carolina | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22


Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22


When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22


When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22


Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22


Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22


Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22


When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

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

When You Take Away a Takeaway

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports 1 Comment

I went to a Carolina Panthers game with a friend a couple weeks back, and he told me how he has a box with all the tickets to all the events he’s attended over the years. The problem is that nowadays, you don’t get physical tickets as often – you might print them off the web, but it’s just not the same.

We like the tangible, the feeling of holding something in our hands – as a sports fan, we like having the ticket, the game time guide, the souvenir cup – something tangible to take away from the experience. It’s a physical reminder of a memory.

So when sports fans have that takeaway taken away, sports organizations need to think about the value of that tangible reminder of the experience, the memory it represents, and the memorabilia aspect to it.

In the article The Caps season-ticket holder box, Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg notes “Sports fans love those beautiful, fancy, full-color, heavy-stock tickets they used to receive. Many season-ticket holders described with joy their excitement upon receiving their tickets each winter, how they would immediately take them out, and stare at the pretty pictures, and hold that thick paper in their hands.”

He then addresses how one team – the Washington Capitals NHL team – has addressed that by sending out a STH package without the tickets. Check out the article to see their approach and the perks they provide.

Just as with any customers (sports fans or not), when you get ready to take something away (even if it’s simply a ticket), think about this from the customer’s perspective. How will they feel? How will they interpret the action? What will this say about your organization? Then determine how to communicate the decision and what else you might be able to provide in its place to lessen the loss.

Learn some Capital lessons from this takeaway being taken away.

Interested in improving your organization’s fan retention and revenue? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/sports/

Learn about our CSS Sports services at: http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


What’s Truly Unique for Fans in the Seats

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

I’ve been fortunate to have been a season ticket holder for a professional football team for 15+ years, so when my company consults with pro sports teams on season ticket holder (STH) retention and fan relations, I can talk as a strategist and researcher or…as a fan.

And I love talking as a fan. One key point that those in the sports industry need to remember is that the game day experience is – to many fans – far beyond what the smart phone experience or television experience could ever become.

As a fan, when I go to the game, there are certain aspects of the experience that I could never get on TV. I feel and am a part of the emotion of 70,000+ people (FYI – I’m a Carolina Panther STH). And even when that emotion is negative, it’s raw emotion, at times it’s yelling, at times it’s tense silence – but it’s almost always a roller coaster of emotion for 3+ hours.

And unlike the fan at home, if I want to watch a defensive end for a couple plays, I can focus just on him. If I see a wide receiver wide open 20 yards downfield, I can yell “He’s open! He’s open!” at the same time that a TV watcher is being shown the quarterback standing in the backfield. I can think to myself – “that pass is going to be intercepted” before the TV cameraman even focuses on the receiver and cornerback.

You see, I can see what I want to see. It’s in my hands (and my eyes) to focus on anything going on, whether in the field of play, on the sidelines, or in the stands. The customer has the power – a power that cannot be duplicated by television.

Television is a wonderful thing and is constantly expanding its capabilities, but these expansions of capabilities erode the gap between the game day experience and the home experience.

So to maintain gate receipts, STH retention, and enthusiasm for attending the games, game day professionals and pro sports teams need to address this key point – we need to leverage, improve, and market the two greatest aspects of being at the games: (1) Being a part of the experience with tens of thousands of other fans, and (2) Controlling one’s own perspective on the event.

To keep fans coming to the games, enhance the “group experience,” and find new ways to help fans gain more from their unique view of the event.

Interested in improving your team or club’s fan relations? See more at our new website! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm

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


How I Gave Away $5,000 in Free Consulting…and Didn’t Even Know It

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

I was giving a speech to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce last year to small business owners, and a client came to co-present with me. The focus of the talk was Driving Customer Retention and Growth, and I was there to talk strategy, and my client talked about how his organization implemented that strategy – how it worked.

After the meeting, many of those in attendance came up to me for a chat, and it was great hearing their stories and learning about some of the points they particularly liked, but one attendee made an especially big impression. He said to me “I feel like you just gave me $5,000 of free consulting!” He smiled, I smiled, we talked some more, and we both walked away happy.

Should I have been happy? It would have been nice, of course, to have been paid for the guidance provided, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that I wanted to share something of value. If they could take it and run on their own – then great! If they needed more outside support, I was there to help.

So yes, I was and should have been happy.

What’s the point to you?

Building and maintaining client relationships is not all about “What’s in it for me?” as the service provider. It’s about “What’s in it for the customer?” If our constant focus is how we can help our customers to have a great experience or for them to be successful, then what we decide to do changes. We become more concerned with learning about our customers, their needs, goals, and preferences. We become more concerned with their satisfaction. We become more concerned with offering something of value, even if it doesn’t obviously benefit us. We become more concerned with them than we are with ourselves.

And when the customer senses that caring and concern, they are more attracted to us, more loyal to us, and more willing to refer to us. Oh, and yes, I did get business as a result of that speech – from a different attendee.

So there’s a benefit to us by our focusing on them.

Find a way to give for the sake of giving, and you’ll be surprised what you receive back.

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/