The game goes into extra innings. You’re on the edge of your seat. It’s been such a nail-biter you haven’t taken your usual seventh-inning trip to the concession stand. Your stomach growls and you’d give anything for a hot dog and a soda. Fortunately, you don’t have to do much. You grab your phone and open the stadium mobile app, place your order and enjoy the last innings with your favorite ballpark food and drink in hand.
All this is possible because of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C). Major League Baseball® is using UC&C from Mitel to increase communications both on and off the field in North America and during the London Series. And, many stadiums and organizations in other industries are leveraging the technology beyond the dugouts in their retail shops to streamline operations and personalize the customer experience.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes to discover how UC&C keeps stadium retail machines running in stores and kiosks, as well as concession stands.
Authorized personnel only: How UC&C turns stadium retail staff into MVPs
While people may not pay much attention to retail personnel when operations run smoothly, they certainly notice when something goes wrong. Long lines and out-of-stock items annoy fans and make them more likely to stay at home next time. UC&C keeps everyone happy by connecting front- and back-end retail workers at all times—before, during and after the game. That allows them to serve customers more effectively and close more sales.
Group messaging and chat allow front-line retail staff to call for back-up when needed. If lines get too long (and fans get frustrated), a quick group message brings in reinforcements right away. Meanwhile, staff on the floor can use group messages to alert the stockroom when a hot item runs low. They’re able to restock quickly, so you don’t miss out on additional sales.
Text messages and video conferencing on a reliable network allow stadium retailers to reach out in real-time for technical assistance. A sale goes bust when a register goes down, but cashiers can send tech support a quick text to get help. If need be, a video chat could enable the cashier to solve the problem themselves. Thus, the customer’s impressed and the sale is clinched.
Mobile support allows fans to pre-order team merchandise, menu items and more from the concession stand. Fans have the power to get what they want when they want it—without having to miss a second of the game.
CRM integration gives back-office retail staff the information necessary to make smart product procurement decisions. CRM data also opens the door for personalized marketing messages during the game. Send customized promotions to fans who always visit the same concession stand when they’re hungry. Treat MVP guests to discounts on team jerseys on their birthday. Such gestures not only show people you care, they put fans in a better mood to buy too.
Communication on a reliable network allows retail workers to tell the back office how customers take to the visual display of merchandise. As a result, you can quickly adjust displays that simply aren’t working.
When stadiums leverage UC&C, retail lines move quickly and fans can pick up the exact item they want. At the same time, your personnel remain calm. If they need help, they know they can get it with a simple phone call, text message or page.
Required gear: What to look for in a UC&C provider
Fans may remain loyal to their home team regardless of its record, but performance matters when it comes to UC&C. When scouting for a provider, stadium operators should look for these key elements:
Reliability is paramount. Requests for back-up by front-line retailers need to go through every time. Stadium operators should never have to worry about whether their communications system will work. Instead, they should focus on how to best use UC&C to increase retail sales.
Second, installation and management should be simple, so you can focus on maximizing revenue. Major League Baseball®, for example, quickly implemented UC with zero interrupted games across 30 stadiums. A provider that supports on-site, cloud and hybrid deployments gives you the option to start with what makes the most sense today, then easily transition to other systems when the time is right.
Finally, a future-proof system guarantees your success for next season and beyond. Technology changes almost as constantly as team rosters. That’s why an experienced UC&C provider stays on top of innovations and integrates new features as soon as they become available. Look for a modular platform that makes the addition of new services simple.
For stadium operators everywhere, the ka-ching of the cash register is as amazing as the crack of the bat. A reliable and powerful UC&C system supports the retail team from the stockroom to the marketing department and all the way to the sales floor. Never miss an opportunity to close a sale by making purchasing easier with Unified Communications & Collaboration.
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