Developing an enhanced service focus

Kevin Theos | August 20, 2020

Knowledgeable and dedicated USTA staff and volunteers have admirably serviced countless tennis players and providers through the years, but like any organization, the USTA can always improve its performance. The USTA’s recent pivot from a program-focused organization to a service-focused organization is a potential game-changer, and here are a few thoughts about this important advancement.


While service has always been an important USTA value, success has been hard to gauge because no meaningful KPIs in direct relation to “service” have been in place. However, KPIs in connection with membership and program registrations have existed for decades and created incentives that overlap with but are decidedly different from KPIs that are laser-focused on customer service.

Achieving a paradigm shift from program focus to service focus will require training on shared values, the formation of new KPIs, and the creation of a shared language among national, section and district staff and volunteers. Fortunately, this type of training exists in the USTA’s backyard. The Disney Institute offers world-class training that fits the USTA’s needs and would be a terrific starting point for promoting and developing an enhanced service focus.


In addition to training, leveraging the USTA’s Tennis Service Representatives (TSRs) offers significant promise. Collectively, TSRs have a breadth and depth of experience with providers and players that is unmatched within the USTA. Accessing TSRs’ collective experience in terms of their direct knowledge of what providers need and want would prove invaluable toward developing new KPIs. Moreover, being the USTA’s “boots on the ground,” TSRs are in a unique position to monitor in real time what is and isn’t working and why.


The current COVID-related disruption of USTA business offers a unique chance to promote and develop new service-related values, but we should start this process now. 




Kevin Theos is the Tennis Service Representative for Alabama in the USTA Southern Section.

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