I love BYU. I had an incredible experience there, got an excellent education, and am a fan for life. I also love college athletics, so my Cougars were giving me all I could wish for when the football team started the season 4-0 with a serious Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback in Taysom Hill.
Then game 5 came along. We were getting beat decisively at home early in the game, but with our quarterback a comeback was not only a hope but real possibility. After all, it was only the 2nd quarter. That’s when the unthinkable happened. Hill was tackled at an awkward angle, and just like that, a season-ending injury knocked him out of the game. Four games later, the Cougars are 4-4, all Playoff, New Years Day Bowl Game, and Heisman Trophy hopes dashed. Perhaps the saddest part is the fact that the offense has continued to produce (if not as prolifically), averaging almost 30 points per game since Hill’s injury. There are problems, but the way the defense has fallen apart has been the most glaring weakness of the past 4 games.
The last few weeks have given me plenty of reasons to give up on the Cougars, to call it a season and move on, but I haven’t and I won’t. I am a fan! Sure I wish they were winning, I wish our starting quarterback was playing, and I wish there was more to cheer about, but I’m in for the long haul. The team hasn’t given up, so neither will I. BYU as an institution took care of me and earned my loyalty, and they are still giving me reasons to be loyal.
Do your customers feel the same way about you and your institution? Have you put the time and effort into building loyalty so that when adversity comes they will stick around?
Perhaps the single best way to handle adversity is to take care of your customers before it comes. Seamless customer experience is all the rage now, and with social media and the interconnected nature of just about everything and everyone, a single problem can become a mountain of issues if the customer isn’t getting the experience he or she expects, both off- and online.
A recent blog post by eMarketer referenced a study by the CMO Council noting “a lack of alignment within [...] organizations derails projects to enhance the customer experience—an objective that requires finance, marketing, sales and customer service teams to be on the same page.”
BYU’s season got derailed by injuries, but their alignment within organizations ensured that even though I’m disappointed at the moment I’ll stick around. Do the same for your customers and whether or not you “make the playoffs”, you’ll have fans for life.