fans | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 20

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22


One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Service and Sales Need to Talk

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

We are fortunate to have a lot of professional sports clients. Typically when working with these organizations, the dual focus is season-ticket holder retention and sales growth. Many teams focus on creating synergies between their services area and their sales area. It is not just important for pro sports teams; it is also important for any organization. Let’s stick with the pro sports analogy to illustrate the point.

One key term used in the business side of pro sports is the need to create “synergies” between departments. In particular, one of the biggest potential areas of synergy is the service area creating sales leads for the sales division. This is a situation where service personnel identify potential group sales, event sales, or ticket sales through the relationship they have with their existing season-ticket holders. The service areas then send these leads to the sales departments to close. The synergies not only help the organization to perform better financially, but they help your organization to quickly generate sales by having the sales be created through leads generated from the greatest referral source there is – your current clients.

But thinking a little out of the box in terms of the relationships between these two areas, one great way where service and sales need to talk is where the education of one group by the other will pay dividends to the company. For example, salespeople know how to sell. They know the strategies, the mental decision trees, and the techniques to utilize. While many customer service people may detest selling, they must also realize that to do the best job possible in serving their clients, they need to periodically make offers on products and services to help address client needs. You’re actually doing a disservice if you don’t sell to some of your clients because they’re not getting their needs met. The sales personnel need to train service on key selling techniques.

Similarly, service needs to train sales. Sales people often think in a very transactional manner. While some are very process or relationship oriented, many more don’t understand how to think long-term and how to develop relationships using a long-term strategy. Service people in pro sports teams understand the concept of Touch Point Planning. They understand how to develop a relationship over time, viewing your customers as suppliers of information that will help you to retain them and sell to them in the future. Service personnel can teach sales folks how to be very disciplined and how to structure communication points with their clients, realizing that they need to get information from the customers in order to best sell to the customers.

While there are many organizations that experience friction between service and sales, the organizations that are most effective are those where service and sales talk with and teach each other.

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


Be Creative in Growing Your Attendance

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

There’s nothing worse on the business side of a professional sports team than to see more empty seats than filled seeds, to be sitting in the upper deck of a basketball arena and hearing the player’s sneakers instead of the fans cheering, for players to hear specific things fans are saying from 30 rows back because there’s nobody in the 29 rows between the player and the fan.

Advertising and marketing for years have been the lifeblood of professional sports franchises, but even in the NFL today all the advertising and marketing in the world cannot guarantee sellouts. So organizations have to be much more creative than they ever have been in the past. And much of that creativity needs to be directed at existing season ticket holders, existing groups, and existing mini plan holders. The organization needs to have a creative strategy for developing relationships with, pulling information from, and ensuring retention of these different client types.

To grow attendance through existing clients requires sound relationships from the start. It is much easier to ask for referrals from somebody with whom you have a good relationship. Is it much easier to suggest a seat upgrade to a plan holder if you know their personal situation better. It is much easier to suggest to a season-ticket holder a group event if you know what civic organizations that they are involved in, what church they attend, and what business needs they have. And it is much easier to suggest a ticket plan to people who participated in a group event if you have detailed contact and other pertinent information about the people who attended the event.

Professional sports organizations are typically so sales and marketing driven that they are in a constant push, push, push mentality. But if they were more concerned with the long-term relationship development with their existing clients and pulling information from them, then the upsell, cross-sell, or referral requests would be far more effective. 

Use relationship development as a vital starting point to business growth.

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


Break Your Customer Service Season into Quarters

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

A quarter is a very interesting thing. A quarter can be a form of money.  A quarter is a time period where public companies report their financials. A quarter is the portion of the pro football schedule where most coaches have divided up their season into four sets of four games each. They do this to best approach a segment of their schedule as well as analyze that segment.

To a business, when it comes to customer retention and growth, a quarter should be equally of interest.

When you are assessing the performance of your business as it relates to customer service, satisfaction, loyalty, and retention-driven growth, you need to also think of your measurements in terms of quarters. Those measures can come in the form of mystery shopping, satisfaction surveys, or focus groups. No matter in what form they come, you need to be evaluating your customer satisfaction at a minimum on a quarterly basis.

Keep in mind that customer satisfaction is driven in any organization by three factors:

  • The Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge of the employees
  • The Processes within which the customers experience your organization
  • The Products and Services themselves.

So on a quarterly basis, you need to be assessing, analyzing, and addressing these keys to customer satisfaction and loyalty just as you would any other set of key metrics in your business.

Through the different methods of acquiring customer data as referenced previously, and including assessments of internal operational service metrics such as process times, wait times, queue times, first contact resolution, etc., you should have a dashboard of metrics that enables you to quickly see trends in satisfaction, loyalty, and growth.

If you always want to be able to make data-driven decisions that are the best for your company’s future performance, make sure you have hard numbers on such metrics as satisfaction with Attitudes, Processes, and Products.  Make sure you have hard metrics on customer retention rates or attrition rates.  Make sure you have hard metrics on average purchases per customer and frequency of visits.  Make sure you have hard metrics on referral rates from existing customers, and make sure you have hard metrics on the financial impact of each customer to your organization’s bottom line.

You need to manage the biggest component of your top line financials (the customer) at least as well as you manage all those detailed accounts on the expense side of the ledger. Create and utilize customer retention and growth metrics to help guide your company’s planning and performance improvement initiatives.

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