MLB | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

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

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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