Sports Team Disappointment: A Customer Service Issue?
It never struck my mind when the Mets blew their chances of October baseball this past weekend, during their downward spiral in the last several weeks, or even following the game I attended during which the team lost, that I should call the ownership and complain about the service provided to me as a paying customer.
It’s good to know the team is looking out for its fans; I just received an email from the Mets:
All of us at the Mets are bitterly disappointed in failing to achieve our collective goal of building upon last year’s success. We did not meet our organization’s expectations — or yours. Everyone at Shea feels the same range of emotions as you — our loyal fans — and we know we have let you down. We wanted to thank you for your record-breaking support of our team this year.
Equally important, Ownership will continue its commitment in providing the resources necessary to field a championship team. Omar will be meeting with Ownership shortly to present his plan on addressing our shortcomings so that we can achieve our goal of winning championships in 2008 and beyond.
You deserve better results. Many thanks again for your record-breaking support.
First of all, I never thought of my relationship of fan-to-team as customer-to-service-provider, but that interpretation is accurate. The last two years, Mets fans have come to expect a certain level of service — winning — and this particular service deteriorated in the last month of the season. I would never expect an apology letter from management because I understand sports — you win some, you lose some. But this is interesting.
There are many companies I’ve dealt with that could learn from this example. Mets management is proactive with communication rather than denying the problem. Some companies simply lie to their customers. Others let management problems remain unfixed for much longer than appropriate. (See TIAA-Cref for an example.)
Next thing you know, teams will start compensating spectators for games lost.
Photo credit: Ed Betz/AP