NHL | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

When You Take Away a Takeaway

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports 1 Comment

I went to a Carolina Panthers game with a friend a couple weeks back, and he told me how he has a box with all the tickets to all the events he’s attended over the years. The problem is that nowadays, you don’t get physical tickets as often – you might print them off the web, but it’s just not the same.

We like the tangible, the feeling of holding something in our hands – as a sports fan, we like having the ticket, the game time guide, the souvenir cup – something tangible to take away from the experience. It’s a physical reminder of a memory.

So when sports fans have that takeaway taken away, sports organizations need to think about the value of that tangible reminder of the experience, the memory it represents, and the memorabilia aspect to it.

In the article The Caps season-ticket holder box, Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg notes “Sports fans love those beautiful, fancy, full-color, heavy-stock tickets they used to receive. Many season-ticket holders described with joy their excitement upon receiving their tickets each winter, how they would immediately take them out, and stare at the pretty pictures, and hold that thick paper in their hands.”

He then addresses how one team – the Washington Capitals NHL team – has addressed that by sending out a STH package without the tickets. Check out the article to see their approach and the perks they provide.

Just as with any customers (sports fans or not), when you get ready to take something away (even if it’s simply a ticket), think about this from the customer’s perspective. How will they feel? How will they interpret the action? What will this say about your organization? Then determine how to communicate the decision and what else you might be able to provide in its place to lessen the loss.

Learn some Capital lessons from this takeaway being taken away.

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







ESPN Study – Rankings for Fan Relations – What it gets wrong

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

ESPN’s annual Ultimate Team Rankings study includes a Fan Relations component. ESPN has fans rate their team’s Fan Relations based on this definition: Openness and consideration toward fans by players, coaches and management. While ESPN is right in that some of general Fan Relations is impacted by the player/coaches/management (and – these days – the replacement referees), there’s so much more than these groups and their “openness and consideration” that truly impacts relationships with fans.

We’ve worked with clients in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS among other leagues, and typically the work is focused on Fan Relations. But the people driving much of Fan Relations are on the business operations side. They’re the ones who sell, service season ticket holder (STH) accounts. They’re the ones who field issues from those generating the majority of the ticket revenue annually. They’re the ones whose impact is significant on the STHs, in particular. They are the ones who study the concerns, get down to the root causes, and identify solutions in tickets, benefits, game day operations, game entertainment, STH events, and more operational services. In other words, these staff drive much of the true relationships with the teams.

When you study Fan Relations, you have to study what truly drives retention and renewals, what truly builds relationships, what truly resolves issues. So you have to have fans evaluate these services and staff.

ESPN provides a lot of great research, but when it comes to gauging Fan Relations, they have to do a better job of targeting STHs and ensure they study what drives revenue and renewals.

Interested in improving your sport’s team Fan Relations? See more at our new website! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm

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