Lean is Good Customer Service

Posted on January 24, 2012 | in Baseball, Concession Stand, Defects, Inventory, Lean Tools, Lean Wastes, Sports, Tickets, Time Savings, Waiting | by

Yesterday, new Houston Astros owner Jim Crane announced some sweeping fan-friendly changes at Minute Maid Park that included:

  • Cheaper tickets, some with food/merchandise credits
  • Ticket plan rebates
  • Beer specials all over the park
  • Allowance of food/water to be brought into the stadium

All of these items are great ideas for making fans feel welcome at the ballpark, and given the current state of the Astros’ postseason hopes in 2012 the club probably should look to do whatever it can to keep their fan base’s attention. Fans don’t like high ticket prices or high food/drink prices, so the teams should certainly consider going after those things to demonstrate that they can appreciate the fans’ interests (and their wallets).

Do you know what else fans don’t like?

Long waits at concession stands.

Dirty facilities, including broken utilities like bathrooms.

Incorrect food or drink orders.

Stockouts of food or merchandise.

Really, anything that detracts from the experience of attending a game.

Currently, getting all of those things right costs a lot of money – extra inventory, extra operators, outside repair technicians to fix problems that could re-occur, and so forth.

But it doesn’t have to!

Lean implementation can show you how to reduce customer cycle times, getting them through the line faster and back to their seats. Lean can also help you monitor and manage demand to prevent stockouts while also maintaining reasonable inventory levels in concession stands and merchandise booths. Lean can help you deliver orders correctly at a greater rate.

Doing it faster, doing it smarter, doing it correctly – that’s good customer service. Lean can do that for you.

(Hat tip to Alyson Footer, blogger of all things Astros, for sharing information from Jim Crane’s press conference.)

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