Monday, April 30, 2007

Little Johnny

For those that don't know me, I am a freak about customer service. That being said, I am still not thrilled with the level of customer service we provide at Vanderbilt events. I think it is very good, however my expectations are closer to Disney than to a college football game.

Enter Johnny.

While incredibly cheesy, and closely resembling some sort of powerpoint chain email my Mom might send, the message should come through loud and clear.

Make a difference. Impact one of your customers in a special, unexpected way.

While we certainly are not quite the caliber of Johnny, we have a pretty good program called Deputy Dores where we provide "random acts of kindness" to our patrons. These 'random' acts are hardly random at all, only random in that they appear to be random to the fan who receives one of them. The experiences can range from a free golf cart ride from the parking lot, complimentary concessions for an entire family, a seat upgrade from the rafters of basketball to the 3rd row (but we do not make a big scene about it like some people's Best Seats in the House), or handing out free Kid Commodore hats and face tattoos.

We estimate that our 40 Deputy Dores "touch" or provide Magic Moments (yea, stolen from Disney) to about 500 fans per game or 3,000 people over the course of a 6 game football season. Obviously there is some possible overlap, but if 3,000 people tell 10 fiends about their "Magic Moment" we have imprinted a positive image of a Vanderbilt game on 30,000 potential VU fans. That is the kind of viral marketing we could be proud of.

We have not cured cancer or anything, but these types of programs are far underutilized when creating a solid marketing plan. So go put the 'ole phrase (it takes $7 more to attract a new customer as to retain a current one) to practical use. Yea, I said it, take your AD BUDGET to fund your Magic Moment program.

Take care.

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