MLB | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Cubs Way of Changing a Culture and Improving Revenue Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The Chicago Cubs baseball team is doing better on season ticket renewals this year. According to VP of Sales and Partnerships, Colin Faulkner, “The rate of renewal for full-season and “combo” night and weekend game plans is in the mid-80 percent range, up 5 percentage points compared with this point last off-season.” And to what does Faulkner attribute the improvement? “Better customer service.

They went through a restructuring of their ticket sales department to provide more dedicated resources to retention. There were a couple other points made in the article, but let’s stick with this one – structuring yourself (with dedicated resources) around retention.

You can often tell what’s important to an organization based on how they spend their money and utilize their resources. We also believe that creating a culture that moves you toward a goal requires much more than leaders who give good speeches or incentives to change behaviors. Culture change and the benefits that can result often require change in how a business is organized, how personnel are allocated, and how focused are the responsibilities of those personnel.

Whether you work in the sports industry or not, when you’re looking to hit a home run with a culture change or to dramatically impact some key business outcome, don’t just create a new incentive program or give a great speech. Make a structural change that ensures you have resources dedicated every day to focus on the goals and to execute the strategies to get there.

Ensure you’re structured for success.

Did you like this post? Here are other Sports-related posts:


Don’t Wait Until Losses Mount to Tell Fans You Care

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

It’s even happening to the Boston Red Sox, and the fallout isn’t good.

Season ticket renewals are dropping fast this season (about 10% below last year), and the Red Sox are reacting with a massive amount of phone calls and offers to try to retain or resell lost season ticket holders (STHs). Leadership and a player are joining staff and interns to call STHs to try to get them to renew. In the article Many Red Sox season-ticket holders fleeing now, the writer interviews STHs and notes how the team didn’t contact several of them either prior to cancellation or afterward.

This rings of a situation where the organization wasn’t proactive in developing relationships, anticipating issues, and launching plans to address the expected concerns. With the team not being “likeable” according to some STHs, losses on the field mounting, and the secondary ticket market drying up, there are few things left which a professional sports team can control that impact renewals. But one of those controllable attributes is relationships with the fan base, and it appears the organization was too reactive, too incomplete, and too misguided to be effective.

In a comment posted on the article, one STH noted that he didn’t get a communication after canceling his tickets ($5,000 for 2 season tickets). However, he did get an e-mail sales offer to buy an upgrade to a suite at $28,000 per seat. So – in effect – the team didn’t care enough about the STH to try to retain, but they thought they could upsell the STH anyway? In a word…crazy. But it’s also all-to-typical in professional sports.

Season ticket retention involves relationship-building, and it requires a long-term mindset. You have to be able to gauge renewal likelihood long before the notices go out. And you have to have a plan to ensure you are contacting those most at-risk of non-renewal. In addition, upsells are easier if you have a strong relationship, if you know your STHs better.

So don’t just wait until the losses mount to tell fans you care. Make it a part of every season, every encounter, every survey, and every business-building strategy.

Interested in improving your STH retention and Fan Relations? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


Sample “Direction of the Team” Letter

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

There are many reasons why fans stay and why they go – it’s not just about wins or the high profile player. It’s not just about the weather or the visiting team. For many fans, whether they remain fans or whether season ticket holders renew is based on the Direction of the Team. Particularly when there’s a change in ownership, worsening performance on the field or in the arena, or some significant change in personnel, many fans want to see some reason for hope. They want to know the Direction of the Team.

Last week, Houston Astros General Manager – Jeff Luhnow – wrote this “Direction of the Team” letter to season ticket holders (STHs). Check it out…

In short, he’s empathetic about the poor season, talks about lofty future goals, and tries to connect those dots with personnel moves being made. But one interesting thing he addresses is corporate culture. Although a large part of the reason for the letter is to convey hope and retain the STHs, one of the main ways to get the Direction he wants for the organization is to get everyone to experience winning, experience success. Even if this culture-building activity is starting in the minor leagues, Luhnow realizes that a change in mindset is required to truly change performance, and he realizes that changing a culture is a longer-term process.

So what’s the Direction of Your Team, or Your Business, or Your Organization? Clearly articulate it. Identify your “today,” and identify the desired tomorrow.

Define those activities that connect the dots between today and tomorrow, and make sure you intentionally change the culture at the same time.

Interested in improving your organization’s performance? Check out our Sports Industry Services! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm