I recently had coffee with the director of the largest youth sports league in my territory. Keep in mind that this was the league that I was told I could NEVER compete with because they are just too big and too strong. As we were talking the subject of dealing with parent inquiries came up. I told him about our Customer Service Center and how they answer all of our calls for us and what a great job they do. He said that sounded great, because the official league office telephone number for their league was his personal cell phone. How do you deal with all of those calls I asked? Here is his exact quote: “We do our best to make sure nobody gets the number.”
Think I made that up? Nope. Absolutely true story. Your average youth league director does not look at parents as customers. Rather, they see themselves as providing a valuable service that parents should be thanking them for taking the time to do. The general feeling among most league administrators is this is how we do things and if you don’t like it, volunteer yourself. And, in truth, if they are volunteers then they are right to feel how they do. The challenge is that today’s parents are willing to pay more for better. Existing leagues just haven’t gotten the message. Those of us who run youth sports leagues as a business know that if we want to succeed we have to earn our parent’s business every day. One way we do it is through amazing customer service.
Do you still think that a youth sports franchise won’t work in your area because of the number and strength of the competition? Give the local leagues a call and see what happens.