Sports

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

Don’t Wait Until Losses Mount to Tell Fans You Care

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

It’s even happening to the Boston Red Sox, and the fallout isn’t good.

Season ticket renewals are dropping fast this season (about 10% below last year), and the Red Sox are reacting with a massive amount of phone calls and offers to try to retain or resell lost season ticket holders (STHs). Leadership and a player are joining staff and interns to call STHs to try to get them to renew. In the article Many Red Sox season-ticket holders fleeing now, the writer interviews STHs and notes how the team didn’t contact several of them either prior to cancellation or afterward.

This rings of a situation where the organization wasn’t proactive in developing relationships, anticipating issues, and launching plans to address the expected concerns. With the team not being “likeable” according to some STHs, losses on the field mounting, and the secondary ticket market drying up, there are few things left which a professional sports team can control that impact renewals. But one of those controllable attributes is relationships with the fan base, and it appears the organization was too reactive, too incomplete, and too misguided to be effective.

In a comment posted on the article, one STH noted that he didn’t get a communication after canceling his tickets ($5,000 for 2 season tickets). However, he did get an e-mail sales offer to buy an upgrade to a suite at $28,000 per seat. So – in effect – the team didn’t care enough about the STH to try to retain, but they thought they could upsell the STH anyway? In a word…crazy. But it’s also all-to-typical in professional sports.

Season ticket retention involves relationship-building, and it requires a long-term mindset. You have to be able to gauge renewal likelihood long before the notices go out. And you have to have a plan to ensure you are contacting those most at-risk of non-renewal. In addition, upsells are easier if you have a strong relationship, if you know your STHs better.

So don’t just wait until the losses mount to tell fans you care. Make it a part of every season, every encounter, every survey, and every business-building strategy.

Interested in improving your STH retention and Fan Relations? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


Don’t Buck the Broncos’ Approach to Fan Relations

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Leadership needs to be involved in customer relations, especially when things go bad. We often say that even the best strategies and initiatives put in place to create a customer service culture can fail if management doesn’t practice what they preach.

In the article Broncos owner Pat Bowlen e-mails ticket holders after ‘gut-wrenching’ loss, the writer addresses a communication sent to season ticket holders where the Denver Broncos owner appears to do two things very well. First, he empathizes with the customer, noting “I feel terrible for our players, coaches and staff…but most importantly, my heart aches for you.” He then tries to get the fans (and probably himself) focused on the future by stating “As we move forward, I am extremely optimistic with the future of our team.

This is a positive example of how a leader could (and should) insert himself into a major customer relations issue. He proactively and directly communicates, empathizes, and redirects the focus to the future.

Now I’m not suggesting that leadership needs to constantly be involved in the role of “customer relations representative,” because – frankly – many business leaders are ill-equipped to know how to defuse a 1-on-1 situation, how to effectively communicate, how to empathize with their customer, and how to be responsive to needs.

But when issues arise, don’t buck the Broncos’ approach to fan relations. Appropriately involve leaders in communicating the empathy and the future vision.

Interested in improving your organization’s customer service? See more at http://www.cssamerica.com/


Tell Fans to Sit Down?

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Do you want raving fans…or not? Apparently the Sunderland soccer club wants raving fans, if they can rave while sitting down.

In the article Sunderland fans walk out in protest over season ticket holder suspended for standing, a group of fans walked out of the stadium in the first half of a recent match because a season ticket holder was suspended…for standing. There was a sign in the STH’s seat that read “This Season Card has been Suspended due to Persistent Standing.” Stop laughing…this really happened!

While I’ve never been to a European soccer match, I’ve been to enough professional sporting events in the U.S. to know that some people get aggravated when the fans in front of them stand. There’s usually some “nice” banter between the fans, and eventually the fan standing sits, or the sitting fan stands. That’s life; that’s how adults deal with issues; they “banter” and resolve. Now some sports fans aren’t truly “adults” (especially after several rounds of libations), but – again – that’s life.

What Sunderland got wrong is legislating something that’s basic, harmless, and can damper enthusiasm. In other words, their restrictions diminish passion. And if there’s one thing that players want from their home crowd, it’s passion. With the proliferation of “second screen” usage at games, fans are tending to look down at their smart phones more than ever, and it’s hard for a fan to maintain passion with a constant check of his phone. So teams/clubs instituting rules that restrict passion are restricting a big benefit to their club and a big part of the reason that fans go to games – for the live experience.

We have got to keep fans in the stadiums. We’ve got to keep passion in the stadiums. We’ve got to keep eyes focused on the field. We’ve got to encourage passion, energy, and – yes – standing.

So – if you work for a pro sports team/club – have a brainstorming session on how to create passion. Stand up the entire session, and you’ll be surprised at how much energy is in the room and how many ideas you can create.

Interested in improving your team’s customer service? See more at: http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm