I’m a bit of a sports enthusiast, especially those games with many moving parts and constant strategy involved. Football tops that list and, being from Denver, my hometown team is the one that will always have my loyalty.
However, a recent game day experience with another team made a great impression on me. I had the opportunity to go to a Jacksonville Jaguars game with my sister and her family along with some friends. It went beyond one touchpoint or the service of one individual, it was the complete experience.
I like to arrive a little early, so we arrived nearly 2 hours ahead of kick-off, but the crowds were already there to have some pre-game celebrations. Despite that, we easily arrived at our parking area and were greeted very warmly by all those guiding us to parking, from local police to contracted parking attendants. The parking lot had an enthusiastic atmosphere despite being a pre-season game with quite a few starters not playing.
Not being a season ticket holder, I had some average seats to the game. Upon entry, I was easily identified as someone who supports another team – and was granted access to the field during pre-game – quite the experience. Despite all the security concerns, even the sideline fieldworkers were very pleasant, even when we strayed outside the boundaries, including when I had a photo opportunity with the officiating crew (which turned out to be my favorite picture of the day). Heading to the seats ahead of kick-off, I found that my seats were upgraded to a Suite – can I just say “WOW!”. Full service, prepared food and cover from a rain storm that never happened.
By now, some of you are thinking how lucky I am and others are wondering what this has to do with market research. Well, after reflecting on the entire experience, I started to reflect on how fragile the entire “customer experience” can be. With the hometown team losing on a last minute score, if I didn’t have the right perspective on the meaning of the game, I could have headed home disappointed in the experience. In fact, despite all the ‘upgraded experiences’, a failure at just about any point could have made my first experience at Everbank Field a negative one leaving me not wanting to go back – a traffic incident, and unfriendly policeman or a bad attitude from one of the service workers at the suite. When you think about how much you can’t control in your own customers’ experiences, it really lends credibility to the work being done in Enterprise Feedback Management and Customer Experience Management. For years, I’ve wanted the ecosystem that allows managers to measure all touchpoints and features as best possible. We’re fortunate that we have those tools now.
As for me, I’m sure I’ll go to another game in Jacksonville when the opportunity presents itself….and they already know that those free upgrades will result in me spending even more on my next visit to bring the experience as close as I can to my first experience.
For more information on the critical steps when moving from traditional customer satisfaction research to EFM, click here.