Industry Insights

How to Become a Customer-Centric Sports Organization and Why it Matters

By Melissa Wickes
August 20, 2021
3 min

A customer-centric organization considers the entire customer experience and puts the customers needs at the center of the business. Being customer-centric is crucial because ultimately, your customers are what drive profit and profit is what keeps your business growing and thriving. When every individual at your company is putting the customer at the forefront of every decision they make, that is when you can be truly successful. Here’s your crash-course to building a customer-centric sports organization:

1. Instill empathy as a company value

Understanding a customer’s emotional need allows you to be able to respond to that need effectively. According to PwC, only 38% of U.S. consumers say the employees they interact with understand their needs.

Simply saying that your organization values empathy isn’t enough to mean you actually do, however. The best way to instill empathy in your employees? Model it yourself in all your interactions with prospective customers and current members—be open-minded, be understanding, be a good listener and follow through on your promises to address their needs.

A situation that exemplifies this kind of empathy at LeagueApps occurred during the height of the pandemic last year. One of our partners needed to refund almost all of the money they had collected since partnering with LeagueApps, and this came with roadblocks and a ton of frustration, as one would imagine. It was vital for our Customer Success team to put themselves in the shoes of that partner during that uncertain and scary time; to make sure they knew we were on their team and there to support them in any way we could. That frustration quickly turned into a partnership and level of mutual respect and appreciation.

“As a Customer Success Manager (CSM), my goal is to be an extension of our partners’ team,” explains Melissa Macaluso, who has been a CSM at LeagueApps for four years now. “I don’t think that’s possible without understanding [the partner’s] goals, believing in what they’re looking to accomplish as an organization and being ready to support them in achieving all of it. It’s more than wanting them to be proficient in the technology. It’s about feeling like you’re part of their struggles and their successes. As a partner, we’re in it together and that’s my absolute favorite part of the job.”

2. Regularly collect and distribute customer insights within your organization

When an entire organization is able to understand a customer’s behavior, each employee is able to make better decisions that are focused on customer needs. Communicating this information to every department on a regular basis is key to establishing this understanding. 

At LeagueApps, we collect customer feedback via Trustpilot, Capterra, 1:1 conversations with our partners, and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for our website design service and customer support. This information is communicated throughout the company so employees can see the positive results of their customer-centric work and identify areas for improvement.  Note: Being customer-centric doesn’t just refer to the customer service arm of your business. It’s also about offering a product or service that meets a customer’s needs in every way, according to Wonderflow. 

3. Incentivize customer-centric behavior with compensation

Showing your employees positive customer insights as a result of customer-first work can go a long way, but as you know nothing goes a longer way than compensation. Consider promoting a customer-centric culture through your compensation program—for example with a short-term cash incentive plan like Adobe did—to encourage and reward empathy-driven work and to reinforce that everyone is working towards the same goal. 

4. Make it easy for customers to communicate with you  

Nothing is more frustrating or off putting than not being able to get in touch with a member of customer service when you have a problem. The same goes for your sports organization. Parents and players should be able to easily communicate with you to ask questions, provide updates, or clarify things like scheduling as simply as possible.Consider providing your members with modes of communication beyond email and text messages—like feedback forms on your website or end-of-season surveys–– so you don’t get bogged down responding to concerns and requests and so members feel supported 24/7. For more tips on providing proactive customer support and to find out how LeagueApps makes it easy to communicate with your customers, check out this product webinar we hosted at NextUp University last fall. 

To learn more about the tools LeagueApps offers to help you become a customer-centric organization, set up a call with us today.