Chris Pezman, the new Athletics Director at UH, will jump into a department in transition in many ways. Pezman will be responsible for finishing construction on multiple new facilities. While facilities are important to UH’s future, so too is the the new AD’s approach to customer service. Pezman should appoint an executive to address customer service and engage the fans on a full-time basis.
I propose the department hire an Associate AD for Fan Experience (FanEx for short). The FanEx will be a direct advocate for the fans and will improve how Athletics interacts with it’s customers. Too often, UH repels alumni, fans, and donors with minor slights and poor service.
Complaints from current UH fans usually involve the ticket office, game day operations, lack of attendance, concessions, and game times. Many of those issues are intertwined yet are pushed to different departments, usually receiving little to no attention. With a point person for customer service, fan criticisms can be directed to one individual – a clearinghouse ready to make things right.
Customer Service: A Department-wide Objective
Improving the customer experience must be a department-wide objective. The FanEx will coordinate the joint efforts of marketing, the ticket office, game operations and event management, communications, and Cougar Pride. With the full backing of the AD, the FanEx will establish a fan-first agenda that advances the UH brand.
As the advocate for the customer, the FanEx should be responsive to fan needs regarding donations, tickets, special events, tailgating, in-stadium, and communication with AD officials.
In Part 2, I examine specific ways for the ACE to have an impact on fans and UH sporting events. I’ll also lay out an idea to form a small fan committee to contribute ideas and their feedback to help improve the fan experience.