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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

Don’t Fight the Fan

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Don’t pick a fight with a customer. Don’t throw a baseball at them. Don’t kick a football in their direction. Don’t smack a slapshot over their head.

In the article Flyers touching third rail of fan relations, Phil Sheridan gives multiple examples of players chastising fans for complaining (about the play on the ice or a sign outside a stadium or performance on the field). The crux of the article is that it’s a big risk for a player to attack (verbally or otherwise) fans just because the fans are complaining. Even though many athletes don’t think fans understand what’s it’s like to be in their shoes, many athletes don’t understand the fan’s perspective, but they should be willing to learn.

When fans are passionate, they can impact a game. When they care for a team or club, they’ll spend money on them. And when fans impact a game or they spend money, they impact the organization and its players.

It’s the same thing with any other business. Customers have opinions, and if they care enough to voice those opinions, they’re conveying their passion. But they’re also giving you advice (on what to do differently or how to interact and engage them differently). The customers are sharing their expectations. And if customers care enough to complain, we need to care enough to encourage that dialogue and listen.

Studies have shown that customers are far more likely to stick with you if they complain than if they have an issue and don’t complain. They are far more like to stick with you if you address their issue than if you don’t.

Let the fan talk, vent, complain. Listen and learn. Encourage dialogue. Because if there’s dialogue, that means they’re engaged. When the dialogue stops, that’s when you should start to worry because that might indicate apathy and a lost customer.

Don’t shut down customer complaints.

If you liked this, you might like our podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” called “Take a Football Approach to Culture Change

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

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


Make Your Customers Loco…or Los Loco

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Giving a little recognition to a friend – Jeff Munneke of the Minnesota Timberwolves. His team’s Fan Relations efforts were recognized in an nba.com article.

One section of the Target Center has been branded “Los Locos,” and they essentially stand and cheer the entire game – making LOTS of noise. They pattern this after what the fans of many college hoops teams and soccer clubs do, and it not only keeps energy in the arena, but it’s fun.

But here’s the key point – this isn’t some made-by-sports-scientists concoction. This is a home grown, grass roots, fan-driven idea. Fans came up with the idea, decided to do it, and did it, and Jeff (the T-Wolves’ VP of Fan Relations and Guest Services) and his team jumped on board, helping as needed and requested by Los Locos.

So how does this apply to other sports teams or other businesses in general. Think of 3 key aspects to this:

· There was enough of a personal relationship and enough ongoing dialogue between fans and the organization that the discussion could even happen.

· The team was responsive to the idea and supports it however possible.

· The team lets the fans drive Los Locos.

Now think about your team or business. How can you grow your relationships with, your ongoing dialogue with, and your idea generation from your customers? How can you make sure you’re responsive to those ideas? And how willing can you be to let your customers drive change in your business?

Ask these questions of your own business, and let your customers go a little Los Loco.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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


Service or a Perk – Pick 1

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

“Service, Price, or Quality – Pick any 2.”

A sign with that statement used to hang in my dry cleaners years ago – luckily, it was a joke. They’re pretty good at all 3!

But that statement hasn’t died; a recent article in Moneywise essentially had a revised version of the statement – “Service or a Perk – Pick 1.”

The article references a survey with the following finding: “Almost half (49%) of consumers would change banks because of bad customer service – more than twice the number (22%) of people who would change providers because of rewards and incentives.” Now you may be thinking of an incentive from a bank being a stereotypical “toaster,” but different organizations have different definitions of incentive, reward, or perk.

We work with lots of organizations that focus on perks, particularly professional sports organizations. And many of them are constantly looking to expand their offering of benefits to season ticket holders (STHs) to impact renewals for the next season. But instead of assuming perks drive retention, we often survey (or tell our clients to survey) STHs and ask them directly – how much impact does “X” have on your likelihood to renew?

Now “X” could be “Direction of the Team” or “My Relationship with My Account Representative” or “Perk A” or “Benefit B.”

But don’t make assumptions; ask the customers what drives their retention and renewals, and then act on that information. Remember, Perks/Benefits can cost a LOT of money, so don’t spend it unless you have to do so.

So when you’re determining what perks and benefits to provide, first ask your customers if those items really drive retention.

Listen to our Pro Sports episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/2011/10/11/stepping-up-service-3-customer-service-in-professional-sport.html

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

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