Some call it attention to detail. Others say it's the little things that count. Yet others will call it being "proactive."
No matter what you call it, chances are there's been a time when you have gotten frustrated with the Morgan Center's failure to keep it in mind.
And we now have example number 1,347,692....Bruin Seat Cushions!
Late Friday (mine copy was received at 4:57pm), the Athletic Department sent our an email to folks with three main points. The first was the new Horizon Club at the Rose Bowl. (I'll get to this in a second.) The second was Premium Seating. The third was a new program being offered to every single season ticketholder: Bruin Seat Cushions.
So, this morning, I made the trek from Thousand Oaks to the Rose Bowl with some friends for the annual Select-a-Seat event. On our way there, we speculated as to how they would do it since they advertised that the cushions would be "attached at your season ticket location for the entire year." I suggested that maybe they would just swap out the seat and seat backs for those STHs that wanted the cushions. One of the people I drove with thought it would be a cool idea because it would could add more blue to the Rose Bowl's rose colored seats.
Now, we got there a few minutes late and rather than being put into a waiting room, we were quickly ushered to the UCLA Locker Room to join our 9:30am group. so we didn't spend 15 minutes waiting to be let into the locker room like others in our group, but that was ok.
The guy leading the presentation in the locker room showed off the new seat cushions by holding them up. We expected that we would be able to test these out inside the Rose Bowl.
We went into the Bowl when this presentation was over.
After failing to find any seats to our liking for upgrading, we decided to take a tour of the new Horizon Club and the Premium Seating areas.
My impression of the Horizon Club is quite simple. $300 per person is a lot of money to ask just to use an elevator, a less crowded bathroom and have access to alcohol sales inside the stadium. Food and alcohol are sold separately from the Horizon Club membership.
The Premium Seating areas were actually quite impressive and if you have an opportunity to tour the Premium Seating, I encourage it. They were really very nice. Pricey, but nice. Now, we had the good fortune of having Rose Bowl VP of Premium Seating Cory Shakarian as our tour guide. He seemed nice and very down to earth. his presentation was impressive. Unfortunately, the pricing is clearly out of reach for most folks.
But, I was really quite surprised that after spending time showing off the Premium Seating areas, he never asked if anyone was interested in Premium Seating. Now, I've worked in sales long enough to realize that, as a salesperson, you have to read your customer, but, in a large group presentation like we had, it is almost impossible to read everyone. By not asking for the sale, Cory may well have wasted his time on us. Like I said...it's the little things that count.
Finally, the last thing we wanted more info about was the Bruin Seat Cushions. We hadn't seen any anywhere since the locker room and since we weren't upgrading our seats, we were receptive to the idea of making them more comfortable.
There was only one problem. We couldn't find them anywhere inside the Rose Bowl to try them out.
Finally, someone asked if we needed help. Thank goodness!
We explained that we were looking for more info about the cushions and that we were interested in trying them out.
He directed us to the checkout area and off we went.
Yeah, you figured out how this story ends, didn't you? The same way every other Athletic Department customer service interaction seems to end.
When we got over to checkout, they had no seat cushions to try. Surprise, surprise! The checkout folks said something about them being downstairs, but didn't really know for sure. She did say that the only finalized the deal for these this week.
We found a woman in her 50s who looked like she was working and, after asking if she was working the event, asked where we could try out the new cushions. She told us they were in the waiting area downstairs that we avoided by being a few minutes late.
So, she led us to the waiting area. When we got there, again, there was no cushion to try because it had been taken over to the locker room to show the current group. We waited patiently for it to return.
When it did, we were officially underwhelmed. They were sooooo plastic-y and cheap. All I could imagine is how hot these things will get it a hot daytime game. Needless to say, we skipped these too.
If you're going to offer your STHs something new, don't you think you would have plenty to try out before they buy? Shouldn't you consider having, maybe one in each section for folks to try out? At the very least, shouldn't you use it as an upsell at checkout, with a few there for folks to try out in case they missed the early opportunities to try them out?
Well, apparently, no one at the Morgan Center is capable of such thought. After all, they only finalized the deal with IMG this week.
Personally, I'm guessing that more time was spent on this than was spent on the hiring of our new basketball coach. But who knows? It might be close.