How Ticketmaster can improve its customer experienceby
Fans have flocked back to shows since live music returned after the pandemic. But recent high-profile customer issues with Ticketmaster have shown that ticket-buying is a huge frustration for many. So how can the likes of Ticketmaster improve their customer experience journey?
While the return of live events and tours have seen fans flock back to shows, recent high-profile customer issues with both Ticketmaster and O2 have shown that ticket-buying continues to be a major area of frustration for many.
Over the last six months, Ticketmaster has felt the wrath of Taylor Swift and Beyonce fans as ticket sales were plagued with issues - with questions even being raised in a US Senate hearing over Swift’s Eras Tour. Across the Atlantic, British festival-goers are long accustomed to the difficulties of securing a Glastonbury ticket. And this year’s sale didn’t go well – in the hours after their release, countless stories were being reported on social media of people being frozen out of ticket vendor Ticketmaster’s website at the last minute.
A fundamental problem here is that not only do these vendors have a huge number of tickets to sell and then process, but ticket demand also far outweighs supply. For instance, across a staggering five nights at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Beyonce will play to an 200,000 adoring fans. Successfully selling that many tickets is an impressive feat, especially when some reports suggested over a million fans tried to buy tickets.
The sheer inability to keep up with demand exemplifies some of the age-old challenges that businesses across multiple industries face with customer service, and shows exactly why enhancing the customer experience (CX) can ensure that a brand avoids negative headlines.
How can Ticketmaster respond?
To achieve this, it is crucial to listen to customer feedback, particularly Voice of the Customer (VoC) data. Increasingly, businesses are using VoC data to help inform strategies for customer retention and ensure communications are directed through the right marketing channels – thereby ensuring Swifties, the Bey Hive, and all music fans, can at least feel heard.
And it’s not just Ticketmaster, the current economic climate is leading many businesses – in all industries and sectors – towards finding ways to ‘do more with less.’
According to Forrester, the quality of CX offered by B2C brands and government agencies declined in 2022. Forrester uses a comprehensive CX Index to measure loyalty and quality to provide a comprehensive health score called the CX Score. Until last year, CX scores had been steadily rising, but in 2022 the average CX score was 71.3 – down from 72.0 in 2021.
Part of the decline in CX scores across various industries is attributed to complex macroeconomic pressures such as labour shortages, supply chain disruptions, and the pandemic, which affected businesses' ability to meet customers' expectations. From a CX perspective, this means focussing limited budgets on the areas it will be most effective.
Collecting and analysing VoC data
As accessing and gathering data from a range of sources has become progressively easier, VoC has become an essential tool in helping accommodate increased traffic to websites like that experienced by Ticketmaster. Web analytics and surveys have long been used by businesses – however, putting together a survey and analysing the results take too much time, particularly when customer sentiments can change overnight.
To analyse these changes, many businesses are now implementing social listening tools to uncover real-time customer sentiment, correlating social media trends with purchasing trends. Take #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, tracking this hashtag helps to provide retailers with a snapshot of current consumer tastes as they appear. Businesses are also employing tools like Google Business Profiles and Apple Business Connect to tap into the power of ratings and reviews.This, paired with social listening, provides a 360-degree view that brands should assess regularly to make improvements faster.
Savvy businesses use these findings to learn best practices – looking at previous approaches and analysing the positive and negative feedback to build towards future successes. They are also putting it to work by eliminating uncertainty in marketing and remarketing programmes in a bid to attract new customers, while also drawing more value from existing ones. This last point is especially critical in the current economic climate, as any business knows: it’s much more expensive to acquire new customers than to serve existing ones. And, the proven way to earn new customers is to deliver great experiences to current ones. So, using low-cost tools to gather VoC data to maximise spend from existing customers is a wise move during economic downturns like the one we’re currently experiencing.
High-profile events and busy periods often require a much different approach to CX than day-to-day operations. And this is true across industries. By using VoC, businesses can streamline operations and gain in-depth knowledge on how to allocate resources and staff effectively. This, in turn, improves CX, and with more emphasis put on what customers want, businesses see customer churn reduce.
Looking forward and using AI for smarter decisions
While there are plenty of new tools helping businesses collect VoC data on an industrial scale, it is just as important that businesses have the ability to analyse said data. With over 14 million people trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets around the world, for example, there is no way that it would be cost- or time-efficient for humans to effectively analyse even a fraction of the information Ticketmaster would have received.
Fortunately, AI has advanced to the point where it can make sense of the huge amounts of data businesses are receiving. Natural language processing, a type of AI, has been trained to analyse customer comments from a range of disconnected platforms to identify trends and patterns in feedback.
With such vast amounts of past data to work with, AI can also be used to create effective forecasting models, helping businesses get ahead of future trends. By incorporating third-party data sources, like searches for specific languages or customer satisfaction numbers from survey data, AI can create anything from simple statistical models to sophisticated learning models.
Preparing for the future
The huge demand Ticketmaster has experienced over the last year was not an anomaly, and creates an interesting learning point for all businesses. In occasions of high-demand, employing VoC data can ensure customers have an improved experience the next time they try to buy such sought-after tickets. For instance, a business like Ticketmaster will have data from millions of customers that can be used to enhance its operations. Whether that means optimising staff allocation during peak periods, introducing new website functionalities, or implementing other innovative methods, like using AI and machine learning technologies, to provide personalised recommendations based on each customer's browsing and purchasing history.
In today's era of social media and instant communication, businesses must be vigilant in their efforts to meet and exceed customer expectations. Those that fail to listen are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past and by not using tools to analyse VoC data risk damaging their reputation and losing customers. No matter your industry, the ability to truly listen to customers and to take action on what you hear is an essential component of building a lasting and profitable business in today's customer-driven marketplace.
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