New Jersey Nets CEO Opens Customer Playbook

Customer Experience
Customer Experience

The NBA's
New Jersey Nets basketball team has a winning record on the court. But it's the top-down commitment to customers off the court that keep fans coming back, whether the team wins or loses. Nets CEO Brett Yormark recently sat down with 1to1 Magazine Managing Editor Mila D'Antonio to discuss the little things that make a big difference for customer relationships, especially with news the team is moving to Brooklyn in the near future. We captured their conversation in a
1to1 on the Run
podcast; below is an excerpt.

I understand your goal is to build the Nets as a brand. How does your one-to-one strategy play a part in that?

Customer service, satisfaction, and retention are all big parts of our business. That we go out there and drive new
business making sure that we retain our current customer base is very important. If you speak to anyone who runs a company they'll tell you that it's a lot easier to retain a customer than to go out and find a new one. With viral
marketing today as a big part of how people build brands, we want anyone who touches our product or brand to have
a great experience. We've really invested in that personalization of the overall experience.

We're doing a lot of different things that resemble best-in-class experiences. Whether it's coat checks at the Nissan
courtside club, nameplates on Hollywood seats, or just personalized service for clients that we provide in our
lounges, we're truly trying to do things differently and let people know we care.

You even often times go into the seats and talk to season ticket holders. Why do you do that and is it effective?

I'm a little hyper, so I have to walk off my nervous energy during the game. But more than that I consider myself the
host of the game. I want to humanize our front office. So I walk around the court, shake hands, give out business cards. It's like a restaurant with a maitre d'. He checks in, asks "How are things going," "How is your meal," "What can we do for you?" So it's not just a waiter and wait staff, but the executive team that's doing that as well. That's what I do. I shake the hands of every usher and security guard when I come in at night. They know me by name. I'm a grounded guy who likes to extend himself to make everyone feel good.

Will these programs be significant in retaining your customers as you move to Brooklyn?

Yes, I think so. What I think being all-access does is provide fan avidity. Fans are becoming more avid and
connected to our franchise because of all the things we're providing them. Hopefully that will translate into a level
of commitment and loyalty as we get to Brooklyn. But I'm not as much concerned with people coming to Brooklyn who
are with us now as I am giving them the best value proposition we can right now. Unfortunately there are some
challenges inherent in going to Brooklyn for some fans and I realize that. Some of them might not go to 41 games, but
they might go to 10 or 15 and still be fans. I don't look at it as a retention program to Brooklyn as much as I do a
retention plan while we're still in New Jersey. And if those fans want to move with us to Brooklyn, boy we'd love to
have them.

Listen to Yormark discuss more about customer value, Nets customer communities, and the "NASCARizing" of the
Nets in the 1to1 on the Run podcast,
"Nothing but Nets."