sportsbiz | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help 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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Why a Home Run Swing Whiffs – 4/18/23

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

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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How to Avoid Refunding Fans

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Blog 1-29-15The New York Knicks are terrible – 9-37 as of today. And with the highest ticket average ticket prices in the NBA at almost $130 per seat per game, fans aren’t happy according to a recent New York Times article. Many even want refunds! Yet, the Knicks repeatedly report attendance near capacity. How? To a large extent, it’s about supply and demand. But most sports organizations are not located in a city of over 8 million people, so when the product on the court (or field, pitch, track, or rink) is terrible, what can be done? This is when the season ticket service and sales representatives of the world have to focus on what they can control. Here are some things that reps can control, which have nothing to do with the team’s performance:

  • Your relationship with your accounts
  • Your knowledge of their renewal drivers
  • Your knowledge of which of your organization’s services, information, programs, and solutions can address those drivers
  • How often you reach out to them personally
  • How you reach out to them personally (preferably in the way your client prefers)
  • Your understanding of how they’re leaning toward renewals
  • Your understanding of their favorites – players, visiting teams, aspects of the game experience
  • Your knowledge of why fans of similar profiles have left in prior years
  • Your knowledge of their share partners
  • Your knowledge of what benefits are most important to them – and which are irrelevant
  • Your understanding of how they use their tickets
  • Your knowledge/skills about how to deal with the irate customer

What’s the key takeaway?

You can’t control the play on the court. But your knowledge of your account, your personal skills, how/when you communicate with your clients – those are all things you can control. It’s very easy (and understandable) to look at the play on the court and be frustrated. To get over the frustration, focus on what you can control. Work on your knowledge, skills, and communication with clients.

Build yourself up to build renewal rates.

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