Has a sports team ever made you cry? Dance wildly around the room? Curse in front of small children? If you’ve answered yes to any of these three questions, trust me, you’re not alone. Sports have become deeply woven within the fabric of our society, and we view athletes with both reverence and abhorrence based solely on the colors they wear for a few hours a night. Behind all of the athletic achievement and blockbuster contracts, however, professional sports teams are just like any other business: They are in the game to increase the bottom line. Like any other business today, sports teams earn their revenue through two factors: a quality product and excellent customer service that creates and maintains a loyal customer base.
However, teams cannot rely on a quality product and excellent customer service alone to drive the masses to their events. They must identify and target people who are the most likely to purchase tickets. Sports teams face a unique paradox with their customers because sports fervor often serves as a personality trait within our society. There are diehard sports fans, diehard non-sports fans and those that fall in between. While the first two groups of people can be counted upon to act in a predictable fashion, the third group represents the wild card within a sports team’s marketing strategy and must be proactively addressed.
‘Purchasing tickets is often an emotional decision for customers. ’
Because sports teams compete not only with other teams in their area but also movie theaters and concerts for customers’ disposable income, purchasing tickets is often an emotional decision for customers. That is why it is important to connect with customers while they are browsing your web site to capitalize on their enthusiasm. Any adversity the customer encounters during this delicate timeframe may result in an abandoned online cart, so companies must instill marketing strategies that engage customers. Faced with this dilemma, the Golden State Warriors chose to implement click-to-call and click-to-chat functionality within their marketing and sales channels to improve their online sales conversions.
Click-to-call or click-to-chat services allow you to place a button on a web site that customers can click on to be instantly connected to a customer service representative via their preferred method of communication, be it the phone or a chat environment. When deployed correctly, click to call, in particular, has been proven to drive revenue that would have otherwise been missed without increasing contact center costs. This technology is especially useful for complex group sales that often require creative solutions and for customers who prefer to give credit card information over the phone.
Why is it so important to quickly enable personal sales conversations via phone call or text chat? Because by allowing customers to communicate through their preferred means, the Warriors are giving prospective ticket buyers a chance to get the information they’re looking for in a manner with which they’re most comfortable with, whether that be via text chat or over the phone. Despite this being the golden age of self service on the Internet, research still shows that customers prefer personal interactions with sales agents to help them through the sales cycle. During my experience, I’ve seen leading online retailers such as Amazon.com, Hotels.com and DaimlerChrysler double their sales conversions and greatly improve their customer satisfaction level after they implemented these technologies buttons throughout their web site and online marketing materials.
The most important factor in any sales transaction, whether it is a Warriors luxury box or a book from Amazon, is the customer’s experience. The web offers a new way to engage customers, but often even the latest self-help tools can’t replace human intervention to create the type of customer experience that promotes brand loyalty and profitable relationships.