Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma City Thunder’
Get Your Customer Service On: The Impact of Pete Winemiller
Impact Strategy & Leaders
Winemiller, who currently serves as senior vice president of guest relations for the Oklahoma City Thunder, has one vision: “to be the most fan-centric organization in professional sports.”
It’s a vision that he knows won’t be achieved by accident. In recent years, while Kevin Durant and the rest of the team have been sweating it out at training camp, Winemiller’s customer service team was working through an intensive training program that not only certifies them as “CLICK! Certified Front-Line Team Members,” but also empowers them to take ownership of any guest’s problem… and create changes in the moment.
At the core of this philosophy is helping his staff understand what it means to “CLICK” with customers, an acronym that spells out the Thunder’s award-winning customer service program:
• Communicate courteously with guests
• Listen to learn, rather than listening to respond
• Initiate immediately, so that a guest’s concerns are met quickly and effectively
• Create connections so guests know they are among hospitable friends
• Know your stuff… so guests know that they’re interacting with a professional
It’s a concept that plays out in a thousand ways every time the Thunder hits the hardwood. From approaching a fan who appears to have trouble finding his seats to knowing where the nearest restroom is to simply flashing a warm smile, Winemiller emphasizes the little things that add up to a consistent fan experience and enhanced fan loyalty.
“Business goes where it’s invited, but stays where it’s appreciated,” says Winemiller. “Rarely do leaders realize that creating repeat customers requires chipping away at achieving loyalty by doing a ot of little things well that make the difference. It’s not doing one thing one-hundred percent better, but rather one-hundred things one percent better.”
Winemiller emphasizes this by outfitting every staff member with a lanyard and CLICK! card, on which they’ve each written their own personal “one thing.” And his ideas are reinforced to his army of “Guest Care Leaders” in the form of signs that adorn almost every “backstage” passageway of Chesapeake Arena.
With messages like, “Through this doorway passes the most fancentric arena staff in America!” and “CLICK! Like a Champion Today,” Winemiller’s staff is constantly reminded of their critical contribution to the Thunder fan experience – and the Thunder’s bottom line.
The result is a team of staff members who are motivated and empowered.
“Even being a former Disney cast member, I was excited and energized to hear the Thunder’s guest service philosophy,” says one. “I’ve worked for several great professional sports organizations, but . . . this is the best I’ve ever witnessed.”
It’s clear Winemiller’s concepts “click” with fans as well, a fact reflected not only in the franchise’s stellar retention rate of season ticket-members – their single largest source of revenue – but also in the little ways fans express their appreciation on a regular basis.
“I have been so impressed with the level of attention and service I received. I bought the ten-dollar tickets for my son, and I wasn’t sure how much attention the ‘cheap seats’ would receive,” relates one satisfied Thunder fan. “It is wonderful to support an organization that truly appreciates my business. I have told everyone what a great experience this has been.