NHL | 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

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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