Why We Do What We Do.Posted on July 21, 2010
Why does listening to customers make sense? Why does taking care of hundreds of little things matter? Why does being interactive with fans help improve the organization? Are you kidding me? :-) I am not smart. I am not bright. I am not a good manager. As many of you say on these blog comments -- I am "clueless." But I know people who are smart -- namely YOU! And if I listen to our fans and more importantly our customers, I will be able to build an organization that is world class. It will win games. It will compete for championships. It will sell out its games. It will give back to its community. That is what it is all about. I have great personal empathy and I am a good listener. When a customer complains about something in a cogent email to me, I take the request seriously. I figure if this one person is expressing frustration with an issue, then many other people have that same issue. I don't want any customers to have any issues with us. That is a pretty simple equation. I want to remove all excuses for people NOT to love our team -- not to come to games. By the way, that is good "business" too! I may not be able to control the outcome of a game and whether we win or lose, but I certainly can control whether the building is clean or the hot dogs are fresh or the lights are dimmed the right way. If we win, if we do the right thing the right way, people will enjoy our game experience. It is, after all, ultimately programmed by you. Take the issue of the ketchup dispensers NOT being cleaned and filled at every game. I made that an issue as an example. Some people laughed it off. I was very serious about it. Last week I attended a Mystics game. I walked around the arena. I went and checked on the ketchup dispensers and I am pleased to report, they were all clean, filled, and neat -- as were the mustard dispensers too! The bathroom hinges on stalls -- they are being fixed. We have compiled a list of more than 150 things to do to date. All generated by our fans. This kind of responsiveness isn't something to be ridiculed about. It is to be celebrated, I believe. We care. We listen. We respond. In a world of bad service experience, I want us to be a shining example of a company that cares. You wanted better iPhone connectivity? We have met with AT&T and they are handling the issues at our arena. The list goes on and on. I won't ever lose sight of the big picture of how important it is for us to win and to build great teams. But we also know that having great fan relations and being an organization that is helpful, empathetic, and one that cares, is equally important. I also look to our employees at Monumental Sports and Entertainment for their advice and counsel. I hate suggestion boxes where 1 out of 100 suggestions is implemented. I want to create a culture where 99 out of 100 employee suggestions are implemented. I want our employees to be proactive. To walk a mile in our customer's shoes. To fix issues before a customer even sees it and has the time and frustration to complain directly to me. I believe this is the kind of service customers should expect in any industry. I dare anyone out there to take a differing position and tell me why NOT listening and responding to customers on any and all requests is a better strategy for success. Soon I will work with our cleaning staff after a game. I want to literally clean up after our fans. Mop the floors. Pick up the garbage and clean the seats. I want to understand what goes into the process of keeping the building clean. I want to have personal data of what is involved. I want to have real life experiences of literally every job in the building. I think that is authentic, honest, and educational. And truly productive. Thank you to all of our fans and customers of all of our teams for your emails and suggestions. Keep 'em coming. I am thrilled with how smart and caring our fans are about our teams.