As a sports manager, a vitally important part of your job is taking care of your customers at your sporting venue. You need to continually be aware of your customer care skills as if they begin to feel that you’re not taking care of them, and they go elsewhere, your business will suffer immensely. There are three skills that you, as a sports manager, can adopt to make your sports management customers feel like kings and queens: active listening skills, empathising with your clients and taking the initiative.
Sports Management customer care skills
Active listening skills
Hearing and listening are two different activities. Hearing requires only functioning ears while listening requires comprehension, minimal distraction and suspending your opinions while the other person is speaking.
Alison Doyle explains more about what active listening skills are:
“Active listening is the process by which an individual secures information from another individual or group. The “active” element involves taking steps to draw out information that might not otherwise be shared.”
Here are three examples of active listening techniques that sports managers can use:
- Focus: Don’t allow background noise to distract you. Make regular eye contact with the person you’re speaking with.
- Body language: Listen with your body. Good listeners will often lean in towards a speaker and nod their head. Don’t fidget because this indicates to the listener that you’re not really focusing on them.
- Ask questions: The simple act of asking puts you in a more open mindset. Asking questions is itself a form of listening which allows you to learn more about the person or subject. This act also alerts your brain that more information will arrive. This means that you’ll be kept open to receiving new ideas and perspectives.
Be empathetic to your sports management customers’ needs
We’ve all been in situations where we were tongue tied or struggled to get the conversation going. The empathy technique is a technique that draws on your ability to listen and ask questions. It’s a good technique to open up a conversation and is useful for shy sports managers who might otherwise struggle to initiate and maintain a conversation.
The following five steps will help sports managers practise empathy as a technique with your customers:
- Greet the person.
- Ask a question.
- Acknowledge the other person by feeding back part of their response. If they have given you their name, use it in the next sentence. Summarise all or a part of what they have said. Where it feels right, use their actual words. This shows them that you were listening attentively.
- Build on their response by providing additional information.
- Ask another question.
Take the initiative
Taking the initiative – or being assertive – is about being able to express your thoughts, feelings and beliefs in an honest and upfront way that takes into account the rights and feelings of other people. Generally speaking your clients at your sporting facility will expect honest and frankness in negotiation as you are providing them with a service that they are paying for.
To become a sports manager, sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Sports Management Certification. This first-rate sports management course will turn you into the best sports manager ever!
On this course, you’ll learn:
- The ins and outs of managing the sporting environment, including developing organisational structures for sporting activities as well as how to manage finances in the sporting environment.
- How to respond to your athlete’s personal development needs.
- The golden rules of communication that all sports managers need to know.
- How to cultivate ethical behaviour in a sports environment.
- What impact does HIV/Aids have in the sporting environment?
- Integrating people, who are suffering from disabilities, into sports.
- How is HR ‘done’ in a sporting environment?
- How to manage and administer a sporting tournament, both from an events and sporting point of view.
- Marketing your sporting events to potential ticket holders.
Our Sports Management Certification is highly acclaimed. This certification is accredited through the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA ID 60309 Level 5).
In addition, Trifocus Fitness Academy itself is accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa (REPPSA). This means that every student who graduates with us, armed with a sports management certification, gets listed on this prestigious database of exercise professionals. You’ll be able to work anywhere in the world with your sports management qualification!