sports | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Sport Some Customer Perks – 11/14/23

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Of all the industries we work with, the one that talks most about providing perks and benefits to its customers is pro sports.  We’ve worked with NASCAR, MLS, the NBA, and a little bit with the NFL and the NHL.

And most of the teams or organizations will provide their season ticket holders, their account holders with perks. They’re doing this to help the fans feel special but also to engender some loyalty.  Loyalty leads to retention and growth, and, therefore, the strategy is to provide perks to help drive long-term revenue.

If your organization is in healthcare or local government, if you’re in finance, education, manufacturing, retail, or some other key industry, there are still lessons to be learned from these sports perks.  Here are some examples.

Sports clubs offer dedicated client service representatives to their account holders. Your organization could have a dedicated account rep for your customers, as well.  Why tell the customer to call the toll-free number when they could call Janie instead?

Teams provide online account management for dedicated fans. Your organization could have a web portal (or sections of your website) dedicated only to your key customers.  Premium access for your premium people!

Clubs have phone numbers for certain categories of account holders, prioritizing those calls.  Could your company fast-track some process for your key clients?

Sports organizations allow free access to forward tickets to families and friends.  You could provide free access to online webinars or other resources that may be valuable to your customers.

The clubs will offer single game tickets to season ticket holders before releasing them to the general public.  When your organization launches a new service at your facility, you could provide an open house or first access to your longer-term clients.

Clubs offer complimentary tickets for some away games. Your organization could partner with local businesses to provide complimentary products to the customers.

Teams provide invitations to exclusive events.  You could set aside a certain number of seats to grand openings or holiday events just for some key customers.

Perks and benefits can be useful tools in building loyalty and relationships.  Use these examples from sports, and determine how to best apply them to your business to deepen relationships, retention, and revenue.

Sport Some Customer Perks.

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Find Their Future Motivators – 10/17/23

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

We’ve provided fan experience and customer retention consulting in professional sports for a couple decades now.  One of our professional basketball clients was the Miami Heat.  We were working with them just a year or so after they had acquired superstar Shaquille O’Neal.  When they signed him, ticket sales went through the roof. That often happens in pro sports – where the superstar will immediately drive higher revenue and attendance.

One of the recommendations we made to the team was to make sure they were honing in on those people who bought season tickets right after O’Neal was signed, developing relationships with them, and trying to uncover what else would motivate them to stay.  The main point I was making was that O’Neal was not going to be on the team forever, and you don’t want what motivated the season ticket holders to buy tickets (his presence on the team) to be the only reason that they stay as season ticket holders.

You don’t want them to leave immediately after he leaves.

That’s the case with many of our customers.  What motivated them to initially engage our business may not be what motivates them to stay, and oftentimes it shouldn’t be what motivates them to stay.  If a discount or a 1-time feature or benefit is the initial hook, that motivation is fleeting, and we don’t want the customer to flee when that motivation is gone.

One of the key drivers of retention is obviously what brought the customer to your business, but uncover other reasons for them being there.  Ensure that you find out what’s most important to the customer about their engagement with your business, because those reasons, as well, are retention drivers.

Even beyond the reason you acquire their business, make sure you uncover the other reasons why customers stay with you.

Find Their Future Motivators.

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Why a Home Run Swing Whiffs – 4/18/23

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ACME Tree Service showed up at Nancy’s house to provide an estimate for trimming some trees.  The sales consultant looked at the trees and their proximity to the house, and he quickly wrote up a bid.  Heavy trimming on 9 trees.  Heavy price tag.  It was a quick conversation resulting in sticker shock for Nancy.

AAA Trees showed up a little later, and their sales consultant looked at the same situation and the same trees. They asked several questions about the customer’s needs and concerns, their goals and what timing was preferred.  The estimate addressed some precision-trimming on 4 trees, focusing on key limbs that had the greatest needs or issues. The estimate was lower, the conversation was a little longer, but AAA Trees got the business.

As it’s been said, it’s better to have a little bit of something than a whole lot of nothing.  AAA got something out of the meeting.  Nancy got a plan for exactly what she wanted and needed.

ACME went for the home run, and they whiffed – swing and a miss!

AAA went for a Win-Win.  They wanted to find out precisely what the customer wanted/needed, and they provided a plan to address that need.  In customer service, there are lessons to be learned…

Sometimes it’s better to spend a little extra time with your customer, asking enough questions so you can give a more precise answer.  Your solution could be a better fit for the customer’s needs.

Customers are often more satisfied if you paint a picture of precisely what needs to be done and how the action addresses needs.

Finally, you can save yourself time and effort on the backend, if you spend a little more time truly getting to know the customer on the front-end.

Avoid always swinging for the fences.  A few questions and a little patience can lead to frequent singles and doubles.

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