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July 25, 2012

Tom Barber: Maintain High Quality Rather Than Cutting Prices

Tom Barber is the owner of Tom Barber Golf Center in Moorpark, Calif., a 2011 Golf Range Magazine Top 100 Golf Range in America.

Tom Barber on the importance of maintaining high quality rather than cutting prices:
This economy has many people in the golf industry worried. When it comes to range facilities, keeping the customers that you have now is the challenge. The best way we’ve found to maintain our business during these hard times is to do our best to keep our quality at the high level it has been for years. A major way to do that is make sure your range balls are in great condition. Range balls are the number one reason people visit one range over another. If a customer pays $10 for a bucket of balls and ends up with balls that are cracked or not clean, they won’t be happy. We refuse to sacrifice quality, so we have continued to put in brand new balls twice a year and continuously take out the balls that don’t belong to us that customers may have pulled from their bags. While ordering top quality balls, we also shop around to make sure we’re getting the best price. After all, when ordering 4,000 dozen balls, even a small difference in price can add up.

Tom Barber on the business impact of maintaining high quality rather than cutting prices:
I’ve been doing this for 47 years and I’ve learned that the way to keep customers coming back is to keep them satisfied with cleanliness, positive help, great instructors and good balls. If you have a quality product, you don’t need the lowest price in town to surpass your competition. I have not let our quality slip at all with this poor economy and I don’t intend to. With this strategy, our range revenue has stayed level. Poor quality can lead to negative word of mouth, which can spread like wildfire and ruin a business.