Learning From the Super Bowl and the NFL About CRM

On Sunday I was at the Super Bowl working for the NFL as an NFL owner liaison. In this capacity one of my responsibilities was to work with one of the clubs (NFL teams) and assist them in getting to and from various NFL events – including the Super Bowl.

How does this relate to customer relationship management (CRM)?

CRM is all about knowing your customers, anticipating their needs, making them feel special, and making them want to buy from you again and again.
NFL owners are the driving force to make the NFL what it is. They have the money to invest in teams and work with the NFL to ensure the “show” goes on each and every week.

Of course the players, or the “talent,” are the other important component of the NFL operation as well.

During the Super Bowl and at other NFL events during Super Bowl week, we ensured the owners felt special. Here’s how:

  1. Anticipate your customer’s needs. The NFL works hard to understand and anticipate its owners’ needs. It could be something as important as do they need handicap access or as small as do they prefer to walk or take a car. CRM can help you do this for your customers. Anticipating their needs not only reduces your stress level but makes the entire experience better for your customers.
  2. Ask questions. The NFL constantly asks owners how they (the owner) can be served better. If you never ask your customers questions, how will you know how you are doing? You can use your CRM system to constantly survey your customers to gain better insight into their needs and evaluate your own services and products.
  3. Be involved in your customers. During the Super Bowl and other NFL events the NFL staff was not in an ivory tower sitting around. They were involved and around the owners. As a small business owner, if you are not visiting your customers, interacting with them (beyond just the sale), then you really don’t know them. 
  4. Train your staff. I was the most junior member of the NFL owner liaison team. However, I was trained well and in constant communication with my supervisor. Your CRM is best leveraged when your staff is trained in its use. If your most junior staff member has an awesome interaction with a customer, in the field, that interaction needs to be input into your CRM system.
  5. Constantly evaluate. The NFL produces BIG events – with the Super Bowl probably being the biggest one of the year. They are always looking for ways to make their events better and better and better. Analyzing your CRM can help you improve your small business operations and improve the results.

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