There are times when the best tool in customer service is…a calculator.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (a Major League Baseball team) got a PR black eye recently when it told ticket holders to redeem vouchers for their “advanced ticket packages” (about 7,000 were sold) at the stadium starting on a Tuesday at 9 a.m. Just to set the stage – there was a potential for thousands of fans to show up at the stadium at the same time to select seats.
Almost needless to say, this didn’t turn out well. In the article Angels’ ticketing fiasco is latest case of bad customer service, the author notes that 1,000-2,000 people showed up, and no more than “a few hundred” made it through the line by the time the box office closed at 530p.
Angels management told the author that essentially: (1) There were a lot of people wanting vouchers, (2) It takes a while for each person to select seats, and (3) What did you expect?
The bigger question is “Why didn’t the Angels use a calculator?” If they would have estimated a conservative 1,000 people at 8 minutes per transaction, then that’s 133 staff hours required. If you’re only open 9 hours, you need at least 15 booths open the full 9 hours. That’s BARE MINIMUM. In fact, they had as many as 2,000 people there and only had 7 booths open. They should have known weeks in advance that this was a major blunder waiting to happen by simply taking out a calculator and pushing a few buttons.
If customer service is important to your organization, and you have an upcoming event, do simple projections on volumes and workload, and make sure you have the staffing to support it.
Customers care about their time. Take a minute and grab a calculator to ensure you can show that you care about their time by minimizing waits.
Think this is interesting? See our work in Professional Sports at: http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm