PGA of BC – Listening to Customers Through Research

Blog 2 – PGA of British Columbia


Cost of Service: $840 annual membership, $50 for each seminar


Date: January 21st, 2013 at 9 am


Relating to Chapter 5



Textbook Concepts

Requirements Research

Complaint Solicitation

Social Media

Future Expectations Research

Lost Customer Research

Upward Communication


I am a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of British Columbia. The association is described on the website as: “an association of highly skilled and dedicated golf professionals who promote, play, develop and advance the game and business of golf for the benefit of its members and the people of British Columbia. Our members teach and administer golf while providing strong leadership in the community through charity events and volunteering. Dynamic and savvy, PGA of BC professionals are available at more than 200 golf facilities – a vital resource to the future of the game in Canada’s golf capital.” (PGAofBC)

Mission: “Our mission is to advance the game and business of golf for the benefit of our members and for the people of British Columbia; and

To actively promote enjoyment, participation and improvement in the game of golf” (PGAofBC)

Vision: “Our vision is for the PGA of BC brand and its members to be respected as the premier asset at golf facilities throughout the province” (PGAofBC)

To ensure that their vision and mission get met, the PGA of BC requires a team of administrators and board of directors that work with and for the members to make sure they are satisfied and are able to provide their customers with the highest quality service that reflects the PGA of BC positively.

Every year the administration team does up a member satisfaction survey to give to every PGA of BC member to find out what they are satisfied with, what they aren’t, and what new initiatives they would like to see. The surveys taken from 2012 indicated that the members would like to see more education opportunities such as speakers from the industry and seminars in all regions of BC. As a result, in 2013 the PGA of BC offered an education series featuring six events throughout the province instead of the one event offered in 2012. Because of the extended education series, I was able to attend two of the six series, which were very beneficial to me.

Application to Text

Requirements Research

The PGA of BC uses requirements research to determine what kind of questions will be asked in their surveys to make improvements. “Requirements research involves identifying the benefits and attributes that customers expect in a service.” (Zeithaml, 2012, pg. 124). To identify sources of satisfaction or dissatisfaction to mold their survey questions, the PGA of BC administrative team collaborates with the Board of Directors (who represent the members of the PGA and are members themselves). In this instance, the requirements research led to the questions in the survey that ultimately resulted in a bigger education schedule, less tournaments, and modification of current tournaments. (See letter in appendix)


Complaint Solicitation

One type of research used by the PGA of BC is complaint solicitation. The organization takes complaints very seriously and communicates to their members that they are always looking for feedback. (See end paragraph of PGA letter in appendix) The President of the PGA of BC is always in attendance to these events to field any questions, feedback or complaints. Chapter 5 explains that “To be effective, complaint solicitation requires rigorous recording of numbers and types of complaints through many channels and then working to eliminate the most frequent problems.” (Zeithaml, 2012 pg. 122) The PGA of BC is an excellent example of an organization that effectively solicits complaints in this manner.


Social Media

“Social media are one of the newest and most helpful tools available to companies wanting to know what their customers think of them.” (Zeithaml, 2012 pg. 113) The PGA of BC maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter to interact with their members in a less formal manner that may make it more comfortable for the members to express their concerns or complaints. Not only does social media make it easy for the organization to receive complaints, it also makes it very easy to effectively publicly communicate your response to the complaints and what you are doing to fix them.


Future Expectations Research

The surveys given to the members contained questions geared towards future expectations or features of services they desire in the future. This was an example of features research. The PGA of BC also used lead user research which is defined as: “Bringing in customers who are opinion leaders/innovators and asking them what requirements are not currently being met by existing products.” (Zeithaml, 2012 pg. 122) These lead users would be the member-voted Board of Directors.


Lost Customer Research

For members that have resigned from the PGA of British Columbia, exit interviews are conducted over the phone, or via email between the president and the former member. The interviews ask the person open-ended and in-depth questions on what they were dissatisfied with, what could have been better, and what eventually lead to their resignation. A benefit of this form of research is that it “identifies failure points and common problems in the service and can help establish an early warning system for future defectors.” (Zeithaml, 2012, pg. 132)


Upward Communication

The PGA of BC’s Executive Director and President both maintain a presence at all PGA of BC sanctioned events to encourage upward communication. This is an example of the chapter 5 terms “executive visits to customers” and “executive of management listening to customers. They also utilize employee suggestions, encouraging the administration staff to share their thoughts on how to improve.


External Research



The communicated improvements as shown in the letter found in the appendix exemplify the PGA of BC’s responsiveness. My textbook for TMGT 230 (Service Operations) defines responsiveness as: “the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service.” It also explains: “responsiveness is communicated to customers by the length of time they have to wait for assistance, answers to questions, or attention to problems.” (Bitner, 1996 pg 73) The PGA of BC is a very responsive organization and provides many outlets for their members to express complaints, suggestions or ask questions and receive answers or solutions very promptly.











