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Customer service


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"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."
Customer service, in a nutshell, is meeting the needs of the players.
But what is it they need exactly? What can we do beyond what they need and expect? And how can the most unhappy players be our greatest source of learning?

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Customer service

  1. 1. Zohar Finkel Europe - East Summer Conference 2017
  2. 2. Symbiosis Players rely on Judges Without Players, Judges have no purpose
  3. 3. Player Perception It’s important that judges are perceived as being helpful. That way players will be comfortable asking for help with: - Rule questions - Dealing with infractions
  4. 4. And… Where’s the bathrooms? How long until next round? Can I make it to Top 8? Where can I find basic lands? Etc’… Players expect Judges to know everything and fix every problem
  5. 5. Attendance goes up Players tell friends Good experience Bad experience Players tell friends Attendance goes down Your performance matters
  6. 6. It’s not just “what”, but “how” The majority of our interactions with customers will occur during judge calls. - Be alert. Look for calls. - Make eye contact & raise your hand. - Pace, don’t run.
  7. 7. Answering calls - Make eye contact with both player, not just the one who called. - Kneel/Put your hands at the table. - Ask the players “How can I help you?” - You are there to help. - Hear, acknowledge, and reassure both sides.
  8. 8. How are you perceived? -That judge is working instead of standing around. - That judge wants the playing area to look more presentable and professional. - That judge looks like he or she is willing to help. - If I call on that judge for help, it’s likely that he or she will help me.
  9. 9. How are you perceived? -Those judges are standing around instead of working…
  10. 10. Other than answering calls, What else can judges do to be perceived better? - Study the rules and policy. - Make announcements. - Picking up trash. - Pushing in chairs. - Fixing table clothes. - Helping players with registration. - Know where the bathrooms, ATMs, and food court are. - Sit on a table at the end of the round. - Keep basic lands and/or token cards at hand. - If a player doesn’t understand something, do not leave the table. Take the time to explain an interaction or penalty.
  11. 11. Smile How does this smiley make you feel? Just trust me on this one. Have Fun!
  12. 12. But don’t force it… )It’s easy to spot a fake(
  13. 13. Losing sucks Should we cheer the players up? Talk to them: - Consoled their losses. - Ask if they had fun. Outcome: - Leave on a positive note. - Convey appreciation. - Fosters a relationship.
  14. 14. Not just the players Should we care about someone not in the tournament? Yes: - They influence existing players. - They are potential players. - They share experience. Outcome: - Goes a long way for that person. - Shows Judges aren’t just robotic authority figures, but care.
  15. 15. Self Care Know thyself Check: - Are you tired? - Are you thirsty/hungry? - Are you feeling OK? Outcome: - Other judges can take over. - Players won't have to deal with a grumpy fatigued Judge.
  16. 16. Mistakes Should we risk the wrath of the players, and correct our rulings? Yes: - You owe them that much. - Better they hear now than later. - Apologies earn respect. Outcome: - Avoid future mistakes. - Creates trust in the long run.
  17. 17. Anger Players irritated about the situation might let it out on the judge. What to do: - Remember they’re not mad at you. - Tell them what’s going on. - Call in another Judge/the TO. Outcome: - Lower anger levels. - Players will know they are treated fairly. Likewise, something about a person could triggers your reaction.