Nothing electrifies fans as much as a winning team, so it’s no surprise that sports organizations profit from that seasonal excitement. But when it comes to fan engagement, sports teams and venues know they need to play a long game.
As technology advances, fans’ expectations rise. So to continue selling season passes and filling stadiums, sports organizations must improve the fan experience all year long – not just at a single event.
During a recent panel at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, participants described the ideal venue playbook for enhancing the fan experience: “a comprehensive strategy, a deep understanding of [fans’] backgrounds and interests, and a robust technology infrastructure to support engagement efforts.”
Communications technology is the linchpin of customer experience because it connects with fans at every point of their relationship with the team. To deliver a stronger, holistic experience, teams and venues need to tap into every fan touchpoint and strengthen each interaction. To elevate fan engagement, consider these five opportunities:
1. Say goodbye to the parking headache
What’s the number one fan complaint about game day? It’s not seating or the unruly fans of competing teams. It’s parking, according to Anthony Squeo, vice president of large venue operations at SP+ Gameday.
Leveraging contact center technology enables venues to alleviate congestion by offering pre-paid parking via online self-service before the game. In addition, venues can conduct outbound campaigns to provide pre-event parking details to ticketholders, such as GPS information for every entrance. On game day, onsite payments can be expedited by equipping lot attendees with mobile point-of-sale applications.
2. Personalization through CRM integration
Cookie-cutter experiences don’t create loyal fans. With CRM integrated into the contact center, agents can personalize every interaction and make each caller feel valued and unique.
Here’s how it works: When a fan calls the contact center, their personal details pop up on the agent’s screen. The agent greets the caller by name and gets immediate access to important customer details. Because the agent knows how often the caller attends games, where they typically sit and how many tickets they tend to purchase, they can engage the fan from the start. This type of interaction builds stronger connections.
The San Francisco Giants were able to improve customer service with CRM integration. Find out how. >
3. Add a human touch with scripting modules
Once thought of as robotic, scripting modules have evolved into interactive tools that can make customer calls more engaging and successful. For example, teams, calling lists, and dynamic manipulation of call scripts allow agents to seamlessly navigate between different versions of scripts while speaking to customers, tailoring the call to each unique situation.
Today’s scripting tools also integrate with web services and internal systems to retrieve information from the latest weather forecast to business-specific data. This allows agents to adapt on the fly and enables a higher level of customization; imagine impressing fans by providing personalized weather or transportation information on game day.
4. Support for multi-channel interactions
With mobility now standard, voice communication is no longer enough. Today’s fans expect to connect with teams and venues in the channels they prefer, from text and emails to web chat and social media. That means teams and venues must deploy contact center technology that supports omnichannel communications. Not only should agents be able to access all channels through a single interface, they should have the ability to move seamlessly between them.
5. There is no off-season
Cultivating fan loyalty doesn’t end with the season. Sports organizations should have a year-round strategy that builds anticipation as each season approaches and immediately move on promoting next year when the current season ends. Of course, you may not need the same level of resources in the off-season, which makes scalable communications solutions important. Cloud services offer flexibility and provide cost savings when communications needs are less intense. Ramping back up again is almost instantaneous, so you don’t have to worry about missed opportunities.
Building fan loyalty is the ticket to venue and team success. By making better use of data and communications technology at every fan touchpoint, sports organizations fill the stadium all season and elevate fan engagement all year long.