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  • Kuba Płonka

Unveiling Winning Customer Success Strategies Inspired by the World of Sports

Learn How the Winning Strategies and Innovation of Sports Clubs Can Revolutionize Your Customer Success and Enhance the Customer Experience.


Fans celebrating, yellw shining start behind them

Table of content

  1. Intro

  2. Examples of CS strategies from sports clubs

  3. Fostering Community

  4. Personalization That Matters

  5. The Power of Consistency

  6. Storytelling That Resonates

  7. The Element of Surprise

  8. Resilience and Learning

  9. Wrap-up


56% of consumers say most companies treat them like numbers

Salesforce



Being responsible for the growth of the SaaS product is not an easy task nowadays.


We need to look at our direct and indirect competitors, understand our customer needs and, on top of that, focus on metrics, data analysis, and the latest software trends. In this complex and demanding environment, losing track and focus is easy, leading to more severe problems.


To overcome that, we often look for inspiration in different places, often unrelated to technology and software; however, we often overlook a valuable source of inspiration - the world of sports clubs.


You might wonder, "What can sports teach us about customer success in the digital world?" Well, let's dive in.



Insights from the Playbooks of Renowned Clubs and Practical SaaS Implementations


It takes months to find a customer…seconds to lose one

Vince Lombardi, former American football player, coach, and National Football League Executive.



Have you ever paused to reflect on the extraordinary ability of professional sports clubs to craft exhilarating and unforgettable experiences, irrespective of the sport in question?


Think about your most cherished memories from the past five years - you'll likely find many of them intertwined with the realm of sports.


Sports possess a unique knack for seizing our hearts, whether it's the heart-pounding thrill of a game-changing goal, the unifying power and passion of fans, or the raw emotions accompanying victory and defeat.


Sports clubs, spanning the spectrum from football to basketball, have honed the craft of instilling engagement, trust, and unwavering loyalty among their supporters.


They've truly mastered the art of kindling fervour, establishing trust, and nurturing unbreakable bonds with their fans. It doesn't matter if it's football, basketball, or any other sport - the strategies and tactics employed by these clubs are nothing short of remarkable.


Let's explore some real-life examples from the sports world that will inspire you. We'll extract valuable lessons from these examples that can serve as a guiding blueprint for your customer success strategy in the realm of SaaS and digital products.



Fostering Community


Sports clubs are experts at creating a sense of community among their fans. For instance, take Liverpool FC, with its global "Liverpool Family." They organise events like "Anfield Nights," where fans interact with former players, building a strong sense of belonging.


Similarly, the Golden State Warriors run basketball camps for kids, nurturing a community of young fans who grow up loving the sport and the team.



Customer Success learning is: Building a solid customer community isn't just about engagement; it's a cornerstone of trust and loyalty in the SaaS world.

Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:


  • Initiative: Create an exclusive online community platform for your SaaS product users where they can interact, share experiences, and offer support to one another.

  • Smart Goal: Increase community membership by 20% in six months.

  • Metric: Track the number of new community members’ engagement levels through posts, comments, and discussions.

Personalization That Matters

Think about how your favourite sports team sends you personalised updates and offers. FC Barcelona uses data analytics to tailor their communication to individual preferences. If you prefer a particular player, you'll receive updates and offers related to them.

The lesson: Personalization isn't just about knowing your customers' names; it's about understanding their needs and preferences in the SaaS landscape

Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:

  • Initiative: Implement user behaviour tracking to provide each customer with personalised product recommendations and content.

  • Smart Goal: Increase the click-through rate on personalised recommendations by 15% within three months.

  • Metric: Measure the click-through rate on personalised recommendations and the overall customer engagement levels.

The Power of Consistency

In sports, delivering consistent performance is non-negotiable. Fans expect their team to excel in every game, not just occasionally. The New England Patriots have consistently performed well in the NFL over the years, earning the trust and loyalty of fans worldwide.

We can take that consistency and reliability as your foundation for SaaS Customer Success. Meeting your customers' expectations consistently is how you build trust, which is gold in the digital realm.

Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:

  • Initiative: Develop a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees a response to customer inquiries within a specified timeframe.

  • Smart Goal: Achieve a 95% customer satisfaction rate regarding response times within one quarter.

  • Metric: Monitor customer satisfaction scores and response time metrics.

Storytelling That Resonates


Sports clubs are masters of storytelling. They share their team's history, iconic moments, and the personal journeys of players. The Chicago Cubs' long history of challenges and triumphs, including their 2016 World Series win, is a compelling narrative that resonates with fans and keeps them engaged.


The customer experience lesson we can learn here is to use storytelling to humanise your SaaS brand and create emotional bonds with your customers. It's not just about features; it's about creating a connection.


Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:


  • Initiative: Launch a series of customer success stories and case studies highlighting how your product solved real problems for users.

  • Smart Goal: Increase website engagement by 25% through storytelling content within six months.

  • Metric: Track website engagement, including page views and time spent on storytelling content.


The Element of Surprise


Sometimes, sports clubs surprise their fans with unexpected gestures. Manchester City, for example, created a mini-pitch in a remote village in India, showing their commitment to global fans and the sport's development.


The lesson is that small surprises and acts of appreciation can go a long way in building loyalty. These unexpected delights can set you apart, whether it's an unexpected feature update or a special discount.


Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:


  • Initiative: Introduce a monthly random "Thank You" gift for active users, such as extended trial periods or access to premium features.

  • Smart Goal: Increase customer retention by 10% by the end of the year.

  • Metric: Monitor the retention rate and customer feedback regarding the "Thank You" gifts.


Resilience and Learning


Sports clubs face losses and setbacks, and it's not about avoiding them but how they handle adversity that matters.

After breaking the "Curse of the Bambino" by winning the 2004 World Series, the Boston Red Sox faced a challenging period but came back stronger, winning multiple championships.


The lesson for your businesses is clear: acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them, and demonstrate a commitment to improvement. It's not about being perfect; it's about showing your dedication to getting better.


Here's an example to illustrate how you can apply this lesson within your team:


  • Initiative: Establish a dedicated customer feedback system to promptly address and resolve customer complaints or issues.

  • Smart Goal: Reduce customer complaints by 20% within three months.

  • Metric: Track the number of customer complaints and the time taken to resolve them to ensure a smoother customer experience.


Wrap-up


The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and a retail visionary



In the rapidly evolving world of customer success for SaaS and digital products, we can gain many insights from the strategies employed by sports clubs.

A strong sense of community, personalised interactions, consistent messaging, compelling storytelling, the ability to surprise and delight, and the skill to navigate through adversity are all important lessons we can learn.

So, it's time to put on your jersey and get ready to apply these strategies to drive engagement, foster trust, and build loyalty among your customers.

By adopting these winning tactics, you can make your customer success journey equally exciting and rewarding, just like a successful sports team!

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