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So, what’s the plan?


Have you not been asking yourself this question 4000 times a day?

So, what’s the plan on testing?

So, what’s the plan on a vaccine?

So, what’s the plan on boosting my immune system naturally?

So, what’s the plan on stopping boredom eating?

So, what’s the plan on reopening our businesses?

Aside from boosting my immune system and stopping boredom eating, I don’t have the exact steps or timelines to give you. What I do know is that we must take a step forward. That first step forward is planning and looking at all the options and potential scenarios while looking at past experiences to help navigate this situation the best we can.

During my conversation with teams and venues we have been talking about what the future of live sports and entertainment will look like. To help prepare for the next steps, I am referring back to my experience with the heighten security protocols that I was tasked with leading after the Boston Marathon bombing. It had these 3 components:

  1. Safety of employees and fans

  2. Uncertainty

  3. New guidelines and operational processes – staffing, venue, business operations and the fans

These 3 components are currently needing to be applied to the situation we are facing now. So, what's the plan on how to implement them? Let’s take a look.

1: Safety is the highest

  • Ask your customer. Understanding the needs of the customer and what makes them feel comfortable doing business with you is more important than ever! I wrote about this a few days ago and I happy to see survey emails coming in from companies asking for my thoughts on what the next steps would feel like to me, and what would make me feel most comfortable.

  • Guidelines will be passed down from government and league offices. The goal should be to implement them with the fan’s best interest in mind, not what is easiest operationally.

  • Past Experience Example: Clear bags were sent with all season tickets. We also had clear bags for service staff to give to fans at the venue to assist and take the fan first approach. I personally walked every gate with stadium staff to understand what the lines would look like, how much time it would take to wand and how we would control the crowds.

  • How to apply now: Send masks with all season tickets. It does a few things: 1) provides a needed item for safety and calms the uncertainty 2) it reduces demand for this item on the open market so that other business can fullfill their needs 3) you can also take this supply and give them to workers in venue and 4) fans can show off your teams spirit.

2: Uncertainty

  • Everyone is going to respond different to these situations. The important thing to remember is not to take your customers hostage and force them to adhere to the policies that the company has set in place!

  • Example of conversations with customers - first and foremost, empower employees to do what is right for the customer!

  • Q: A fan doesn’t feel comfortable attending games.

  • Response: I understand, and I am here to assist you.

  • Action Step: Refund their money and put them first in line next season to purchase tickets.

  • Q: A fan is unsure about what is going to happen, but wants to keep their seats.

  • R: I understand, and I am here to assist you.

  • Action Step: Set up a payment plan throughout the season with the option for the fan to resell their tickets.

  • Q: A fan is terribly upset that the team would even think about playing games with fans in the stands.

  • R: I understand how you feel, let me provide you with a few options.

  • Action Step: any of the above…and other creative ones you come up with!

3: New guidelines

  • Past Experience Example: Communication was constant, email, radio, print, social and on every digital and regular ticket and parking passes. Staff was assigned outside the venue and in parking lots with signs advising of new guidelines and where the bag check was located.

  • How to apply now: Communicate with fan base in every way available to help them understand the new guidelines, what will be provided for them and how they will be kept safe.

  • Staff your service department accordingly so they can handle the call/email/chat and everything in between! Don’t frustrate your customers because they have to wait on hold to get an answer.

​If you remember back, there were a lot of upset, confused, and frustrated fans. When we rolled out the new guidelines, operational we had hick-ups. After each game, we reviewed, adjusted and tried to make the transition as best as possible for fans until the feeling and process wasn’t new anymore...it became the new normal!

Need assistance getting your plan off the ground? Contact me today.

Debbie

4 Areas of Focus to Deliver Winning Service

During Uncertain Times

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