fans | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

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

Help Drivers be Students

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

The quality of the experience of a school student is based purely on their relationship with their teacher, right? The quality of the customer service at a hotel is based purely on their interaction with staff at the registration desk, correct? The season ticket holder’s perception of a sports club’s fan relations is based purely on their relationship with their sales representative, right?

I hope you didn’t agree with these statements, because so much about a customer’s perception of how they’re treated and valued is determined by people other than these key employees.

In the article New chief of Broward school buses: ‘We can fix things’, the new transportation director highlights one of her four key areas of focus being customer service improvements, particularly by training bus drivers. Now my company has actually trained bus drivers for a large school system as well, and there are reasons why this is done – whether drivers are with a student for 10 minutes one morning a week or for 45 minutes each way 5 times per week, a great deal of the student’s opinion (as well as their parents’ opinions) about their school experience can be impacted by these drives to/from school.

Granted, the experience in that classroom is hugely important, but many issues, relationships, discussions, delays, and general topics that require customer service skills occur on the bus.

The big point to take away is that we cannot assume that only one person impacts the customer’s opinion, and others are not relevant. We can’t assume that if an employee has a technical skill, then their communication and customer service skills are irrelevant.

Look at your organization through the customer’s eyes, and look at all of the touch points they have with individuals in positions not named “customer service” or “fan relations” or “reception.” See the impact that these others have on customer perceptions, and ensure they have the customer service skills to succeed.

Make students of your employees by teaching them customer service skills, techniques, and principles.

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s customer satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/


Sample a Sports Survey

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

When theory moves to practice, it’s always a good thing. As much as we love talking about why and how to conduct client surveys, it’s always helpful to look at actual surveys and pinpoint some key strengths to build into your own tools.

The University of Wisconsin completed a recent survey with season ticket holders (STHs), and there were several positive aspects for you to review so that you can build these into your own STH research:

  • Much of the analysis was based on trending (not every organization is the same, so sometimes the best analysis is against one’s self – over time)
  • Start with the most important data (near the start, they highlight likelihood to purchase and retention drivers immediately in the presentation – again, trending)
  • They sprinkled in sample comments to illustrate the data findings (many people understand data better if there’s a story behind it)
  • It was comprehensive (covering such attributes as game day experience to parking to likelihood to renew to retention drivers and disabilities services)
  • They asked about communication methods/preferences (the survey addressed information sources as well as % of respondents with smart phones, use of smart phones during games, and connectivity).

Issues? They needed more stratification so you could compare answers by customer type or by response. What do students feel v. non-students? What are retention drivers for those married v. those single? What are retention drivers for first year STHs v. those with the Badgers for 15+ years? Luckily, the data is there; they just need to analyze it more fully.

Finally, the presentation was big on overall findings, but it lacked recommendations. It’s the kind of presentation that makes you nod your head and say “interesting” throughout, but at the end you want to ask “Based on this, what are you suggesting we do?”

See this sample sports survey as a fine example of what to ask; now find ways to use the data you gather to make strategic retention and revenue decisions as well as to identify STH-specific retention tactics to employ.

Learn from this Badgers research.

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


When Leadership Creates an Avalanche of Troubles

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The organization needs to improve its culture. Leadership was blind to the issues that were surrounding it and resting on their laurels.

It was obvious that the culture had changed for the worse, leadership was driving in the wrong direction, and the main way to change the culture was going to be to change the people at the top.

So is this a Fortune 500 company? Was it one of the industry leaders in high tech? Was it one of the old-time manufacturers trying to rebound?

No, these organizational issues that sound all too familiar in big business actually were presenting themselves in a professional hockey team.

We are not personally familiar with the Colorado Avalanche and all their issues, so we’re simply noting an article that had its own take on a need for organizational change (Colorado Avalanche: New Front Office Must Show New Direction Quickly). However, the lessons learned still apply. Leadership had issues with player relations, and that impacted fan relations as well as performance on the ice. So the new leadership will need to work to improve those relationships, but the article’s writer noted that the new Team President will “need more than just his word that he cares just as much for the Avalanche (as the local NBA franchise). Actions speak louder than word.”

For any kind of culture change to get everybody going in the same direction, not only does that Vision need to be articulated, but leadership also needs to exhibit the kind of behavior that is expected of others. What leadership in organizations says is only part of what moves it toward the Vision. Look at what leaders’ behaviors really tell you about them and the Vision. Is there alignment or disconnect? Do leaders do what they expect of others? Is there a common purpose and direction?

Before you take that slap shot, make sure you’re pointed at the goal.

Interested in improving team’s Fan Relations and Retention? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm