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Peter Wilt: 'Exceed Fan Expectations'
Pitch Invasion , August 27th, 2009 4PM

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Peter Wilt, former president and GM of the Chicago Fire and current president of the WPS's Red Stars, writes a guest column on Tom Dunmore's site, Pitch Invasion. Wilt focuses on winning American fans via good customer service. "It seems rather self evident," Wilt says, "but surprisingly few businesses in general and few soccer teams in particular seem to properly navigate the intricate world of customer service to the point that they create an organizational culture of it."

To help fans have a fun experience, Wilt emphasizes the importance of both responding to fan complaints and "exceeding fan expectations when interacting with the organization." Wilt recommends maintaining positive communication with club supporter groups and with stadium personnel so that the club can help address any issues in a sympathetic and positive way. Wilt also reveals how he stays connected to the pulses of fans by participating in discussions on soccer forums like Big Soccer. "I've found over the years that posting on Big Soccer or other soccer forums can effectively resolve contentious issues, clear up public misunderstandings and answer legitimate questions by our most engaged fans," Wilt writes.

Wilt views good customer service as the most cost-effective and viral way a club can market itself. Developing such a responsive and positive relationship with fans takes time, Wilt says, but "the result is a team and organization that fans, sponsors, media and observers all feel good about and willing to support and even evangelize. And that is something that no advertising budget can buy."

 

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