Sports Leaders Taking Notes on USEF’s Innovative Customer Care Center
RELEASE: May 20, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Stacey Meier
Lexington, KY— In days gone by, you could pick up the phone, dial the number of an organization and talk to the voice of a helpful employee, located within said organization (instead of a secretly positioned call center halfway across the world).
At the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), those days never left. In fact lately, the initiative to provide personalized customer service has been on an exponential curve upward. John Long, USEF CEO, says the Customer Care Center, implemented in 2008, is behind it all. With just under a dozen dedicated staff members, the center takes care of everything from greeting on-site visitors to fielding the thousands of phone calls that come in each month.
The innovative concept took center stage recently, at the business conference for the Association of Chief Executives for Sport (ACES) hosted at the USOC’s Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“Our ability to give great customer service is higher today than it has ever been,” Long shared. “We’re hearing that from our members on a daily basis. When I visit our Customer Care Center and listen to the individual calls, it’s clear—each and every call is treated as though it is the most important call happening all day.”
“Every dollar we save in administrative costs and overhead is a dollar we can put back into sport programs,” he added, referring to how the center has helped streamline day-to-day operations.
Standing before dozens of fellow National Governing Body leaders at the conference, Long delivered a multi-media message, touting exceptional customer care while keeping the budget in the black. Not surprisingly, the message turned more than a few heads.
“The USEF is the model of the leading edge of customer service,” said Stephen Ducoff, CEO of ACES. “Their call center is an example of taking a proactive approach to being responsive to member service. Our members were intrigued with the initiative and I'm sure there will be inquiries from across the National Governing Bodies for more information.”
“After listening to John and watching the video, I immediately went to our Operations Director and said ‘That’s what we need’,” said Skip Gilbert, Executive Director of USA Triathlon. “My hat’s off to John and his staff for taking a proactive approach to creating a tremendous customer service program.”
Hats off to Teresa Stephens-Carroll as well, the hand-picked director of USEF’s Customer Care Center, who Long says has been vital in making the implementation of the whole project a success.
“The enthusiasm and energy I see in our Customer Care Center is contagious,” Stephens-Carroll says earnestly. “Going the extra mile has become part of the every day routine.”
To watch the video shown by John Long during his presentation at the USOC, simply visit ClubEquestrian.com and look for “Welcome to the USEF’s Customer Care Center” or visit this direct link: http://www.clubequestrian.com/videos/watch/1123767525.aspx