ticket sales | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

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

NASCAR Lessons…and Beyond – Engaging Fans with Social Media

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Let’s learn a little fan engagement lesson from NASCAR. In the Bleacher Report article NASCAR Drivers, Wives and Twitter: Is NASCAR the Most Active Sport on Twitter?, the writer notes about the relatively extensive level of access that NASCAR fans have to drivers – in everything from pit road access to autograph signings to the use of Twitter.

We’ve done enough research with our pro sports clients to know that a certain percentage of season ticket holders (STHs) have a strong desire for that engagement with or proximity to the athletes. But why do they want it? That’s a question to ask.

You can’t setup too many 1-on-1 dinners with your Dwight Howard and one of your season ticket holders. You can’t setup too many Putt-Putt competition between one of your long-term STHs and your Jason Verlander. You can’t have your Aaron Rodgers sit-in on too many STH book clubs.

So back to the question – why do STHs want access? If you can understand the STH’s goal, maybe there are some alternatives you can suggest.

To many STHs, the “why” is about the experience, it’s about relationship, it’s about feeling like you’re in-the-know or part of something special.

Social media can help with this. It’s not the direct 1-on-1 relationship they might desire, but it’s much more of a direct interaction than a fan reading a journalist’s article or a marketing e-mail from the team. So, use social media to accomplish at least two relationship-building objectives.

First, provide more direct/personal insights from your players and executives. Getting to know these individuals as being more “real” helps to foster relationship-building. That’s why the husband/wife aspect of the NASCAR Twitter approach has such great appeal.

Second, use Social Media to track key STHs, monitoring what is going on in their world, their lives. You can use this to identify ways to be proactive with them, sending them a congratulatory note to strengthen the relationship (if they changed jobs) or asking a question to enhance your STH-intelligence (if they mention they’ve moved) or sharing an offer to increase sales (if they say they have friends coming into town during a time where there’s a home game).

Use Social Media to build STH relationships by letting them into your world and by learning a little more about theirs.

Listen to our latest podcast 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/


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/


The Single Biggest Key to Retention and Expansion

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

You’re the customer. Do you feel that I care about you?

That’s it…that’s the key to retention. Making that person feel that you care about them. There are many ways to do this, but I’m going to go beyond the obvious discussion of eye contact, body language, tone of voice, and the words you use.

This is about strategy. This is about understanding that when the customer makes the decision to go to a competitor, they’re usually driving down the road, they’re doing a search on Google, they’re reaching for the yellow pages (yes, some people still do that), or they’re at their kitchen table. In other words, when they make that decision to leave, they’re often not in front of you.

So this strategy is about relationship building. As an example, I always like to discuss economic development organizations who are trying to keep local employers through their Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) programs. They’re great examples because these organizations have little direct control over the decisions of the local businesses, and those businesses aren’t going into the “BRE Store” 3 times a week, so the BRE professionals must know how to establish relationships with local businesses by going to the local businesses. They must meet with them, or send surveys, or send information of value, or send “marketing/sales/retention-focused” materials, or e-mail and call the business leaders.

This all needs to be part of a 12-month Touch Point Plan – a strategy you efficiently and systematically design and execute each year. Anybody in any business that depends on retention and growth with existing businesses needs a 12-month Touch Point Plan. You have to develop a plan to proactively “Touch” your clients even when they’re not in front of you. You have to take control over keeping the relationship going, keeping yourself top-of-mind, conveying you care.

We’ve taught many executives in professional basketball and professional soccer how to create these plans because their account representatives are having to manage hundreds of relationships and the resulting millions of dollars in lifetime revenue. Likewise, BRE representatives are maintaining relationships with businesses that employ thousands of staff, invest millions of dollars, and provide a significant tax and fee base for the local economy.

How do you create a plan? Well first determine 3 key types of touches:

· Pull – Information you request of them through surveys.

· Value Push – Information you provide that is simply valuable to the recipient and would address their retention drivers.

· Growth Push – Information you provide that would help them to grow their relationship with your organization.

Then build 3-4 of each touch type into a 12-month Touch Point Plan.

The key to retention is simple to identify, but the plan to retain must be created and executed in a strategic manner. So what’s your plan?

Interested in more information about Touch Point Planning? Go to: http://www.cssamerica.com/csstpp.htm

Listen to our latest 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/