Be Better Than the Pretzel Man

I was attending a basketball game a couple years back, and I had an urge for a soft pretzel.  There was a pretzel kiosk setup in the concourse, so I got in line behind 3-4 other customers.  When it was my turn to order, I walked up to the kiosk vendor, and he was looking down at his counter where he was preparing the pretzels.  I waited, and he said nothing and did not look up.  So I asked for a pretzel, and he proceeded to pull out a sheet of wax paper, went to get a pretzel, and added some salt.  Still looking down, he put the pretzel on the counter in front of me with his right hand, and with his left hand he held up three fingers.  I pulled out three dollars, gave it to him, and with his head still looking down, he said nothing else. I took my pretzel and walked away.

The entire transaction took place, and he did not say a word. He did not look up at me. He did not seem to care.

Many sports organizations talk about the “game day experience” as if it was all about the halftime entertainment or the before game rock band playing outside the arena.  But much of the experience from the customer’s perspective relates to the interactions that they have with arena vendors and staff.  This vendor conveyed that he couldn’t care less about the customer.

Although the way he expressed it may have been to the extreme, the reality is that a lot of vendors and city/county personnel who work at sporting events do their job for the task that it is without realizing who they are doing the task for – the fans, their customers.  The more of these individuals who convey that they couldn’t care less, the more fans that you’ll get who could not care less as well.  If the employees and vendors and other game day workers act like they don’t care about the customer or customer service with their poor communications or attitudes, you’ll see more and more fans conveying that same lack of attitude or lack of respect in how they communicate with others.

Make sure that the game day experience is about more than flashy entertainment; make sure it is also about customer service.

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

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