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CRM news: Top 4 future considerations for ticketing

Whatever the size or sophistication of your visitor attraction, sports club or league, you’re likely to have a system for CRM ‘Ticketing’, says our CRM news source, Tom Bettles.

Whether that’s a seat in a stadium or auditorium, an entry pass, or a lane in a bowling centre, your business relies upon customers being able to come along and purchase a ticket of some description. It’s not a ‘nice to have’ bit of technology, it’s a fundamental part of your business operation.

Now, whilst the ability to sell a ticket across a number of channels (and everything that comes with that from stadium configurations to product variants and so on) is critical to the operation of our sport or leisure business, it’s not what will ultimately make your customer chipper and profits soar.

For that, we need to consider our customer experience, our marketing strategy and retention strategies. And it’s for this very reason that we’re surprised so many ticketing software companies have spent so long focusing their efforts on the ticketing part and only now are starting to bang the CRM drum.

1. Ticketing shouldn’t just be ticketing

The very fact that so many conversations are labelled with the title of ‘Ticketing’ is alarming. Ticketing is a piece of a much larger puzzle, and one where if the pieces are all considered as separate entities, the outcome just doesn’t always give compelling results.

We’re seeing a tidal shift in organisations that realise this. With ticketing as part of a wider customer-first business strategy, the opportunity for success is really exciting. Many of our clients have seen revenue increases between six and ten percent.

So, consider that the conversation isn’t and won’t just be ticketing, but also CRM, web and all the other touchpoint technology used in a successful visitor business.

2. Mobile

The future is mobile. We’re seeing more and more people adopting to buying online and a large percentage of those (often now over 50%) are using mobile devices. Everything from our buying process to our marketing activity should be optimised for mobile.

In the case of sports, we even need to re-wind slightly to consider web as a channel first. We’ve been shocked to learn that many sports clubs still only sell between one and ten percent of tickets online. In today’s online world, consumers must be able to engage with us and buy our products online. The promising sign is that we’ve worked with many clubs that have significantly increased these figures and are pushing up to and beyond the 50% mark. The consumer clearly has an appetite to consume online if we get the process and the communication right.

3. Down with the paper ticket

Continuing on a mobile theme, we now have the ability to put tickets into a Mobile Wallet. This gives us some pretty handy additional benefits, such as push notifications about the ticket. It will also get people more familiar with using this type of technology so we can bring in digital payment technologies to complement our wallet app use.

Considering starting to introduce these technologies gently to get the customer education process going. Once they’re up and running we will find that people spend more and operations become more efficient.

4. Data

Our use of data is only a fraction of what’s possible. And in this digital world we’re floating in a sea of it. The trick is to focus on the right pieces of data and use it to our advantage. We should use our ticketing data to learn more about our fans and shape our current and future strategies. We can see what people buy and present them with relevant upsell and cross sell information, trigger an automated series of personal communications or just learn more about what they like.

For some of our clients, understanding data has been huge. It’s led to a complete shift in strategy and even prompted statements like “we shouldn’t focus our efforts on our biggest customer segment”. It sounds crazy but yes, some organisations we’ve worked with have used data to find out that their largest segment of customers are in fact not making them as much money as some of the smaller ones.

Without increasing the collection and analysis of ticketing data, this kind of business insight wouldn’t be possible.

The verdict

The key question to ask ourselves isn’t what’s our strategy and system for ticketing? Rather, what else are we considering at the same time and how does ticketing fit into our wider business aims?

Once we stop considering ticketing in isolation, we open up a new world of possibilities.

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