sportsbiz | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 4

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

Sample a Sports Survey

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

When theory moves to practice, it’s always a good thing. As much as we love talking about why and how to conduct client surveys, it’s always helpful to look at actual surveys and pinpoint some key strengths to build into your own tools.

The University of Wisconsin completed a recent survey with season ticket holders (STHs), and there were several positive aspects for you to review so that you can build these into your own STH research:

  • Much of the analysis was based on trending (not every organization is the same, so sometimes the best analysis is against one’s self – over time)
  • Start with the most important data (near the start, they highlight likelihood to purchase and retention drivers immediately in the presentation – again, trending)
  • They sprinkled in sample comments to illustrate the data findings (many people understand data better if there’s a story behind it)
  • It was comprehensive (covering such attributes as game day experience to parking to likelihood to renew to retention drivers and disabilities services)
  • They asked about communication methods/preferences (the survey addressed information sources as well as % of respondents with smart phones, use of smart phones during games, and connectivity).

Issues? They needed more stratification so you could compare answers by customer type or by response. What do students feel v. non-students? What are retention drivers for those married v. those single? What are retention drivers for first year STHs v. those with the Badgers for 15+ years? Luckily, the data is there; they just need to analyze it more fully.

Finally, the presentation was big on overall findings, but it lacked recommendations. It’s the kind of presentation that makes you nod your head and say “interesting” throughout, but at the end you want to ask “Based on this, what are you suggesting we do?”

See this sample sports survey as a fine example of what to ask; now find ways to use the data you gather to make strategic retention and revenue decisions as well as to identify STH-specific retention tactics to employ.

Learn from this Badgers research.

Interested in improving your organization’s fan retention and revenue? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/sports/

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


When Leadership Creates an Avalanche of Troubles

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The organization needs to improve its culture. Leadership was blind to the issues that were surrounding it and resting on their laurels.

It was obvious that the culture had changed for the worse, leadership was driving in the wrong direction, and the main way to change the culture was going to be to change the people at the top.

So is this a Fortune 500 company? Was it one of the industry leaders in high tech? Was it one of the old-time manufacturers trying to rebound?

No, these organizational issues that sound all too familiar in big business actually were presenting themselves in a professional hockey team.

We are not personally familiar with the Colorado Avalanche and all their issues, so we’re simply noting an article that had its own take on a need for organizational change (Colorado Avalanche: New Front Office Must Show New Direction Quickly). However, the lessons learned still apply. Leadership had issues with player relations, and that impacted fan relations as well as performance on the ice. So the new leadership will need to work to improve those relationships, but the article’s writer noted that the new Team President will “need more than just his word that he cares just as much for the Avalanche (as the local NBA franchise). Actions speak louder than word.”

For any kind of culture change to get everybody going in the same direction, not only does that Vision need to be articulated, but leadership also needs to exhibit the kind of behavior that is expected of others. What leadership in organizations says is only part of what moves it toward the Vision. Look at what leaders’ behaviors really tell you about them and the Vision. Is there alignment or disconnect? Do leaders do what they expect of others? Is there a common purpose and direction?

Before you take that slap shot, make sure you’re pointed at the goal.

Interested in improving team’s Fan Relations and Retention? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm


Don’t Wait Until Losses Mount to Tell Fans You Care

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

It’s even happening to the Boston Red Sox, and the fallout isn’t good.

Season ticket renewals are dropping fast this season (about 10% below last year), and the Red Sox are reacting with a massive amount of phone calls and offers to try to retain or resell lost season ticket holders (STHs). Leadership and a player are joining staff and interns to call STHs to try to get them to renew. In the article Many Red Sox season-ticket holders fleeing now, the writer interviews STHs and notes how the team didn’t contact several of them either prior to cancellation or afterward.

This rings of a situation where the organization wasn’t proactive in developing relationships, anticipating issues, and launching plans to address the expected concerns. With the team not being “likeable” according to some STHs, losses on the field mounting, and the secondary ticket market drying up, there are few things left which a professional sports team can control that impact renewals. But one of those controllable attributes is relationships with the fan base, and it appears the organization was too reactive, too incomplete, and too misguided to be effective.

In a comment posted on the article, one STH noted that he didn’t get a communication after canceling his tickets ($5,000 for 2 season tickets). However, he did get an e-mail sales offer to buy an upgrade to a suite at $28,000 per seat. So – in effect – the team didn’t care enough about the STH to try to retain, but they thought they could upsell the STH anyway? In a word…crazy. But it’s also all-to-typical in professional sports.

Season ticket retention involves relationship-building, and it requires a long-term mindset. You have to be able to gauge renewal likelihood long before the notices go out. And you have to have a plan to ensure you are contacting those most at-risk of non-renewal. In addition, upsells are easier if you have a strong relationship, if you know your STHs better.

So don’t just wait until the losses mount to tell fans you care. Make it a part of every season, every encounter, every survey, and every business-building strategy.

Interested in improving your STH retention and Fan Relations? See more at http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm