Customer Service and Major League Baseball

Today’s ICSA Blog is from ICSA President, Bill Gessert and raises some questions about priorities.

Customer Service and Major League Baseball

Unless you live in a cave or under a rock, you probably have heard that Major League Baseball (MLB) issued suspensions to several players yesterday.  At the top of that list is Alex Rodriguez. 

At a press conference before he took the field to play in his first game of this season, Rodriguez dodged most of the questions regarding his use of banned drugs. 

He did, however, manage to say this, “I am fighting for my life.”

That statement stopped me in my tracks.  It took my breath away.  It made me angry!

Last year, the ICSA hosted an Alex’s Lemonade Stand at the Annual Conference in Richmond Virginia.  Additionally, Jay Scott, the father of Alex, who lost her battle to childhood cancer when she was just eight, was one of our Keynote speakers.  His presentation was wonderful and heart wrenching all at once.  He shared the pain of losing Alex and the joy she brought to them…and still does. 

Alex fought for her life from before she reached her first birthday until she passed away.  And she fought for others by hosting her lemonade stand to “give the doctors money so they can help other little kids.”

Today, ALSF has raised more than 60 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.   That money goes to find a cure to help kids who are literally fighting for their lives.   No Mr. Rodriguez, you are not fighting for your life.  You are fighting to be able to keep making the more than $140,000 you make for every game.  More than $35,000 every time you step to the plate. 

Maybe it is just me, but all of this just made me sick.  And I am not certain that MLB truly has its customers in their best interest.  The experience of going to a major league game is now out of reach for many of their “customers.”  Which is more than many customer service representatives make in an entire year.

Our society has placed all athletes in a position of “hero.”  We do the same with celebrities from television, movies, music.  We do it with business too.  The CEO, the Chairman of the Board….these are the people we hail and to whom, we give attention. 

The truth is there is no one more important in an organization than the people who serve as touch points to the customers.  And if you are looking for real hero’s, look no further than the pediatric oncology floor of your local hospital.

The ICSA is humbled to do even just a little to support the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation again at this year’s Annual Conference.  We are also humbled to be the Professional Association of the greatest workers in the world – those who serve!

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