Zeithaml, V. A., & Bitner, M. J. (1996). Services marketing. New York: McGraw Hill.

Zeithaml, V. A., & Bitner, M. J. (2012). Services marketing (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education ;.



APA formatting by




PGA of BC Letter


January 28, 2013  Dear PGA of BC Members,  On behalf of the Board of Directors and Office Staff, I would like to take this  opportunity to wish you and your family a prosperous New Year and good health for 2013. Over the course of the fall and winter months, the PGA of BC Board, sub-committees, and office staff have been active working on new initiatives for the coming year. I would like to take this opportunity to share these plans with you.  
Membership Survey Results  Prior to the holiday season, a survey was sent to all members of the Association. Approximately half of the membership responded, providing the Board with valuable feedback. The survey re-affirmed many areas of importance and priority for the Association and we are happy to report these areas and priorities are consistent with the Board's vision for the future.  
Great Work, James Cronk: The Board would like to recognize the excellent contributions of Class "A" member and Principle of the Cronk Group, James Cronk, for volunteering to collaborate the survey results for the Association. To view a summary of the  survey, please click here. [] 
Education and Professional Development  The PGA of BC has expanded the Education Series program from one event to 6 events over the winter of 2013. Sponsored by Jancor Agencies, the series is designed to  provide our members with opportunities to learn, network and further develop business skills during the off season. The program offers a wide-range of topics presented mainly by our own PGA of BC members. To help reduce the cost of travel and to include greater member participation, these events are scheduled to take place in several regions of the province. The office will be providing several recordings of the  series for online member viewing.  
Spring Seminar, Annual General Meeting and Awards Presentation Feb. 18-19: The annual Spring Education Seminar will take place this year at the beautiful Point Grey Golf & Country Club in Vancouver, February 18-19th. We are proud to announce a terrific lineup of award-winning speakers at this year's seminar, whose topics have been  drawn from a various number of requests put forth by members. Kicking off the seminar will be Andy Hilts, who is a PGA of America Master Professional and recently name one of Golf Digest's Top 20 Instructors under 40 in America.  We also have Jeff Ritter, who is a Golf Professional based out of Phoenix, Arizona and is dedicated to elevating the potential of every golf professional though strategic marketing and personal branding. He has generously offered a complimentary electronic version of his book "5 Must Do's" to the PGA of BC Membership. If you have not yet seen it, we highly recommend you view this document by  clicking here [].  
Wrapping up our great lineup of speakers is Jason Glass, owner and operator of the Tour Performance Lab and Kinetica Golf Performance in Surrey, B.C. Jason specializes in training rotary athletics, biomechanics, TPI physical assessments and functional strength training. His presentation will primarily surround fitness and nutrition, and how they apply to golf.  Tickets to attend this seminar are only $59.00 for members, which shows the tremendous value of our Education program.Please click here to register for this event today [].  
Tournament Program  The 2013 PGA of BC Tournament program will see some changes from it's traditional schedule.  Fewer Events: In order to streamline events and satisfy the needs of our members  and sponsors, the Board has temporarily removed the Pro-Executive Championship  and the Pro-Pro Championship from this year's schedule. We thank all those who have supported these events throughout the years and hope to see these events return  to the schedule in the future.  Two Day PGA Championship: The 2013 PGA of BC Championship will be conducted as a  two day 36-Hole event, reducing the demand on the host facility and allowing more members to participate without having to take as much time off work or spend as  much on meals and accommodation.  PGA Championship Bonus-Purse: We are also introducing a new "bonus-purse" feature for the PGA of BC Championship that offers additional prize incentives for certain categories of competitors  who may not otherwise have a strong chance to win a prize in the overall competition. We hope in turn, this increases member participation in our flagship event. More  details to follow in the spring.  
2013 Tournament Schedule: We are pleased to announce the 2013 PGA of BC Tournament Schedule below and sincerely hope that many more of our members plan to support  these excellent events. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the playing privileges extended to the PGA of BC by some of our provinces finest golf facilities.  
DATE                      EVENT                                              HOST  May 27                    Tournament of Champions                  The Vancouver  Golf Club  June 3-4                  Assistants', Women's, & Seniors'          Chilliwack Golf Club  July 8-9                   Pro-Assistants' Championship               Gallagher's Canyon G&CC  July 22                    Pro-Junior Championship                      Summerland G&CC  Jul 31-Aug 1            Playing Ability Test                               Hazelmere Golf & Tennis Club  August 19-20           PGA of BC Championship                      Salmon Arm Golf Club  Sept 30-Oct 1          Club Professional Championship            Shaughnessy G&CC  Member 
Feedback: The PGA of BC Board of Directors and Office Staff are always open to member suggestions and feedback. Should you have any questions or comments, please direct them to XXXXXXXXX, Executive Director, by email, [mailto: or by phone, 

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