The unified communications market will surpass $60 billion by 2025, according to recent research, and sports organizations such as Major League Baseball® (MLB®) teams are among the leading adopters. UC technology helps give fans the experience they want, players and coaches the seamless communication they expect and venue staff the mobile collaboration tools they need.
A closer look at how they use UC demonstrates the power behind this technology, which makes calls and other forms of communication more efficient and productive both on and off the field.
A stellar fan experience
Sports venues are in the entertainment business as much as the sports business. They know fans attending a game expect an experience that’s high-quality and interactive. From the first point of contact to the final countdown, unified communications gives them just that.
It all starts with the contact center. A robust UC contact center solution arms agents with the tools and resources they need to answer calls efficiently while making each caller feel like an MVP. Here are some examples of how a UC contact center can be put into play:
CRM integration enables agents to make both inbound and outbound calls more personal. It puts details – how often a fan attends games, if they’re a season ticket holder and more – at the agent’s fingertips. Screen pops make this information available in seconds, so the agent can conduct a tailored and engaging conversation.
Scripting modules guide agents to reduce call times and increase satisfaction. The days of robotic scripts are long gone; dynamic manipulation allows call center staff to easily transition between scripts based on the direction a conversation takes. Integration with web services and internal systems provide information on the weather and promotions, empowering agents to provide game-day travel tips and other valuable details.
Omnichannel support allows contact center agents to connect with fans through their preferred channel, whether that’s voice, text, email, web chat or social media. Access to all channels from one interface keeps communication flowing smoothly and quickly.
Call recording and analytics enable organizations to identify peak call hours so venues can staff appropriately, reducing hold times. Recordings provide training opportunities for agents, further improving customer satisfaction.
“We’re excited to have call analytics and management tools that will help us limit hold times, more efficiently direct calls to sales and integrate with our Microsoft Dynamics® CRM system,” said Brian Shield, VP of IT for the Boston Red Sox™.
Teams in a variety of sports score big by leveraging the right communications technology. Learn how. >
The connected team
Today, a successful team requires modern communications technology to connect players, coaches, umpires, scouts and all other staff, no matter where they are and what device they’re using. UC provides advanced collaboration tools that power real-time connections.
“You need [communications technology] to be reliable,” said Bill Schlough, Senior VP for the San Francisco Giants™. “It just has to work, especially when the game on the field depends upon it. If the scoreboard goes out during a game here, they keep playing ball. If the phone system goes out during a replay, everyone’s just standing there twiddling their thumbs. So, it’s mission-critical.”
BYOD support allows players, coaches and staff to use their device of choice. A consistent experience on multiple operating systems, such as iPhone and Android, and a single phone number and mailbox enable everyone to seamlessly switch between devices as needed. Players have the flexibility they need to stay in touch with trainers and managers no matter where they are: at a game, on the road or in a training session.
Location-based presence provides automatic updates based on location, calendar and time of day via GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Management always knows where players and coaches are, as well as the best way to reach them.
Video calling and instant messaging keep players and coaches in constant contact with one another. Easily share documents, ideas and video footage of players or potential recruits. Provide real-time feedback, making strategy adjustments instantly.
Reliable and uninterrupted service routes calls to the right device. Hand off active voice calls between Wi-Fi and cellular networks to keep everyone connected, even when they’re on the road.
Seamless communication across the venue
The key for successful sporting events is cross-functional communications. UC allows venue staff to work efficiently and productively, while affording the freedom of mobility.
Mobile support allows staff to stay connected and get the assistance they need, when they need it. From restocking concession stands to alerting the cleaning staff about a bathroom in need of attention, personnel rely on their mobile devices to send alerts and receive important information.
Connected sensors and software alert staff to overflowing trash cans and low inventory. Staff can address these issues quickly and efficiently, before fans are even aware of a potential problem.
A scalable solution enables venues to quickly transition support from a small back-end office to a fully sold-out arena with hundreds of staff.
Mass notification capabilities are critical for security personnel to maintain safety and order. Whether it’s severe weather or a skirmish between disgruntled fans, mobile devices with mass notification capabilities enable information to be shared swiftly and efficiently so that staff can take appropriate action.
UC as MVP
UC’s ability to provide a seamless experience for fans, players and staff made it a game-changer for MLB®. Different phone systems within each ballpark created complexity and reduced reliability for players and staff, impacting the pace of play and fan experience.
A state-of-the-art UC solution was quickly implemented across all 30 MLB® ballparks—without interrupting a single game. Now, weatherproof dugout and bullpen phones provide a consistent experience at every park, call recording ensures regulations and rules are properly followed and each stadium is more efficient because there’s only one system to learn.
Beyond the game: bringing UC to home base
Sports analogies are popular in teaching life lessons, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the benefits of unified communications in sports also apply to other industries and businesses as well.
Your customers are your fans. Your employees are your players and coaches. Your venue may be comprised of one office, multiple global locations or a team of remote workers. UC is your ticket to mobility, reliability and scalability in a seamless solution.
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