With the beginning of the college football season, several programs have allowed fans back into venues in a limited capacity. In the heart of Atlanta, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have allowed fans into Bobby Dodd Stadium at 20% capacity.
To keep fans safe Mike Castle, assistant athletic director, ticket sales & operations, and the rest of the athletic department put together a cohesive plan to best service customers while maximizing revenue.
“I think the most difficult hurdle was that there was no written plan to start from,” Castle told Front Office Sports. “We were all starting from scratch and reacting as the situation unfolded. This was such a fluid offseason in preparation for so many unknowns, it was definitely one of the more challenging things I’ve ever had to encounter in my career.”
For the past several years, Georgia Tech has implemented Satisfi Labs’ virtual assistant to help answer fans’ questions about the game-day experience both leading up to game day and once they are inside the stadium or arena. Fans can access the virtual assistant on ramblinwreck.com, via SMS, and through the athletic department’s official app. This has been particularly helpful in 2020 as the Yellow Jackets’ staff deals with many new COVID-19 related questions, especially when it comes to entry policies, mobile ticketing, food and beverage handling, and even tailgating protocol.
“The great thing about Satisfi Labs and the specifics of the products we use with them is that it learns off of itself,” Castle said. “Each season, we can build off of the questions that fans are asking and provide more intelligent answers. This offseason, we were working with a bank of questions that we’ve never had answers to before and we were trying to guess what kind of questions people were going to have about their game-day experience. Luckily, Satisfi works with a lot of different teams that have already started the process. So we were able to benefit from a lot of the COVID platforms that have been built for other teams and built off of it to make it unique and applicable to our own team here.”
As part of Georgia Tech’s measures to decrease points of contact between customers and venue staff, the Yellow Jackets implemented a digital-only approach to ticketing. Many questions the virtual assistant is now handling for the staff are pertaining to digital tickets assistance, as a result.
“That particular part of the virtual assistant was really applicable, but in general, we built our virtual assistant with the idea that it could be helpful on game days, but also leading up to game day,” Castle said. “The platform of the virtual assistant is versatile enough to answer and help them. Satisfi is so good at anticipating what’s going to be asked, but also reacting to questions and adapting along the way. It’s just a spectacular product.”
With three home games left in the season, Castle and the rest of Georgia Tech’s ticketing staff will be proud to continue to provide their fans with high quality service made possible, in part, by their partnership with Satisfi Labs.
“I’m most proud of our ability to anticipate situations and problems that fans may encounter so that we can have a solution for them,” Castle concluded. “If we weren’t able to answer it from the first person, make sure that the second, third, fourth, fifth person, and everybody else that asks gets an appropriate response and has the best customer experience.”