Winning the customer experience World Cup
It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil on Thursday. Whatever your interest in football, it is set to dominate the media for the next few weeks (or until England is knocked out).
As with any major event, there is a corresponding effect on both businesses and consumers, particularly when it comes to the customer experience. I think the impact will come in four different areas:
1. Greater competition in certain sectors
We’ve already seen a big marketing push from brands to link themselves to the World Cup. From companies selling the new, 42 inch smart TV you need to watch the football in all its glory, to bookmakers tempting you to have a flutter, the World Cup provides the opportunity to increase revenues. What is vital is that companies have the resources in place to capitalise on the demand that they create – after all if a supermarket runs out of beer or a takeaway service fails to deliver they’ll not only lose customers, but damage their reputation.
2. Managing staff
While England’s first match is at 11pm, many of the other first round matches are earlier in the day, with the final group games kicking off at 5pm. Companies need to ensure that they have got adequate staffing in place, with enough contact centre agents to cope with demand, and that they have contingency plans if the temptation to stay home and watch the match on TV proves too great. One way round this is to show important games within the contact centre, but with strict rules to prevent it hitting productivity too much.
3. Expect the unexpected
It is relatively easy to predict that certain sectors (supermarkets and pubs to name just two) will be in demand. But despite the hype not everyone is going to watch the World Cup, so other companies may be unexpectedly busy. Hotels, theatres or cinemas could attract the non-enthusiast, so companies need to make sure they have the staff and information in place to cater for their needs.
4. It will be a social media World Cup
A huge proportion of the global audience for the World Cup is expected to watch TV while simultaneously sharing their thoughts on social media. So the customer service challenge is threefold. Social networks need to ensure they can scale to cope with demand, while brands need to be extra-vigilant for any customer service issues that are tweeted or posted, and answer them before they snowball out of control. Thirdly, broadcasters will have to be alert to any criticism of their performance on social media, and use the channel to interact with fans, particularly when it comes to any technical issues during coverage.
Like the Olympics, the World Cup has a huge impact on everyone and every company while it is on. Smart brands will have planned ahead to ensure that it has no negative impact on the customer experience, and even smarter ones will use it as the chance to boost engagement, increase sales and get closer to customers.