We work with many different sports organizations on a variety of topics. One issue that is common for sports organizations is that many have service/sales representatives that are managing account bases of 300, 500, or – in some cases – 4,000+. Oftentimes, that’s overwhelming to consider the numbers of individuals they’re serving.
Then my consulting firm, CSS, comes in and says “Even though you’re managing a seemingly unmanageable book of business, you have to personalize those interactions whenever possible.”
It’s too easy to pick up a phone and call season ticket holder #123 and generically ask them if they’re going to renew, or ask about issues at the arena, or ask them to upgrade their seat.
When we were conducting a debrief call with a sports client after a recent fan research study, we shared the results of a survey. We noted a particular fan who told us on the survey that they wanted to upgrade their seats. We advised them not to call without planning to personalize. Even though I had never met the fan, I told the sports client the name of the fan’s favorite player. I mentioned how merchandise variety and concessions value were important to them. I told them why they’d renew their tickets and why they wouldn’t renew. I noted that they have kids that they attend with, and their biggest hassle is exiting parking after the event.
So instead of calling and asking if they’re going to renew, or asking about a recent issue at the arena, or asking them to upgrade their seat, first plan to personalize. Talk about that person – “Hi Jim. Thanks for being a ticket holder for the past 5 years. How has your son enjoyed coming to the games? Hasn’t player ABC been great this year!”
You can ask about issues specific to them, being prepared to help them have a better experience or resolve concerns. You can be poised to offer specific upgrade opportunities or to ask the key question that makes them decide to renew.
Even if you have a large book of business – literally a 30 second to 1 minute prep session before that call or e-mail – using what’s in your CRM system or the results of your latest survey enables you to make that person communicate with you in a personal way because you addressed them in a personalized manner.
If you care about your customers, prepare with care for each interaction.