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In Focus / Roboticket: Can We Afford Not To Have Digital Transformation?

We need to press forward with fresh ideas, utilise modern techniques taken from other industries, optimise these existing techniques and apply them to mobile devices which the majority of today’s fans around the world carry in their pockets every waking moment.

 

 

While far from pleasant, 2020 has allowed those involved in ticketing a moment of respite. I’m sure many have already performed the necessary mental gymnastics required to conjure new techniques and re-imagine their ticketing strategies – methods which might not have changed in years, decades even. 

 

In a ‘Post-Covid’ world, should we continue as before? Our technology is designed for sales and seat administration. But what more do we need it to do? Not in five years, but today when we’re in a position to make giant leaps forward with minimal business disruption. 

 

 

This “Great Pause” has allowed us to take stock and gifted us the unique opportunity to review our needs in a different light. Post-Covid should be about creating something new, taking a different path. What we can be certain about is the world is not going to go back to how it once was. And that isn’t a bad thing. 

 

The Ticket Office is the place where new fans transact with a club for the very first time, where fans address their ticketing needs. The place for season cards and part payments or ticket reprints because someone left their print at home’ document, ironically, at home. 

 

The one thing these points have in common is that the Ticket Office is absolutely necessary to address every customer enquiry individually, requiring experienced staff to manage these needs, primarily because their software provides no other option. 

 

This is where we must look to the future and identify opportunities for change. Not change for the sake of it, but for the better. This should not be a time of restriction, nor where a member of staff must be involved for supporters to complete tasks which they are perfectly capable of performing themselves. Rather than advocating the elimination of the Ticket Office, we should better utilise this resource to help the organisation understand the habits of fans better than ever before. Eliminating menial tasks allows for a greater opportunity to appreciate and act on consumer behaviour. 

 

We need to press forward with fresh ideas, utilise modern techniques taken from other industries, optimise these existing techniques and apply them to mobile devices which the majority of today’s fans around the world carry in their pockets every waking moment. 

 

Ticketing should be looking to carve itself a new future; one where a socially distant seating plan can be enabled at the click of a button, where brand new supporters can easily engage with marketing campaigns signing-up for club memberships, or committing to a season-long seat subscription scheme using their Google credentials to create their account, and ApplePay to authorise payment with FaceID. How long does it take for a new fan to do all this using existing legacy platforms? I’d suggest, long enough for the emotional connection with the marketing campaign to end and logic to step in putting a stop to the transaction. 

 

We should demand all methods of payment available. Not just enabling AMEX as well as Visa and MasterCard, but utilising Apple Pay, Google Pay, offering PayPal and Amazon Pay. How about BitCoin? How do you even accept this as a method of payment? What are you supposed to do with it even if you do come to accept it? 

 

When can we begin to utilise geo-location of fans’ devices to assess how long it will be until they arrive at the stadium? Or understand their matchday habits so well that we can have their beer and hotdog ready just as they arrive at the counter? When do we begin to assign a cash value of each member to the club so we can group and reward consumers appropriately, making them feel like the club cares that they’re fans? 

 

For all the “future thinking” surrounding a better user experience for the current generation of techno-literate fans, we must also be considerate of fans less able to fulfil all of their requirements themselves. Elderly or disabled fans might find the clubs’ app too difficult to use. The Ticket Office should retain its place in the community and with it the tools to help support those fans who are most in need. 

 

Our technologies must be flexible enough to acknowledge that pressing forward with new developments for the sake of it should not be the primary motivation. Nor should progress be suppressed for fear of not supporting those supporters who need it most. But progress for the right reasons is paramount. 

 

As technology providers, we should all be driven by the needs of the community, not by the constraints of the technology we use today. We should seek to compliment fans with new ways to interact with our brands, find new innovative ways to deliver for their benefit.

 

Rick Jurkiewicz – Director, Roboticket UK

Visit: https://roboticket.com

Contact: rick@roboticket.com