Providing first-rate customer service is paramount.
We know it’s one of the top goals on your list.
We also know it is the top goal on your boss’s list.
The fan experience is essential to everyone’s livelihood.
You certainly can’t guarantee a win, perfect weather, or prevent car trouble on the way.
But you can and must deliver the highest level of service.
You’re in the business of creating memories as much as your star players.
Preparing for and delivering to your customers a safe, clean, and friendly environment is fundamental to the fan experience and that’s the stuff that leaves customers wanting to return to your property for more events.
With your well-trained and dedicated team members, you can make things happen at every point of contact with your customers.
For every location, every person on your team can affect a fan’s experience, positively or negatively.
Every impression, every interaction, they all count.
EMPLOY THESE 5 CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPECTATIONS IN EVERY WAY
First, have high expectations and empower your team to deliver the best customer service experience, for every point of contact on game day.
- Greet sincerely with eye contact.
- Understand the customer’s needs.
- Engage in helping customers promptly.
- Smile and be positive throughout.
- Thank customers at every opportunity.
CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH A WOW!
Now wow your crowd!
We have designated eight essential touchpoints for first-class game day service so that you can immediately have a Customer Service WOW plan in place.
These are the ways to wow, and we’re giving you the how.
A little something you can use and put into action. How’s that for Proactive Operations?
1. Arrival/Parking Lots
- Communicate to your customers through your radio partners (e.g., local radio stations): deliver traffic routes and patterns, allowing for a more enjoyable commute. Give your customers parking lot updates (e.g. when lots are full or whether lot closures take place). We recommend notifying customers when lots are about two-thirds full.
- Use signage in the parking lot to display your text messaging software information so that your customers can use it when they need it.
- Have your season ticket holders opt-in to receive game day notifications. Send group notifications using text communication to customers with weather updates, traffic patterns, and parking lot information.
- Deploy alcohol management teams to identify and mitigate potential hazards as a result of intoxicated persons. This also provides assurance to customers that everything is under control and is dedicated to their experience and safety. 30 minutes prior to game start, move your alcohol management and rapid response teams to entry gates. This will allow them to monitor and identify intoxicated persons and mitigate any incidents before they occur.
2. Property Access
- Run the math and use your analytics to employ appropriate staffing in order to cut line times to approximately 2:30 minutes. Not only does increased flow of lines enhance the customer experience, but it also mitigates the risk for a severe incident. It’s important to alleviate the possibility of scenarios where large crowds are bottlenecked. The increasing flow of traffic significantly reduces the opportunity for criminals to take advantage of large, crowded settings.
3. Customer Movement
- Role-play with your staff using the GUEST acronym we provide above and put it into place in order to prevent any service nightmares.
- Empower staff to acknowledge all customers they make eye contact with. This lets the customer know your team is there for them. It gives them the peace of mind you’re in control and ready to provide them with a safe and secure environment for that memorable experience they came to your property for.
- By doing all of this, you’re demonstrating the fact you hire and train staff that wants to help customers and are there when they need them.
- Mount signage, which displays your fan code of conduct and text communication information throughout your concourses and every concession point. This makes the fan code of conduct clear to customers.
- No one likes it when they lose something, and the time it can take to report a lost item can feel like salt in a wound. Implement a lost and found solution letting your customers report their lost items directly at your service locations. This is an inexpensive way to enhance the customer experience and build customer loyalty.
- Signage displayed in the concourses also acts as a deterrent for intoxicated persons. If they’re not in the right state of mind, clear signage might help put them back in line.
- Use your analytics to determine the point of sale metrics to best assess your staffing needs against the fan base for specific areas in the property.
Take note: Fan demographics change according to the size and type of event. Your staffing needs will change too.
5. Event Area Entry
- All employees need to be at their post and ready to wow customers. It’s game time!
- It’s crucial to have all employees trained on hotspots and protocols.
- Train staff on how to effectively communicate incidents occurring to the command post.
- Always mount signage that displays your fan code of conduct and text communication information – make it prominent upon entry into the event area.
6. The Event Area
- Communicate with your customers on a massive scale! Deliver light-hearted public service announcements (PSA) at specific times during the game, explaining your fan code of conduct and ways to communicate with staff in the event of an incident.
Here’s a great example: During a football game, an adequate time would be during the first timeout of the first quarter and right before the second half begins. This will ensure the most massive audience for the announcements.
- Prominently display visible static signage throughout the event area, inclusive of the fan code of conduct and text communication information. That way, when you’re not on the loudspeaker, everyone always knows you’re still in control and focused on their safety.
- Being able to exceed fan expectations is a crucial ingredient to a successful game day. Implement a customer request tracker to increase staff efficiency and enhance performance. Never overlook a wheelchair request again.
7. Property Exit
- Re-deploy your rapid response team to the parking lot anywhere from 10 minutes before the end of the game to the end of the game, depending on the activity in the event location.
- Re-deploy your police force to the parking lot complete with patrol cars and lights flashing. Along with officers on foot. This is a useful deterrent for potential hazards. To your customers, it provides assurance they will experience a safe and smooth exit from the property.
- Let your customers report lost items to the lost and found manager through your website if they missed staff in the concourses.
8. Parking Exodus
- The party’s over, but that doesn’t mean your service stops! Your employees should be waving goodbye and thanking your customers for attending the event.
- Use variable message (VM) boards with thank you messages to supplement your staff’s sendoff.
- Depending on the location of your property, re-route traffic patterns for an easy exit too. It’s one more shot to wow your customers on game day.
OVER TO YOU
Conclude your efforts and leave a smile on everyone’s face, and know your customers want more!
Hold your staff accountable for each expectation and all the ways to wow.
Measure their performance on game day and ensure they deliver professionalism, energy, and, most importantly, the friendliness you require to set the tone for a memorable customer service experience.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.