sportsbiz | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 8

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

Find a Fun Benchmarking Organization for Lessons on Service and Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service 1 Comment

Why did Apple benchmark with the Ritz-Carlton? Are computers the same thing as hotels?

Why did Southwest Airlines benchmark with NASCAR pit crews? Are airplanes the same things as cars?

Benchmarking is usually more about how you do something than what you do. In the article How the Ritz-Carlton Inspired the Apple Store, the author notes how Apple Stores went to the Ritz-Carlton to learn lessons on customer service. Similarly, many years ago Southwest Airlines went to work with NASCAR pit crews to learn how to turn planes at the gate more quickly.

Continuous improvement in any organization involves thinking beyond your world, growing your organization’s collective knowledge by learning from others. What’s more, it can be lots of fun learning, particularly from those in other industries.

To most effectively benchmark, think about how you deliver a service, interact with customers, communicate, process, produce. Try not to think of this in industry terms; instead, think of this in functional terms. For example, as a bank, don’t think “What bank does a great job of increasing the number of accounts with current customers?” Think more broadly such as “What organizations are great at retaining and selling more services to existing account holders?” Instead of benchmarking with another bank, they might consider benchmarking with a pro sports team.

Instead of a local municipality asking “What City/County governments do a great job with their website?”, they should ask “What organizations effectively engage their customers online and leverage those sites to drive interest and traffic to their programs and facilities?”

Benchmarking is a fun way to get creative ideas, to continuously learn, grow, and improve.

So what industry (other than yours) is interesting to you? Go and learn from them.

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

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

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


Don’t Fight the Fan

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Don’t pick a fight with a customer. Don’t throw a baseball at them. Don’t kick a football in their direction. Don’t smack a slapshot over their head.

In the article Flyers touching third rail of fan relations, Phil Sheridan gives multiple examples of players chastising fans for complaining (about the play on the ice or a sign outside a stadium or performance on the field). The crux of the article is that it’s a big risk for a player to attack (verbally or otherwise) fans just because the fans are complaining. Even though many athletes don’t think fans understand what’s it’s like to be in their shoes, many athletes don’t understand the fan’s perspective, but they should be willing to learn.

When fans are passionate, they can impact a game. When they care for a team or club, they’ll spend money on them. And when fans impact a game or they spend money, they impact the organization and its players.

It’s the same thing with any other business. Customers have opinions, and if they care enough to voice those opinions, they’re conveying their passion. But they’re also giving you advice (on what to do differently or how to interact and engage them differently). The customers are sharing their expectations. And if customers care enough to complain, we need to care enough to encourage that dialogue and listen.

Studies have shown that customers are far more likely to stick with you if they complain than if they have an issue and don’t complain. They are far more like to stick with you if you address their issue than if you don’t.

Let the fan talk, vent, complain. Listen and learn. Encourage dialogue. Because if there’s dialogue, that means they’re engaged. When the dialogue stops, that’s when you should start to worry because that might indicate apathy and a lost customer.

Don’t shut down customer complaints.

If you liked this, you might like our podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” called “Take a Football Approach to Culture Change

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/


Make Your Customers Loco…or Los Loco

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Giving a little recognition to a friend – Jeff Munneke of the Minnesota Timberwolves. His team’s Fan Relations efforts were recognized in an nba.com article.

One section of the Target Center has been branded “Los Locos,” and they essentially stand and cheer the entire game – making LOTS of noise. They pattern this after what the fans of many college hoops teams and soccer clubs do, and it not only keeps energy in the arena, but it’s fun.

But here’s the key point – this isn’t some made-by-sports-scientists concoction. This is a home grown, grass roots, fan-driven idea. Fans came up with the idea, decided to do it, and did it, and Jeff (the T-Wolves’ VP of Fan Relations and Guest Services) and his team jumped on board, helping as needed and requested by Los Locos.

So how does this apply to other sports teams or other businesses in general. Think of 3 key aspects to this:

· There was enough of a personal relationship and enough ongoing dialogue between fans and the organization that the discussion could even happen.

· The team was responsive to the idea and supports it however possible.

· The team lets the fans drive Los Locos.

Now think about your team or business. How can you grow your relationships with, your ongoing dialogue with, and your idea generation from your customers? How can you make sure you’re responsive to those ideas? And how willing can you be to let your customers drive change in your business?

Ask these questions of your own business, and let your customers go a little Los Loco.

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

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

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