sports | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The New Burger Experience - 7/16/24


Floyd loves a good hamburger. Any chance he gets to try a new spin on an old standby, he takes it. Recently, a burger joint opened near his house, and Floyd was very excited! It was owned by and named for a world-renowned chef, so it had to be Read more

Boost Customer Happiness - 7/9/24


There’s a cooking show that a friend of mine watches, and the premise is all about reverse engineering food.  They may take a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, analyze it, and determine the ingredients just by tasting it.  Then they figure out a recipe.  The cook will try to make Read more

Brainstorm to Better Yourself - 7/2/24


I’ve led enough sessions with clients on continuous improvement topics to have solid experience on how to lead ideation exercises, brainstorming to develop new ideas.  Oftentimes these sessions start with the right question; the first answers may not be the ultimate solution, but they can serve as a jumping Read more

The Power of the Pause - 6/25/24


When I’m facilitating a meeting, and it feels like it’s going off-track or the discussion is going a little longer than it should, I may say something like “let me pause the conversation so that…” or “let’s pause just for a minute and consider…” I don’t like the word STOP. Read more

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the 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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