Every game day thousands of fans, clad in team gear, stream through sports stadium gates. As they head to their seats, they’ll stop at a concession to buy T-shirts, hot dogs and drinks. For venues, these sales represent significant revenue, especially if fans return to the stadium again and again. How many will? The answer depends on the experience they have.
According to a new study conducted by Medallia and Ipsos, a positive personal experience is the main generator of customer purchases and loyalty, outranking the opinions of others (including celebrities) and company communications in the decision to buy. In fact, 77 percent of survey respondents said they choose products and services based on their customer experience. 
That means venue sales depend on the ability to deliver great customer service at every point – from an online ticket purchase to the gate exit and beyond. To enhance the customer experience and deliver higher returns on fan loyalty, stadiums need unified communications (UC). 

How unified communications brings in more fans

With unified communications, sports and entertainment venues can heighten the customer experience from the very first connection. In addition, venue staff will find it easier to engage fans and collaborate with each other using these tools.
Omnichannel support allows agents to engage with fans via voice, web, email, text message and social media. Call data provides better analytics, which can be used to staff appropriately during peak hours, reduce hold times, give priority to season ticket holders and train new agents more quickly. All this adds up to more calls being handled each day, not to mention happier customers. Combined, those translate into increased ticket sales and fan loyalty. One sports team even received improved customer satisfaction scores on an annual survey, proving UC really does enhance the customer experience. 
Mobility: During events, everyone in the stadium is on the move, but UC makes it possible to connect from every aisle and seat. For example, calls to staff can be rerouted easily to their mobile devices, wherever they happen to be working. Alternatively, staff can tap into customer information or click to call right from their phone or tablet. 
At the same time, fans also expect easy access to stadium information during the game. In fact, 83 percent of adults check their smartphones during live sporting events. Fans benefit from stadium apps that provide parking and traffic information and the ability to order from concessions. Some venues are even using apps to allow fans to report customer service issues in the stadium so they can be addressed immediately. 
Personalization: One poor experience is all it takes to lose fans – and revenue. The Medallia/Ipsos study found nearly half of all customers are willing to switch brands after just one bad experience. Almost one-third expect contact center agents to be familiar with their history immediately, driving home the demand for personalization. By integrating their CRM into their unified communications solutions, venues can deliver a personalized experience. 
Robust workflow features: UC also streamlines collaboration and simplifies access to customer information. As a result, sales agents can get more work done in a shorter amount of time. 
Adaptability: Many venues need to quickly convert from a sporting event to a sold-out concert or family show. Unified communications supports this multi-use need through fast and simple scaling options, so your system is always ready to handle the next event. Successfully handling such transitions earns your facility a reputation that will help secure future events and drive revenue. 
For sports and entertainment venues to increase ticket, concession and merchandise sales, customer experience must remain a top priority. Unified communications can help you reach new levels of productivity and sales – and bring more fans through the gate.

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