covid-19

Bring Magic to Your Account Management - 1/19/21


One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic.  They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention.  They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department.  They broke it Read more

Customers Want Easy, but Easy is Difficult - 1/12/21


New employees go through days of training to learn products and services.  They have formal workshops to learn how to use their office applications, web functions, and whatever programs are specific to their department.  They test new technology, and they get quizzed on knowledge of policies.  This is hours Read more

Make 2021 the Year of Building Relationships - 1/5/21


I’ve been very fortunate over this company’s 20+ years in business to have great and long-lasting relationships with many clients, colleagues, business partners, and co-workers.  It’s a gift to be able to call on these individuals for advice or referrals or to be a sounding board.  And it’s just Read more

Bring Warmth During Winter - 12/29/20


Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth. Although some of us may like the cold at times of Read more

2020 Holiday Poem - 12/22/20


When in the role of customer service,We are wired to give and give.It’s built into our DNA.It’s simply the way we live. In order to give to others,We need to find ways to give them their fill.We need to pour empathy and openness into them.To serve, we need to have Read more

It’s NOT about the Cinnamon - 12/15/20


It was happening again.  Jessica had just handed the freshly made concoction to her coffee shop customer, and less than a minute later, the customer was in Jessica’s face, red as a beet, ranting and raving:  I specifically asked for extra cinnamon on top!  Does this look like extra Read more

Locke-in from the Start - 12/8/20


John Locke was a 17th century English philosopher, physician, and researcher.  He wrote many papers arguing particular points, oftentimes using reason and facts as the basis for his position.  He noted that many disagreements start because there is – in my words – a lack of real clarity about Read more

The End of the Tunnel - 12/1/20


Have you ever heard the expression:  There’s light at the end of the tunnel… In this COVID-era world, it sure does feel like the tunnel is long, doesn’t it?  It sure feels like this is not a light that we’ll be at in 2 seconds after the train goes another Read more

A Lesson in Gratitude - 11/24/20


Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Read more

Why Your Job is Important - 11/17/20


I was speaking with a client recently, and she was telling me about one of the classes delivered by their professional development team. Her description of the course reminded me of some client workshops we’ve conducted where a part of the outcome is having individual staff develop Personal Mission Read more

Tire Dealers Becoming Teachers – 5/19/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

I recently needed two new tires for a vehicle, and I first went to the tire dealer’s website to find some options.  The site’s look/feel and ordering process had changed, and I didn’t see a tire I wanted, so I called the store to make an appointment.

When I arrived at the tire store (a place I’d been to 15-20 times), it was very different due to COVID-19.  There was a tent outside with chairs about 8-10 feet apart.  There was a small sign with different directions based on whether you had a scheduled appointment or were a walk-up. The door you normally enter was locked.  The inside experience was different – there was no coffee or water while you waited.  People were asked to wait outside or sit in their car while the tires were changed.  You drive your car into the garage and drive it out of the garage regardless of whether you were in the car while the tires were being changed.  There’s no exchange of paperwork unless you requested a small printed receipt when paying.

Virtually everything changed, and to make it work, the customer had to do their part.  I asked the employee checking me in how it was going with the new setup, and he said it’s going OK, but “the customers are not reading the signs.”

Customer v. Company Roles

Whereas a customer has a role in their own service experience, particularly in an environment like this, the company has the role to teach that customer about the new experience and the customer’s responsibilities.  The company has a role to confirm the customer’s understanding.  The company has the role to ensure the comfort and confidence about what’s going to happen.  The company has a role to explain those next steps and timeframes and then, as always in customer service, deliver on the expectation they set.

When the customer has to learn a new way to do business with your company, realize you are in teaching mode.  Don’t make your customers become experts in your processes.  Make it easy for any customer to have a great experience, even under these new circumstances.

Bring simplicity into your service system, and teach customers how to have a great experience.

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Developing Fan Relations During COVID-19

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

As sports teams and organizations across the world are gearing up to start play without fans, these same organizations are also determining what that fan experience is going to be when fans start attending again.  Many sports organizations are focused on locking in revenue from existing fans – keeping those season ticket payments coming in on schedule – or more operationally looking at how the facilities and the fans can be kept safe and healthy.

But there’s a middle ground between today (when teams are trying to lock in revenue) and that time when the first fans walk back into the arenas.  That gap between the financial rush now and the facility rush weeks or months from now is a huge gap in time.  That gap needs to be filled with relationship-building efforts.  That lapse in onsite engagement is something sports organizations need to view strategically as an opportunity to learn more about their fans, develop relationships with their fans, and provide value to their fans.

“Sports organizations need tailored Touch Point Plans to individual fans and fan types right now

 

We’ve provided fan retention consulting and research services to sports organizations since the early 2000s, and we’ve found that too often sports organizations get stuck in the mindset only focused on sales and marketing, exclusively using push communications.  But this COVID-19 world requires a longer term mindset.  It requires an understanding that relationships need to be built even when that fan is not experiencing the event itself.
 
Sports organizations need tailored Touch Point Plans to individual fans and fan types right now.  Those Touch Points should be minimal on sales and marketing, and instead maximizing focus on providing information of value and asking customers questions so you can learn about them, their mindset, and their situations.

Get to know your individual fans better now, at this moment.  Get to know how they’re feeling and how those feelings are trending over time.  Understand their anticipated behaviors, and begin addressing those barriers to return…now.  Don’t create your operations in a vacuum, and assume that an open facility will be filled with the same fans that were there months ago.  Get moving on Fan Relationship Development.


Reduce Their Anxiety Leading Up to Their Return

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Building customer comfort and confidence in going to your facilities is a process which has a lot of similarities to the technique we train clients on to reduce customer anxiety.  From a tactical perspective, when you’re interacting with somebody who is anxious or nervous, you want to get them more comfortable and less worried about their situation or what’s going to happen.

Convey your understanding of their situation, so they realize they’re not a number – instead, they feel you view them as an important individual.  Tell them a little bit about yourself and the experience that you’ve had in dealing with similar situations – you’re building their confidence in you.  Next, explain a process or what an experience is going to be like.  Oftentimes anxiety or worry are about fear of the unknown.  By explaining the next steps and the timeframes, your role v. theirs, the unknown becomes known.

“To create customer comfort, make the unknown known

 

Finally, end with appreciation and positivity.  This whole 1-on-1 interaction technique applies to your broader strategy of building customer comfort and confidence.

Here’s the Strategic View:  Communicate with them over time to maintain the relationship leading up to their return visit.  Provide some empathy of their situation, and detail what you and your organization are already doing to ensure that your employees and – most importantly – the customers themselves are safe and healthy.  Explain all the steps that you’re going to take next to prepare to provide a great (and safe) experience.  And thank them in advance for their return and their trust in you.

Build comfort and confidence from your customers by leaning on our successful technique for reducing customer anxiety and worry.