We’ll start with the Good.
In the bleacherreport.com article Roger Goodell and The NFL: Is Good Customer Service Still Alive and Kicking?, Jeff Cockery describes how the NFL dealt with 1,250 fans who had bought tickets for the Super Bowl only to be told they couldn’t sit in their seats due to fire code violations. The NFL found a way to relocate 850 of the fans, and then gave the other 400 a triple refund (they got paid $2,400 for $800 seats), got to watch the game in the stadium in a club behind the Steelers bench, received free merchandise, free food, and tickets to next year’s Super Bowl.
Wow! Almost makes me wish my seat won’t be up to code when I go to my next sporting event! Of course, that assumes that other sports organizations get customer service and loyalty like Goodell and the NFL league office did.
Now let’s go to the Bad and the Ugly.
Why did this happen in the first place? What was the root cause of the problem? How in the world could you successfully build a $1 Billion+ stadium and not be able to add 1,250 seats that meet code? And how do you not get it inspected early enough to rectify any problems if they arose? Is it poor planning, decision-making without the customer in mind, poor selection of a contractor, poorly designed agreements with contractors, or just plain greedy decision-making?
I don’t know the answer, but I hope somebody in the NFL or the Cowboys organization will find out. If they care about continuously improving, about getting better, about the customer, they’ll learn from this in a way that permeates the organizations. This error that impacted barely 1% of their stadium fans has generated more negative publicity than the additional revenue could ever have provided. And what saved the day (at least for now)? Customer service.
Let customer service guide your decision-making and actions up front, so you don’t have to use customer service on the backend to try to create something Good out of something Bad and Ugly.
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