” explains Alvarez. He recommends starting with the Update Live Inventory function and next, because of the time of year, the Check Holiday Inventory task, where WalkMe assistance is particularly intuitive—using WalkMe to fill in knowledge gaps on such a core part of the GNC suite will accelerate the process of making it second-nature to use the platform generally.
Naturally, a golf course staff using the GNC platform will have people with different learning styles. That’s another reason why the WalkMe tool adds value. In the process of training 20-plus colleagues internally at GOLF Business Solutions in the use of GNC, Alvarez has noticed that comprehensive front-end tutoring has its limitations. “We’ve tried all methods here,” he says, “and the greatest success seems to come when the new user can jump in and learn by doing. They get a certain number of reps and then the light bulb comes on. WalkMe caters to that approach.”
Going forward, WalkMe will be able to provide shout-outs to new features as they’re released. Look for best practices of inventory management to be featured in ensuing WalkMe upgrades, along with recommendations about effective strategies that emerge directly from GNC users.
Advancing to a high skill level in the use of GOLFNOW Central is a proven competitive edge. “We’ve noticed over time,” says Alvarez, "that operators who engage with GNC the most tend to see the greatest ROI benefit from their GOLF Business Solutions partnership.” It’s another example of the fact that business technology is valuable, but mastery of it is valuable in the extreme.