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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

Sample “Direction of the Team” Letter

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

There are many reasons why fans stay and why they go – it’s not just about wins or the high profile player. It’s not just about the weather or the visiting team. For many fans, whether they remain fans or whether season ticket holders renew is based on the Direction of the Team. Particularly when there’s a change in ownership, worsening performance on the field or in the arena, or some significant change in personnel, many fans want to see some reason for hope. They want to know the Direction of the Team.

Last week, Houston Astros General Manager – Jeff Luhnow – wrote this “Direction of the Team” letter to season ticket holders (STHs). Check it out…

In short, he’s empathetic about the poor season, talks about lofty future goals, and tries to connect those dots with personnel moves being made. But one interesting thing he addresses is corporate culture. Although a large part of the reason for the letter is to convey hope and retain the STHs, one of the main ways to get the Direction he wants for the organization is to get everyone to experience winning, experience success. Even if this culture-building activity is starting in the minor leagues, Luhnow realizes that a change in mindset is required to truly change performance, and he realizes that changing a culture is a longer-term process.

So what’s the Direction of Your Team, or Your Business, or Your Organization? Clearly articulate it. Identify your “today,” and identify the desired tomorrow.

Define those activities that connect the dots between today and tomorrow, and make sure you intentionally change the culture at the same time.

Interested in improving your organization’s performance? Check out our Sports Industry Services! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


Determine Who is Retainable

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Sports Please leave a comment

I was reading this article on How to Project Customer Retention for a Subscription Business, and it reminded me of a project we worked on about 10-12 years ago for a local Chamber of Commerce.

Essentially, the Chamber was disappointed in their retention rate, and they wanted to improve it, and they had very aggressive goals. So aggressive were the goals that we started questioning whether the goals were based in reality or whether they were the proverbial BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that some executive pulled from thin air. The goal was a BHAG, and once that was determined, we proceeded to get the client focused on what percentage of members are truly retainable.

We’ve used this same approach in helping pro sports teams target a renewal rate, and we created a Retainable Rating system for helping Economic Development organizations prioritize their Touch Point Plans through their Business Retention & Expansion programs. In other words, understanding what percentage of customers/members/businesses are NOT retainable as well as who is more retainable than others helps in prioritization of retention efforts. It helps in work allocation. It helps in goal-setting.

There are 3 core ways to determine retainability (which are best used in conjunction with each other):

– Conduct research with existing customers/members/businesses and ask retention-focused questions.

– Review history in your own databases, comparing characteristics of past customers/members/businesses lost v. those retained and applying that data to existing clients.

– Talk to the employees and account representatives who best know those customers/members/businesses.

Add some realism to your retention goals. Add some prioritization and focus to your strategies. Add some reasonableness to what you expect of staff in managing relationships and retaining business.

Determine who is retainable.

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


Fan Loyalty is a Sun Devil of an Issue to Address

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports 1 Comment

To build fan loyalty, is it just about wins, or is it also about fan relations?

I talked with the owner of an NFL team years ago about building fan attendance, discussing with him the issues that the organization faced at the time. I asked about what initiatives the organization was taking in the area of fan relations. His response was that “only wins and weather drive fan attendance.”

Well if that were the case, then you could do mathematical calculations each year to determine how many fans would attend games. You wouldn’t need to do fan surveys, have security at games, offer concessions, have game day customer service staff, have account representatives, have sales staff (except to take orders), and generally do anything beyond open the doors to the stadium.

The real truth is that the game day experience matters. Relationships matter. Being valued as a fan matters. So do wins and weather, but there’s so much more to building loyalty than those aspects of the experience.

At Arizona State University, the athletics department is trying to build fan loyalty and relations. According to the article ASU athletics undergoing face-lift, changes in culture, fan relations, the new Vice President of Athletics, Steve Patterson, is trying to change the culture of the organization. He’s building personal accountabilities; he’s working to improve the game day experience; he’s ensuring facilities are conducive to communications and relationship-building with prospective and current student-athletes (and their families). He created a championship vision, and he’s trying to create a championship environment for the students, coaches, and fans. He’s trying to create an environment where success is facilitated.

To facilitate means “to make easy.” But there’s nothing easy about becoming a champion. However, individuals on the business side of athletics can have a significant impact on the ultimate success of a program in the minds of the fans. These individuals can impact relationships, word-of-mouth, reputations, and loyalty. They can impact the business side and help foster enthusiasm on the sports side.

Fan loyalty isn’t just about “Wins and Weather.” Fan loyalty is about the fan.

Check out some of our Sports industry services! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm

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