MLB | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

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