sportsbiz

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

Have a Lockout Exit Strategy

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

For anyone who has followed the back and forth in the NBA about the current lockout, you realize that there is a lot of acrimony from the owners and players. Acrimony can generally fuel passion, but it doesn’t fuel positive passion – particularly from the fans.

At some point the lockout will end. There’s too much money to be lost this season for both the owners and players, and the money that will be lost is money that the fans would have paid. With each passing day, for a certain portion of fans, the fan’s affinity for the sport and the teams and the players decreases. The money that fans are NOT spending on the NBA is going to other places. There are new draws on people’s time that would normally be spent focusing on their team and attending games. The positive vibes and memories go away.

So the question is, “What is each team’s Lockout Exit Strategy?” We’ve done a great deal of consulting, training, and research with professional sports organizations over the past 8 years (with the NBA in particular), and we know that the teams can be good at planning – particularly planning Marketing and Sales strategies.

But there’s a strong need for a retention and relationship renewal strategy. This is different. This is focused on getting back business from fans who will not be in the typical mindset they are at the start of the season. The same strategies used in the past will not be as effective this time around. Teams need to build a retention/relationship renewal strategy based on empathy for the fan. Here are four quick parts of the strategy to incorporate, particularly for when the lockout ends:

1. Have a research plan to gauge current STH feelings/perceptions and how those may change decisions to attend games, renew tickets later on, etc.

2. Have a communication plan with the broad fan base that focuses on empathy and appreciation.

3. Season Ticket Holders (STHs) will be even more concerned with the Direction of the Team, so have a communication plan that gives them “inside information” and direct messages from team leadership. This could include joint letters and/or joint STH-conference calls with the owner and key players.

4. Create a 2-month STH Touch Point Plan to consistently reach out to STHs to communicate messages of harmony within the organization, focus on the fan, and longer-term plans for success.

When preparing to move forward from this labor unrest, have a relationship renewal strategy.

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

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/


Lessons from the NFL Draft

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

With the National Football League (NFL) draft coming up this weekend, the teams will select 255 players to possibly join their organizations. In the past, teams used to select the best pure football player available. But that was long ago.

Today, NFL teams go beyond the “best pure football player available” when determining their selection. They look to fill a need. What individual fills in what skill gap? Who may take some time to develop but is a good long-term prospect?

NFL teams also evaluate players’ personalities and backgrounds much more than they once did. Background checks are performed. Psychological evaluations are administered. Interviews are conducted. In the end, the goal is to find somebody who wants to work hard, who wants to get better, who has integrity, and who will be a good teammate to others.

What do you want from your employees? Aren’t many of the qualities the same? If so, are you going through the same rigorous evaluation process as the NFL teams? Consider it. Know that a good employee can make a manager’s job easy, and a poor employee or one with a bad attitude and work ethic can create issues that take your focus off the customer.

Evaluate your hiring processes to ensure the right fit with your team, the right attitude, the right work ethic.

Do whatever it takes to draft the right player.

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/


Create a Custom Retention Toolkit

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

In the article Marketing starts with customer service, the author promotes the concept of identifying the 20% of your customers that drive the majority of your business. Then market to them and provide them with stellar service. The idea is to have a targeted marketing approach for your top existing customers just as you would to a target demographic (using more typical marketing parlance).

Later in the article, the different marketing strategies are referred to as retention tools…hmmm…interesting.

It’s interesting because many of us think about customer service as responding to requests, as resolving issues, as anticipating customer needs. But from a retention standpoint, what collateral (or to use the author’s term), what tools do employees at your company have available to them to keep and grow business with existing customers?

Remember from our other blog posts that retention is different from marketing in that retention needs to be more personalized – more 1-to-1 based on the customer’s true renewal drivers. But once you know those drivers for your key client types, you may find consistencies such that a high percentage of customers will stick with you for a few key reasons.

In pro sports, the teams often offer many benefits to customers, but we’ve surveyed enough season ticket holders (STHs) to know that those benefits are rarely the reason why the STH renews are not. So don’t come up with a laundry list of benefits; again, be targeted.

If the retention driver is “being in the know” with your company’s latest product offerings or events or initiatives, possibly have an “Insider” newsletter that only the best customers receive before the general public – it could include a personalized letter from the CEO. If the driver is quick turnaround on special orders, ensure you have a fast-track process for urgent orders available to key customers. If the driver is the relationship with the organization’s people, make sure the employees share their names, ask about the customer, give unsolicited tips on the use of the products or meeting other customer needs.

Identify reasons why your key customer types would stay or go, and then create your own retention toolkit.

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/