The Olympics is here. So is the need to make it a great experience!


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Rio Olympics

CX is not just for businesses. Any event also has ‘customers’. And something as magnanimous as the Olympics definitely attracts millions of people to be part of this grandeur. The experience of the audience is, therefore, a large contributor towards the success of the event.

Now, the in-stadia audience for the upcoming Olympics at Rio could be a Brazilian citizen (local) or a foreign national. Since the Olympics is much more than an event and part of the nation’s pride, locals will probably not consider themselves to be a ‘customer’ of the Olympics. The majority of them probably think of it as their own event and look forward to give the foreign visitors a great experience.

However, from the Organizing Committee’s point of view, both these groups of visitors – local and foreign – would be seen as ‘customers’; the aim is to create a great experience for everyone. Of course, for the foreign visitor, the journey is more complex, involving lot of research and planning. Many of the foreign visitors would be combining their participation in the Olympics with other sightseeing activities. Therefore, the experience has to be good throughout and not just at the stadia.

So, how do you go about measuring customer experience at an event as big as the Olympics, Rio 2016 in the case? Here’s our take on this!

As with any business, the first step is to map the customer’s journey. If the journey is well defined, the customer experience strategy flows from it naturally. The journey is not just about the sporting events; but the entire summation of interactions with the Olympics from beginning to end.

The Journey


Broadly, there are three phases that a ‘customer’ at the Olympics would experience.

In each of these phases, visitors do various activities. We believe that it is important to list all the activities. We may not collect feedback at all the points of interaction but it is important to think holistically. And this is something you can do with a customer experience management platform. Missing an important interaction point would have adverse consequences.

1. Before the Olympics

Before Rio Olympics

This stage involves research and planning for the event, getting a Visa, making travel and hotel bookings, getting medical insurance, buying tickets for sporting events, registering oneself with the organizers for regular SMS or email updates etc. Many of these processes are applicable only for foreign visitors.

In this phase, organizers are responsible for providing information through various offline and online sources. Even if the organizers are not in charge of some aspects of the process (like Visa), information on how to go about getting one is provided. Some of the important information that is put out include:

2. During the Olympics

During Rio Olympics

For foreign visitors, this phase starts from their arrival at the airport till they depart back home. For local visitors, this phase lasts through the Olympics, depending on the events they would be attending. There are a number of interactions through the Olympics; arrival, transportation, hotel stay, event, visit to tourist spots and departure, to name a few. These aspects have already been discussed in the previous section. At the sporting event itself, a number of interactions take place.

3. After the Olympics

The Olympics is a large event and even post the closing ceremony, many memories remain. In this phase, organizers also have the opportunity to assess the overall experience, impact it has had on the audience, advocacy shown by visitors towards the next Olympics etc.

The ideal Customer Experience Management plan

Once the journey is in place, developing a detailed customer journey map using a customer experience management (CEM) tool could be useful. For each of the major interactions across the journey, develop measurement parameters. Each of these parameters can be converted to a question to be asked to visitors. The trigger for soliciting feedback is also decided. Here’s what the summary of a CEM plan for the Olympics could look like.

Note: The feedback trigger for non-event activities should be after the visit is over. The airport is probably an apt location for such a survey, since many visitors would have some spare time while awaiting boarding.

It is important to ensure that the CEM tool used for this purpose is real-time, and adopts a single view of all the customer data, with automated notifications (for example, when a poor rating is given by a visitor) and automated reporting, and also the facility to view data in different ways for further analysis.

The feedback data can be used for immediate improvement measures at Rio 2016. For example, an unhappy customer at an event can be reached out to and offered a discount for another event. Further, feedback from the entire event can be analyzed at length and passed on to the next Olympics’s Organizing Committee for implementation of structural changes. This way, every subsequent Olympics can be made better than the previous one. Let the games begin!

Ganesh Mukundan
I'm a content marketer at Hiver. I've been writing about customer experience for the past 5 years. I'm passionate about narrating delightful customer stories, researching CX trends, and deep-diving into concepts such as VoC and Customer Journey Mapping.


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