While many of us have fond memories of saving ticket stubs from our favorite concerts and sporting events, paper tickets are now a thing of the past. Digital ticketing is the new norm, and the industry’s big names are all going digital. For instance, Ticketmaster rolled out digital technology across the NFL in 2018, while the MLB® Ballpark app helps fans purchase and manage digital tickets via their mobile device.
The demise of paper tickets isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it opens new doors for event organizers and venues, including streamlined operations and game-day management, an improved customer experience and tighter security. To keep their innovative digital ticketing operations running smoothly, companies need a unified communications (UC) system. UC keeps event-goers and staff connected to the necessary systems and people throughout the purchase process, as well as on event day.
Here, we take a close look at how UC makes this new world of ticketing a great one to live in.
The purchase: Ticketing made easy
The digital ticketing process has radically changed how fans buy tickets, ending long lines and increasing convenience. Choosing tickets is quick and easy through mobile devices, tablets or laptops. And with mobile wallet options such as Google Play now supporting ticket sales, purchasing has become even simpler. In addition, digital tickets reduce the incidence of scalping, providing tickets to true fans at affordable prices.
Of course, fans may still have questions about their tickets—even after an online purchase. Maybe they want to change their seat or need to locate additional seats close to the ones they’ve already purchased. This is where unified communications can have a dramatic impact on the customer experience.
UC arms customer service reps with everything they need to quickly resolve ticketing issues. CRM integration provides agents with a customer history, showing how many tickets they purchased and when. Artificial Intelligence turns traditional chatbots into intelligent virtual agents that can answer questions and resolve issues without the need for a human agent. When human intervention is necessary, intelligent chatbots direct customers to the most qualified rep and provide them with a full conversation history.
Beyond the purchase: How digital ticketing and UC transform the event experience
Souvenirs aside, paper tickets present a host of issues. Fans often wait in long lines to purchase them, scalping is always a problem and they’re easy to lose. Digital ticketing does away with all these headaches while adding several new elements to the event experience:
Smooth and secure entry: It’s a lot faster for gate attendants to scan QR and bar codes than manually check and rip paper tickets. Scanning quickly identifies whether a ticket is legitimate. When an issue does arise or an attendant needs assistance, UC keeps all personnel connected. A quick phone call, text or page from the front gate to the will-call window or security resolves most issues in much less time. Security checkpoints also benefit from UC because it enables staff to communicate with each other and redirects the flow of attendees to checkpoints with the shortest lines. In the event of a security issue, a mass notification to all personnel brings in reinforcements and alerts the proper authorities, if need be.
Immediate seating and re-entry: Ushers quickly scan and direct fans to their seats. In the event of a glitch (for example, two patrons have tickets with the same seat number), ushers have direct access to the ticketing office via text or voice call. Because of UC, such snags no longer require a visit to the courtesy booth. Digital tickets also allow fans to return to their seats without having to fish around for their ticket stub. A quick scan by the usher is all they need.
The VIP treatment: When a season ticket holder or VIP guest has their pass scanned, the concierge service is automatically notified of their arrival. That way, staff can greet these important attendees at their box with a cold beverage and a warm welcome.
Keep fans informed: To keep fans updated and improve their overall event experience, use push notifications to share event information such as parking and traffic updates, crowded entry gates or delays. Notifications keep fans engaged and make them more likely to return for future events.
Personalization and contextual commerce: When fans purchase digital tickets, event organizers gain access to detailed customer information. This data can be used to personalize the purchase process and even suggest relevant products or services before the transaction is complete. This contextual commerce represents a new avenue for organizations that want to increase sales, reaching customers when they’re already in buying mode.
The souvenir days of tickets may be gone, but they’ve been replaced by something more powerful. Digital tickets not only provide entry, but also increase personalization and security while improving the overall customer experience. Unified communications is the backbone of this ticketing system, keeping ticket scanners connected and making sure event personnel have immediate access to each other. When an issue occurs, resolution is immediate. UC is your ticket to success.