This past weekend my 17-year old son decided to treat me to a father/son day by taking me to a Baltimore Orioles game. He paid for the tickets, drove me down, and enjoyed a nice afternoon together watching baseball.
Apart from the game, one of the things that struck me about the Orioles organization was their customer service. Once we purchased the tickets online we received an email thanking us for our purchase, with a link to download and print out our tickets. Good start, but it got better.
The day before the game the Orioles sent me another email, this time a reminder email with game information. The email included a look at the starting pitchers for the game, as well as links to information about parking, and how to get around the ball park, etc. This was helpful as I decided to print out directions just to make sure we knew where to go once we hit the city.
The game was fun, even though the Orioles lost, and my son and I enjoyed our first visit to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. But what really took me by surprise was the email I received the day after the game offering me a recap of the game and thanking me for attending. The email included the basic box score, a link to video highlights, a survey to offer feedback, and the chance to purchase tickets for future games.
Sure, all of these emails were automated, but they all had my name it, and the timing was perfect. If I were an Orioles fan and lived closer, it might have had an impact on me going to future games.
I think this is where a lot of businesses fall down; they forget the followup.
Customer service starts the moment you have your first contact with a customer and theoretically never ends. The followup email from the Orioles was a nice touch. The game was over and I’d moved on, but they weren’t done with me. They wanted to remind me of my time at the park and nurture me along to become a repeat customer.
Now remember, I’m a Phillies fan. To the core. I’ve gone to Phillies games in the past and have gotten that first ticket purchase email, but never the 2nd or 3rd email. All teams and businesses could learn from this. Stick with your customers even after their purchase. Provide them with useful and helpful information. And invite them to seek you out again.
Certainly there can be a fine line between this type of customer service and becoming spammy, but it’s worth figuring out how to make it happen. Also, remember that proactive customer service is just as important, if not more so, than reactive customer service.
Oh, and kudos to the Orioles’ organization. Every employee with whom we came in contact was incredibly pleasant and helpful. Despite the heat, they seemed genuinely happy to be there. When my son went to purchase a program, the first woman told us she was sold out but told us where we could find one. When the next guy told us he was sold out, he also mentioned that he’d be getting more in about ten minutes, and we could hang out and wait. Sure enough, the box of programs came as promised. From the ushers to the concession employees, everyone was having a good time, and that made our experience that much better.
Thank you, Baltimore Orioles, for a great experience.
How are you following up with your customers? Do they know that you value them even after you’ve gotten their money?