sportsbiz | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 10

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

Have a Lockout Exit Strategy

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

For anyone who has followed the back and forth in the NBA about the current lockout, you realize that there is a lot of acrimony from the owners and players. Acrimony can generally fuel passion, but it doesn’t fuel positive passion – particularly from the fans.

At some point the lockout will end. There’s too much money to be lost this season for both the owners and players, and the money that will be lost is money that the fans would have paid. With each passing day, for a certain portion of fans, the fan’s affinity for the sport and the teams and the players decreases. The money that fans are NOT spending on the NBA is going to other places. There are new draws on people’s time that would normally be spent focusing on their team and attending games. The positive vibes and memories go away.

So the question is, “What is each team’s Lockout Exit Strategy?” We’ve done a great deal of consulting, training, and research with professional sports organizations over the past 8 years (with the NBA in particular), and we know that the teams can be good at planning – particularly planning Marketing and Sales strategies.

But there’s a strong need for a retention and relationship renewal strategy. This is different. This is focused on getting back business from fans who will not be in the typical mindset they are at the start of the season. The same strategies used in the past will not be as effective this time around. Teams need to build a retention/relationship renewal strategy based on empathy for the fan. Here are four quick parts of the strategy to incorporate, particularly for when the lockout ends:

1. Have a research plan to gauge current STH feelings/perceptions and how those may change decisions to attend games, renew tickets later on, etc.

2. Have a communication plan with the broad fan base that focuses on empathy and appreciation.

3. Season Ticket Holders (STHs) will be even more concerned with the Direction of the Team, so have a communication plan that gives them “inside information” and direct messages from team leadership. This could include joint letters and/or joint STH-conference calls with the owner and key players.

4. Create a 2-month STH Touch Point Plan to consistently reach out to STHs to communicate messages of harmony within the organization, focus on the fan, and longer-term plans for success.

When preparing to move forward from this labor unrest, have a relationship renewal strategy.

Listen to our Pro Sports episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Lessons from the NFL Draft

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

With the National Football League (NFL) draft coming up this weekend, the teams will select 255 players to possibly join their organizations. In the past, teams used to select the best pure football player available. But that was long ago.

Today, NFL teams go beyond the “best pure football player available” when determining their selection. They look to fill a need. What individual fills in what skill gap? Who may take some time to develop but is a good long-term prospect?

NFL teams also evaluate players’ personalities and backgrounds much more than they once did. Background checks are performed. Psychological evaluations are administered. Interviews are conducted. In the end, the goal is to find somebody who wants to work hard, who wants to get better, who has integrity, and who will be a good teammate to others.

What do you want from your employees? Aren’t many of the qualities the same? If so, are you going through the same rigorous evaluation process as the NFL teams? Consider it. Know that a good employee can make a manager’s job easy, and a poor employee or one with a bad attitude and work ethic can create issues that take your focus off the customer.

Evaluate your hiring processes to ensure the right fit with your team, the right attitude, the right work ethic.

Do whatever it takes to draft the right player.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Create a Custom Retention Toolkit

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

In the article Marketing starts with customer service, the author promotes the concept of identifying the 20% of your customers that drive the majority of your business. Then market to them and provide them with stellar service. The idea is to have a targeted marketing approach for your top existing customers just as you would to a target demographic (using more typical marketing parlance).

Later in the article, the different marketing strategies are referred to as retention tools…hmmm…interesting.

It’s interesting because many of us think about customer service as responding to requests, as resolving issues, as anticipating customer needs. But from a retention standpoint, what collateral (or to use the author’s term), what tools do employees at your company have available to them to keep and grow business with existing customers?

Remember from our other blog posts that retention is different from marketing in that retention needs to be more personalized – more 1-to-1 based on the customer’s true renewal drivers. But once you know those drivers for your key client types, you may find consistencies such that a high percentage of customers will stick with you for a few key reasons.

In pro sports, the teams often offer many benefits to customers, but we’ve surveyed enough season ticket holders (STHs) to know that those benefits are rarely the reason why the STH renews are not. So don’t come up with a laundry list of benefits; again, be targeted.

If the retention driver is “being in the know” with your company’s latest product offerings or events or initiatives, possibly have an “Insider” newsletter that only the best customers receive before the general public – it could include a personalized letter from the CEO. If the driver is quick turnaround on special orders, ensure you have a fast-track process for urgent orders available to key customers. If the driver is the relationship with the organization’s people, make sure the employees share their names, ask about the customer, give unsolicited tips on the use of the products or meeting other customer needs.

Identify reasons why your key customer types would stay or go, and then create your own retention toolkit.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/