Sports | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

They Booed You. Should You Boo Back?

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

When Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Chris Perez chastised fans for not showing up at the stadium and for booing the first place team, a Sports firestorm erupted. How dare the player get on the fans?! What right does he have to rip fans?! Where does a rich player come off chastising people who pay their hard earned money for entertainment…and his paycheck?!

In the article Chris Perez calls out Indians fans, Perez’ rant is documented, and the team’s counter to his comments is noted as well. The team distanced themselves from his words, and praised the fans.

When you hear about this story, what it essentially comes down to is last place attendance for a first place team. So Perez’ solution to the issue is to say “Hey! We’re in first! Support us!” It’s an emotional reaction from a guy who apparently wants to win and wants support.

But that’s just the solution; nowhere in the article does it get at the root cause of the attendance problem. Many sports teams (many businesses for that matter) address issues with attendance or sales or revenue or retention with solutions without ever determining the root cause of the problem.

I was once told by the owner of a professional football franchise that the only thing that drives attendance is “wins and weather.” Well if that was true, then we could put a mathematical calculation together that looked at weather forecasts and wins, and determine attendance every year. If that were true, you could fire most anybody in business operations as well as game day staff, and there would be no impact on attendance. So while wins and weather have some impact, they don’t tell the whole story.

For the Cleveland Indians or any organization to truly fix attendance/sales/retention issues, they have to learn how to get to the root cause – what can be controlled in business operations, in particular. They have to think about how to – on an ongoing basis – learn from fans, develop relationships with fans, retain and grow business with fans.

Don’t let your company’s players try to guilt fans into spending their money with you. Find out why they left, and address those root causes to keep them.

Interested in addressing your team’s fan relations/retention? Check out: http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


Of College Football and Fan Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

A University of Tennessee Volunteers football fan of 40 years is not renewing his season tickets. What makes this story interesting is that one person encapsulated many of the problems that fans of sports across the nation experience in one letter to the UT Athletics Director. The now former season ticket holder addressed:

  • Game times/scheduling that appease television networks but are inconvenient to ticket holders
  • How high-definition television has made the at-home experience “much more attractive”
  • Pricing of concessions v. pricing of ‘a beer in my fridge at home.’

If these points could be boiled down to two key items, those items are price and convenience. The price difference between staying at home v. going to the game is significant. The convenience of going to the fridge v. driving to the stadium, finding parking, waiting in ticketing and concession lines, finding your car, and going home are also significant.

So how do you overcome the significant price and convenience gaps? It comes down to the experience and the value. The game day experience has to be better at the stadium. The value (through the entertainment, the perks/benefits, the relationship-building environment (relationship-building between fans and between fan-team/club), the quality of the play, etc.) has to be significant enough to overcome the alternative – staying at home.

To simplify the challenge of retaining season ticket holders whose alternative is that at-home option, think of the challenge in these terms – What can you do with the experience and the value to overcome differences in price and convenience?

Narrow the battle to those four factors, and build a game plan for success.

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

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


For Some Angels, the Devils are in the Details

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

There are times when the best tool in customer service is…a calculator.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (a Major League Baseball team) got a PR black eye recently when it told ticket holders to redeem vouchers for their “advanced ticket packages” (about 7,000 were sold) at the stadium starting on a Tuesday at 9 a.m. Just to set the stage – there was a potential for thousands of fans to show up at the stadium at the same time to select seats.

Almost needless to say, this didn’t turn out well. In the article Angels’ ticketing fiasco is latest case of bad customer service, the author notes that 1,000-2,000 people showed up, and no more than “a few hundred” made it through the line by the time the box office closed at 530p.

Angels management told the author that essentially: (1) There were a lot of people wanting vouchers, (2) It takes a while for each person to select seats, and (3) What did you expect?

The bigger question is “Why didn’t the Angels use a calculator?” If they would have estimated a conservative 1,000 people at 8 minutes per transaction, then that’s 133 staff hours required. If you’re only open 9 hours, you need at least 15 booths open the full 9 hours. That’s BARE MINIMUM. In fact, they had as many as 2,000 people there and only had 7 booths open. They should have known weeks in advance that this was a major blunder waiting to happen by simply taking out a calculator and pushing a few buttons.

If customer service is important to your organization, and you have an upcoming event, do simple projections on volumes and workload, and make sure you have the staffing to support it.

Customers care about their time. Take a minute and grab a calculator to ensure you can show that you care about their time by minimizing waits.

Think this is interesting? See our work in Professional Sports at: http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm