fan relations | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 11

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

Investigate for FACTS - 7/12/22


Sometimes the issues that we deal with don’t have an immediate resolution.  There’s unknown information and conflicting stories.  Many individuals are involved, or possibly whoever is involved is not available.  You have to investigate. For situations where you have to be clear on what occurred, make sure you’re gathering all Read more

Become a Great Teacher - 7/5/22


Are you one of those people who really liked school?  School is always made more enjoyable by great teachers and professors. Do you love sports?  Many coaches in football and basketball, in hockey and baseball view themselves as teachers…teaching the game they love to their team. True leadership is about growing Read more

Don’t Assume Their Motivation - 6/28/22


The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time. At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader Read more

It’s Not Always About the Outcome - 6/21/22


We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.” But all those great Read more

Ask: What is your goal? - 6/14/22


Through these Tips, we’ve shared our technique about how to meet the customer’s need right the first time.  It’s a conversation – a give and take with the customer where you hone in on what their true need or concern is, seeking more clarity to more quickly get to Read more

Make it Sincerely Yours - 6/7/22


I’d like to hear more.  I’m sorry about the situation.  Resolving your issue is important to me.  We appreciate your business.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These phrases are generally well-received depending on the situation.  But we want to make sure when we’re speaking to others that Read more

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/


NASCAR Lessons…and Beyond – Engaging Fans with Social Media

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Let’s learn a little fan engagement lesson from NASCAR. In the Bleacher Report article NASCAR Drivers, Wives and Twitter: Is NASCAR the Most Active Sport on Twitter?, the writer notes about the relatively extensive level of access that NASCAR fans have to drivers – in everything from pit road access to autograph signings to the use of Twitter.

We’ve done enough research with our pro sports clients to know that a certain percentage of season ticket holders (STHs) have a strong desire for that engagement with or proximity to the athletes. But why do they want it? That’s a question to ask.

You can’t setup too many 1-on-1 dinners with your Dwight Howard and one of your season ticket holders. You can’t setup too many Putt-Putt competition between one of your long-term STHs and your Jason Verlander. You can’t have your Aaron Rodgers sit-in on too many STH book clubs.

So back to the question – why do STHs want access? If you can understand the STH’s goal, maybe there are some alternatives you can suggest.

To many STHs, the “why” is about the experience, it’s about relationship, it’s about feeling like you’re in-the-know or part of something special.

Social media can help with this. It’s not the direct 1-on-1 relationship they might desire, but it’s much more of a direct interaction than a fan reading a journalist’s article or a marketing e-mail from the team. So, use social media to accomplish at least two relationship-building objectives.

First, provide more direct/personal insights from your players and executives. Getting to know these individuals as being more “real” helps to foster relationship-building. That’s why the husband/wife aspect of the NASCAR Twitter approach has such great appeal.

Second, use Social Media to track key STHs, monitoring what is going on in their world, their lives. You can use this to identify ways to be proactive with them, sending them a congratulatory note to strengthen the relationship (if they changed jobs) or asking a question to enhance your STH-intelligence (if they mention they’ve moved) or sharing an offer to increase sales (if they say they have friends coming into town during a time where there’s a home game).

Use Social Media to build STH relationships by letting them into your world and by learning a little more about theirs.

Listen to our latest podcast 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/


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/


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