sth | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Predict, Prioritize, and Personalize – 9/12/17

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

Many sports organizations are overly marketing-driven, so they’re typically much more focused on major marketing initiatives/programs than the 1-on-1 relationship-development approach we promote. So when we work with Sports clients, we’re often asked why we use research to do so much analysis on individual fans. Here are 3 key reasons we offer:

  • Predict – Sales to and return/renewal of existing fans typically result in 70%-90% of a sports team’s ticket revenue annually, so we use our CSS Renew+ analysis to predict the renewal likelihood for every existing fan. This prediction enables teams to know who’s most likely to renew, who’s on the fence, and who’s least likely to return. This leads to the next reason.
  • Prioritize – When you know who’s most likely to return, you can prioritize them for upsell/cross-sell efforts. When you know the customers who are on the fence, you can prioritize them for service recovery or retention efforts. When you know who has little-to-no chance of returning, you know with whom to spend little time – these fans may get the e-mail instead of the personal call or visit.
  • Personalize – When we perform analysis of the client base, it typically occurs after we’ve conducted a fan survey, so we’ve gathered tremendous intelligence on the individual fan. Instead of the follow-up to the prioritization activity being thousands of generic e-mails being sent, the follow-up involves a call to the customer named Marty that references how he likes to take his family to games and what other kid/family activities are available. The follow-up involves addressing Claudia’s concern with traffic and parking, noting actions the organization is taking to relieve those concerns. And the call to Chris includes following up on the interest he conveyed in the survey for more tickets for his small business.

 
If you’re trying to uncover the reasons to research and analyze information on individual clients, remember these 3 key words.

Predict, Prioritize, and Personalize.

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What’s Truly Unique for Fans in the Seats

Posted on in Business Advice, Carolinas, Sports Please leave a comment

I’ve been fortunate to have been a season ticket holder for a professional football team for 15+ years, so when my company consults with pro sports teams on season ticket holder (STH) retention and fan relations, I can talk as a strategist and researcher or…as a fan.

And I love talking as a fan. One key point that those in the sports industry need to remember is that the game day experience is – to many fans – far beyond what the smart phone experience or television experience could ever become.

As a fan, when I go to the game, there are certain aspects of the experience that I could never get on TV. I feel and am a part of the emotion of 70,000+ people (FYI – I’m a Carolina Panther STH). And even when that emotion is negative, it’s raw emotion, at times it’s yelling, at times it’s tense silence – but it’s almost always a roller coaster of emotion for 3+ hours.

And unlike the fan at home, if I want to watch a defensive end for a couple plays, I can focus just on him. If I see a wide receiver wide open 20 yards downfield, I can yell “He’s open! He’s open!” at the same time that a TV watcher is being shown the quarterback standing in the backfield. I can think to myself – “that pass is going to be intercepted” before the TV cameraman even focuses on the receiver and cornerback.

You see, I can see what I want to see. It’s in my hands (and my eyes) to focus on anything going on, whether in the field of play, on the sidelines, or in the stands. The customer has the power – a power that cannot be duplicated by television.

Television is a wonderful thing and is constantly expanding its capabilities, but these expansions of capabilities erode the gap between the game day experience and the home experience.

So to maintain gate receipts, STH retention, and enthusiasm for attending the games, game day professionals and pro sports teams need to address this key point – we need to leverage, improve, and market the two greatest aspects of being at the games: (1) Being a part of the experience with tens of thousands of other fans, and (2) Controlling one’s own perspective on the event.

To keep fans coming to the games, enhance the “group experience,” and find new ways to help fans gain more from their unique view of the event.

Interested in improving your team or club’s fan relations? See more at our new website! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm

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


Service or a Perk – Pick 1

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

“Service, Price, or Quality – Pick any 2.”

A sign with that statement used to hang in my dry cleaners years ago – luckily, it was a joke. They’re pretty good at all 3!

But that statement hasn’t died; a recent article in Moneywise essentially had a revised version of the statement – “Service or a Perk – Pick 1.”

The article references a survey with the following finding: “Almost half (49%) of consumers would change banks because of bad customer service – more than twice the number (22%) of people who would change providers because of rewards and incentives.” Now you may be thinking of an incentive from a bank being a stereotypical “toaster,” but different organizations have different definitions of incentive, reward, or perk.

We work with lots of organizations that focus on perks, particularly professional sports organizations. And many of them are constantly looking to expand their offering of benefits to season ticket holders (STHs) to impact renewals for the next season. But instead of assuming perks drive retention, we often survey (or tell our clients to survey) STHs and ask them directly – how much impact does “X” have on your likelihood to renew?

Now “X” could be “Direction of the Team” or “My Relationship with My Account Representative” or “Perk A” or “Benefit B.”

But don’t make assumptions; ask the customers what drives their retention and renewals, and then act on that information. Remember, Perks/Benefits can cost a LOT of money, so don’t spend it unless you have to do so.

So when you’re determining what perks and benefits to provide, first ask your customers if those items really drive retention.

Listen to our Pro Sports episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/2011/10/11/stepping-up-service-3-customer-service-in-professional-sport.html

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/