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8 Ways to Optimize Guest Services on Game Day

July 29, 2014/in All Posts, Communication from ISS 24/7

Providing first-rate guest services is paramount. We know it’s one of the top goals on your list. We also know it is the top goal on your boss’s list.

The fan experience is essential to everyone’s livelihood. You certainly can’t guarantee a win, perfect weather, or prevent car trouble on the way. But you can and must deliver the highest level of guest services.

Face it. You’re in the business of creating memories as much as your star players. Preparing for and delivering to your fans a safe, clean and friendly environment is fundamental to the fan experience and that’s the stuff that leaves fans wanting to return to your stadium for more events.

With your well-trained and dedicated team members you can ‘make things happen’ at every point of contact with your fans. For every location, every person on your team can affect a fan’s experience, positively or negatively.

Every impression, every interaction, they all count.
Employ These 5 Guest Services Expectations in Every Way

First have high expectations and empower your team to deliver the best GUEST services experience, for every point of contact on game day.

G = Greet sincerely with eye contact
U = Understand the guest’s needs
E = Engage yourself in helping guests promptly
S = Smile and be positive throughout
T = Thank guests at every opportunity
Guest Services With a Wow!

Now wow your crowd! We have designated 8 essential touch points for game day guest services so you can immediately put a Guest Services WOW plan in place – the ways to wow. And we’re giving you the how.

A little something you can use AND put into action. How’s that for purpose and peace of mind?
1. Arrival/Parking Lots

Communicate to your fans through your radio partners (e.g. local radio stations): deliver traffic routes and patterns allowing for a more enjoyable commute. Give fans parking lot updates (e.g. when lots are full or whether lot closures take place). We recommend notifying fans when lots are about two-thirds full.
Use signage in the parking lot to display your text communication information so that your guests can use it when they need to. Not using a text communication solution? Check out our blog on the intangible value of text communication at your venue.
Have your season ticket holders opt-in to receive game day notifications and send group notifications thru a text communication solution to these subscribers to communicate weather updates, traffic patterns and parking lot information.
Deploy alcohol management teams to identify and mitigate potential hazards as a result of intoxicated persons. This also provides assurance to fans that guest services is under control, and is dedicated to their experience and safety. 30 minutes prior to game start, move your alcohol management and rapid response teams to entry gates. This will allow them to monitor and identify intoxicated persons and mitigate any incidents before they occur.

2. Stadium Access

Run the math and use your analytics to employ appropriate staffing in order to cut line times to approximately 2:30 minutes.

Bonus with Shorter Lines – Not only does increased flow of lines enhance the guest experience but it also mitigates the risk for an active shooter incident. With active shooter incidents on the rise by 20%, it’s important to alleviate the possibility of scenarios where large crowds are bottlenecked. Increasing flow of traffic greatly reduces the opportunity for active shooters to take advantage of large, crowded settings.
3. Guest Movement

Role-play with your staff using the GUEST acronym we provide above and put it into place in order to prevent any guest services nightmares.
Empower staff to acknowledge all fans they make eye contact with. This lets the guest know your team is there for them. It gives them the peace of mind you’re in control and ready to provide them with a safe and secure environment for that memorable experience they came to your stadium for.
By doing all of this, you’re demonstrating the fact you hire and train staff that wants to help fans and are there when they need them.

4. Concourses

Mount signage displaying fan code of conduct and text communication information throughout your concourses and every concession point. This makes the fan code of conduct clear to fans – it makes it real.
No one likes it when they lose something and the time it can take to report a lost item can feel like salt in a wound. Implement a lost and found solution letting your guests report their lost items directly at your guest services locations. This is an inexpensive way to enhance guest experience and build guest loyalty.
Signage displayed in the concourses also act as a deterrent for intoxicated persons. If they’re not in the right state of mind, clear signage might help put them back in line.
Use your analytics to understand point of sale metrics to best determine your staffing needs against the fan base for specific areas in the stadium.

Take note – Fan demographics change according to the size and type of event. That being said, so will your staffing needs!
5. Bowl Entry

All ushers need to be at their post and ready to WOW your fans. It’s game time!
It’s important to have all ushers trained on hotspots and protocols.
Train staff on how to effectively communicate incidents occurring to the command post.
Always mount signage that displays your fan code of conduct and text communication information – make it prominent upon entry into the stadium bowl.

6. The Bowl

Communicate to your fans on a large scale! Deliver light-hearted public service announcements (PSA) at specific times during the game explaining your fan code of conduct and ways to communicate with staff in the event of an incident.

Here’s an example: During a football game, an effective time would be during the first timeout of the first quarter and right before the second half begins. This will ensure the largest audience for the announcements.

Prominently display visible static signage throughout the bowl inclusive of fan code of conduct and text communication information. That way, when you’re not on the loud speaker everyone knows you’re still in control and focused on their safety at all times.
Being able to exceed fan expectations is a key ingredient to a successful game day. Implement a guest request tracker to increase staff efficiency and enhance performance. Never overlook a wheelchair request again.

7. Stadium Exit

Re-deploy your rapid response team to the parking lot anywhere from 10 minutes before the end of game to the end of game, depending on activity in the bowl.
Re-deploy your police force to the parking lot complete with patrol cars and lights flashing. Along with officers on foot. This is a useful deterrent for potential hazards. And it provides assurance to your fans they will experience a safe and smooth exit from the stadium property.
Oh and by the way, let your fans report lost items to the lost and found manager through your website if they missed guest services in the concourses.

8. Parking Exodus

The party’s over, but that doesn’t mean guest services stops! Your ushers should be waving good-bye and thanking your guests for attending the event.
Use variable message (VM) boards with thank you messages to supplement your staff’s sendoff.
Depending on the location of your stadium, re-route traffic patterns for easy exit too. It’s one more shot to WOW your guests on game day.

Conclude your guest services efforts and leave a smile on everyone’s face – and your fans wanting more!

Hold your staff accountable for each expectation and all the ways to wow.

Measure their performance on game day. And ensure they deliver professionalism, energy – and most importantly – the friendliness you require to set the tone for a memorable guest services experience.

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