sportsbiz | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

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

In Sports, Does Loyalty Matter Anymore?

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Blog 2-20-14Does loyalty matter anymore?

This isn’t about free agents in basketball or players switching clubs in the MLS. It’s not about Robinson Cano or Wayne Gretzky. It’s about the fan.

Much of the sports world – on the business side – is driven by rabid sales and marketing efforts. It’s the TV ads, the freebies to newcomers, the perks, discounts, packages, and personal attention.

But for the typical sports club – 75%-90%+ of this year’s ticket revenue comes from last year’s season ticket holders. So loyalty has a huge financial impact, but what are teams doing to show appreciation for that long-term support?

In the article Season-ticket holders: Honoring loyalty, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars tell a story of a 20-year season ticket holder and his commitment to the club, regardless of the performance on the field. According to the article, in this – the 20 year anniversary for the Jaguars – the team is recognizing that loyalty: “Each level of tenure will receive wearable memorabilia indicating length of association. They don’t just want recognition, they want to be able to show it off in the stadium. They want their hat to say, ’Twenty-year season-ticket holder.’ There will be things they can do and show people by what they can wear. Their names will be permanently displayed for people to see.”

We often tell our clients in and out of sports that customer loyalty is the easiest avenue to recurring revenue. Customer loyalty is the easiest path to business growth. But customer loyalty is also the easiest asset to take for granted.

Look at those clients that have been with you over time. Find ways to reward and recognize them. Find ways to nurture the relationship. Find ways to show that their loyalty matters.

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Learn about our CSS Sports services at: http://cssamerica.com/sports


The Cubs Way of Changing a Culture and Improving Revenue Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The Chicago Cubs baseball team is doing better on season ticket renewals this year. According to VP of Sales and Partnerships, Colin Faulkner, “The rate of renewal for full-season and “combo” night and weekend game plans is in the mid-80 percent range, up 5 percentage points compared with this point last off-season.” And to what does Faulkner attribute the improvement? “Better customer service.

They went through a restructuring of their ticket sales department to provide more dedicated resources to retention. There were a couple other points made in the article, but let’s stick with this one – structuring yourself (with dedicated resources) around retention.

You can often tell what’s important to an organization based on how they spend their money and utilize their resources. We also believe that creating a culture that moves you toward a goal requires much more than leaders who give good speeches or incentives to change behaviors. Culture change and the benefits that can result often require change in how a business is organized, how personnel are allocated, and how focused are the responsibilities of those personnel.

Whether you work in the sports industry or not, when you’re looking to hit a home run with a culture change or to dramatically impact some key business outcome, don’t just create a new incentive program or give a great speech. Make a structural change that ensures you have resources dedicated every day to focus on the goals and to execute the strategies to get there.

Ensure you’re structured for success.

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Smart 1-to-1 of Season Ticket Holder Research

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Big data? Let’s start with Smart Data.

Pro sports organizations feel they know their fans well, and then they conduct their own fan surveys and are frustrated by the lack of useful information. The results are usually broad brushstrokes of fans – general ratings and likes/dislikes. However, research done the right way creates a 1-to-1 view of specific Season Ticket Holders (STHs). Consider the following 3 profiles of specific fans (we changed their names below) that came out of a research project we conducted for a pro sports club:

  • Fred Smith will definitely renew for next year. In fact, he’s considering adding seats and is likely to want to upgrade his seats. He’s a STH because he loves basketball and the perks associated with being a STH (particularly ticket exchange and the post-game shoot-arounds), but he’s dissatisfied with the direction of the team. He doesn’t know who to contact if he has ticket issues, and he doesn’t know the name of his account representative. Fred’s married, has a doctorate, and usually attends with a business associate or with his wife.
  • Janie Watson is a brand new STH, in her first season with the club. Janie’s uncertain whether she’ll renew her tickets, and although she loves the events, she doesn’t like her seats. She’s 32 years old, single, and loves the relationship with her account representative. She prefers to be contacted via e-mail, and – even though Janie loves her account representative – what’s most important to her is the game itself, getting in/out of parking quickly, her seat location, and getting ticketing needs/issues resolved quickly.
  • Bob Jefferson is somewhat unlikely to renew. He’s been a STH for 7 years, and he has the tickets for family entertainment. He’s become disillusioned the past few years because the ownership preaches family values, but several players and some of the game day staff don’t convey those values. Bob wants more opportunities for kids to interact with players, and he’s particularly dissatisfied with the relationship with his account representative, the attitudes of Security, and the game entertainment. Bob noted that he’d like to talk with someone about his issues with the team.

What would you be able to do with this information for these 3 STHs? The answer should be obvious. You know who to contact about what; you know what SPECIFICS to discuss with each. You know HOW to contact them, and you know whether you’re in sales mode or service recovery/retention-mode.

When you look to do fan research, begin with the end in mind. Structure STH research to tell you the level of information you need to nurture and grow relationships – on a 1-to-1 basis.

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