Do You Employ Customer Service Czars?
Every sports organization staff member should be a Customer Czar. They should understand the customer that they are trying to attract in-depth. This means translating the customer’s wants, needs and desires effectively, in order to provide the customer with the best experience possible in the sports facility. And this is a complete break from the old sports model of doing things, where customers were told what they would like by the teams.
In the 1970s, sports organizations dictated the message to be pushed out. The idea was to get a customer to buy the product that the team wanted them to buy. Such as season tickets. It didn’t matter that most customers couldn’t make every game. Season tickets were the solution that the team offered and compared to an ultimate loyalty to the team’s brand.
This mentality wasn’t about understanding the customer better. In fact, it was simply offering the product in the team’s best interest, generating the revenue required to operate.
And it was easier to do so back in the 1970s, because there were fewer opportunities to consume the live product back when there were three channels and only 2-3 teams in any given city. Most of the televised sports product was on tape delay too, so it made it an easier argument for the team to suggest that season tickets were the best way to obtain a customer’s sports fix.
Essentially, the customer had little to no choice in the matter.
Compare that to the modern era of the sports consumption. There is tons of choice available to fans. They don’t even have to watch live sporting events from their own country; sports content is available globally with the right Internet connections. And this makes choice so abundant to the consumer, that it alters how the customer interacts with the team’s product, both in the live and digital space.
With that space comes opportunities for the sports organization to adapt or die to the situation in front of them.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of sports executives who attempt to recapture the controlled model of the 1970s. They want to eliminate choices. Regionalized blackouts are one of the oldest models in the book, and one of the worst, since it really only harms the availability of the product to be seen by more people within the digital space.
This is why staff members need to be transform to Customer Czars. What do your customers truly want?
It’s not a question that can be answered globally. It needs to be understand on an individual basis.
The idea of simply letting the gates go open, and folks will flock in, is no longer the way that the live sports product is consumed. That’s why there are always empty seats on a Saturday night or bad per caps during those silver bullet Bobblehead giveaway nights. Because the customer isn’t being understood in terms of what they want, need or desire.
Develop good Customer Czars with your staff. Have them ask your customers questions. Find out what attracts them to a game or multiple games. It cannot simply be a price point discussion. Everyone always wants the price lower, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing they want out of the product entirely.
The whole idea needs to formulate from the top down in the sports organization. Adapt to the model of understanding the customer fully. Find out what makes that customer tick and it will pay dividends while competing teams have staff standing around empty seats, unsure what their customer wants.