Wildwinds Golf Links: Leading The Field In Customer Engagement

jeffdbaldwin    October 14, 2014

Title: Wildwinds Golf Links: Leading The Field In Customer Engagement

Organization Name: Wildwinds Golf Links

Industry: Golf, Sports   

Name of Contact: Scott MacKay (General Manager)


Who Are They?

Wildwinds Golf Links is a relatively new golf course located just a few minutes north-east of Guelph, ON. Originally a private 6 hole facility, the course has undergone renovations and expansion several times. It now is comprised of 18 holes of ‘links style’ golf with a Scottish themed ambiance and venue, becoming fully public in the last in the last 5 years. Today the course is ranked as one of the busiest courses in Southwestern Ontario, with loads of golfers being attracted by affordable green fees, delicious meals at their locally famous ‘Links Grille’, and perennially excellent course conditions.


Customer Engagement   

These features have all been held together by an exceptionally high level of customer service and customer engagement. The management at Wildwinds has a strong belief that transparency, CRM, and customer engagement is crucial for long term success. So far this has proven to be very successful, as both financial metrics and customer feedback surveys prove this to be true.

Social Media Use

The main source of customer engagement for Wildwinds has been through their various social media platforms. They have been able to establish an excellent social media strategy, where the quality and quantity of their efforts are very clear. Utilizing such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, the company has amassed a great following with many loyal customers. It has done this by encouraging social media engagement throughout the entire company to aid in the marketing and communication efforts – not only the marketing coordinator. Employees are all encouraged to interact on social media with the customers, and become highly involved in promotions, marketing events, advertising, and all types of company engagements.

As a result, a strong team and ‘family’ environment has been created, something which has proven to be contagious and it soon became clear that the customers really want to be a part of it. The most paramount aspect of these efforts is that everything is strongly reinforced on the front-line and customer service level. It is one thing to engage via social media with customers online, but if the same level of involvement and customer engagement is not practiced at the golf course in front of the customers, then the success of these efforts can be severely limited and customer trust be at risk.

Customer Feedback

As a result of the high level of employee and customer involvement throughout various mediums, this creates an excellent avenue for Wildwinds to understand and listen. This can be applied both for employees and customers. Feedback surveys (for both employees and customers) are regularly administered and the results of which are regularly taken into consideration and applied as much as possible. This has further shown both groups that their voice is in fact heard, creating a strong level of trust and loyalty – something that further translates to engagement. This also leads to very high levels of customer referral, both through Word Of Mouth and online – via forums, reviews, and blogs.

The Result

The outcome of these efforts has been a huge success for the company, it’s employees, and their customers. The customers just keep coming back and regularly refer and bring new customers with them. Loyalty is very high. The same can be said for the employees, whom regularly stay for several years and commonly recruit their friends to join the exciting and dynamic team. Social media continues to create new and exciting way to engage customers, whether it is through contests, promotions, golf pools, or simply interacting with customers (and potential customers) online – these efforts are always the topic of positive and exciting conversations.

What’s Next? 

As we go forward, Wildwinds needs to ensure that they find a balance between too much and too little customer engagement. Having too much could cause certain challenges to develop and could prove risky if anything were to happen that is not positive in the light of the customer. Furthermore, Wildwinds needs to ensure that they maintain their reputation for customer engagement, especially since they have begun to expect it. However, this does not mean they can just continue to ride the same train as they always have. Technology, social media, and customer expectations are highly dynamic. It is paramount that Wildwinds stay ahead of the curve and constantly innovate. Without this, the competitive advantage that is customer engagement will slowly be eroded. With the golfing industry already highly saturated with golf courses, this becomes increasingly crucial to consider. Furthermore, the course is likely to experience a change in employees in the next year or two, something that they will need to overcome and ensure that the social media and customer engagement efforts are not impacted by.

For further information on the challenges facing the golf industry, have a listen to this interview with HBO Sports:


Lessons For Others:

1. A solid social media strategy can be used to induce a high level of customer engagement

2. Social media is not enough, the efforts for customer engagement need to be reinforced on the front line by all employees.

3. It is crucial that any customer engagement strategy be carefully managed and a strong current reputation not be taken for granted.


Are you interested in learning more about Wildwinds? Check out their website for more information.

To hear an interesting take on the sport of golf from an online American show “Weekend Golf Guys”, have a quick listen below!


Any comments, opinions, or thoughts? I’d love to hear them!


Web References: 

General Website: http://www.wildwinds.ca/

Score Golf Website: http://scoregolf.com/wildwinds-golf-links-rockwood-ontario-Canada


Submitted By: Jeff Baldwin

Author Contact Information: j.baldwin@queensu.ca

If you have any concerns regarding the accuracy or information posted on this site, please forward them to myself, Jeff Baldwin.