If Customer Service Were a Lacrosse Game


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Great service, like the game of lacrosse, founded by the Native Americans, can be extremely demanding. Both require having a game strategy, a set of well-practiced techniques, and the right equipment. Both customer service and lacrosse are team sports with different players performing specific roles. In lacrosse there a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders who can cover the entire field, and three attackers who share the objective of scoring goals – putting the small rubber ball in the opponents net.

Service has a goalkeeper insuring the core offering is always delivered to customers. Defenders and middies are the back room people connecting the front line servers with what is required to meet the customers’ needs and give them great experiences. Consider a power company. The core offering to customers is making certain the power stays on for customers; linemen and grid operators insure the power operation is maintained or restored should Mother Nature render a penalty. The call center and field workers who interact with customers are the frontline force trying to win the loyalty of customer.

So, what is the biggest similarity between lacrosse and service? Both take great teamwork. If the goalkeeper decides to take a break in the middle of a match, there is loss in the making. Forget about the core offering to customers and the same outcome is likely. While the lacrosse attackers get the cheers in a game when a point is scored, they are only able to achieve their objective because the midfielders and defenders do their job. What steps can you take to make sure there is great teamwork in your game of service? How can you help your frontline servers score big points with your customers?

Dr. Johnny D. Magwood
Northeast Utilities Service Company
V.P. Customer Experience & Chief Customer Officer; Northeast Utilities Service Company. J. D. Power Smart Grid Advisory Council; Chairman- Housing Authority Baltimore City; Next Generation Utilities Advisory Board; Utility Knowledge Customer Service Council; CS Advisory Council; Magistrate Judge Seletion Committee. Marketing Executive Council; Mechanical Engineer - The Johns Hopkins University; MBA - Loyola University of Maryland; DBA - University of Phoenix; Doctoral dissertation; Mergers and Acquisition: The Role of Corporate Executives' Relationships with Stakeholders


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