When customers make bookings for must-see events, Shubert Ticketing aims to offer a seamless experience online and on mobile. How could it spot and resolve sources of customer “struggle” rapidly?
Shubert Ticketing deployed a customer behavior analytics solution based on IBM® Watson Customer Experience Analytics—enabling it to replay real-world customer sessions and pinpoint issues.
Pinpointssources of customer struggle with real-world session replays
Acceleratesresolution of experience issues, improving service quality
Avoidslosing out on ticket sales by applying a quick fix to a checkout issue
Business challenge story
Seamless journeys drive conversion
Sometimes, shopping gets competitive—and when tickets for a hotly anticipated Broadway show go on sale, ticketing agencies must be ready to offer a high-quality experience to a surge of prospective customers.
For Shubert Ticketing, a leading international provider of ticketing services based in New York, NY, offering seamless digital journeys is becoming more important than ever.
Jennifer Tattenbaum, Senior Director of Interactive at Shubert Ticketing, explains: “We have exclusive contracts with many leading venues across the city, which makes us the only approved retail distribution arm that can sell tickets online at box-office prices. We can’t rest on our laurels, though—if customers are unable to purchase the tickets they want through our site for any reason, they might choose to buy them at a premium from third-party resellers, or wait until the day of a show to try to secure a discounted rate.”
She continues: “To encourage conversion, we aim to offer our customers the simplest possible journey from browsing to buying, whether it’s on our desktop site or our responsive mobile site. Because the back-end systems that support our ticketing experience are highly complex—and because we deliver two very different shopping experiences online and on mobile—identifying and troubleshooting potential issues is a tough challenge.”
To deliver deeper insight into digital customer behavior, Shubert Ticketing embraced IBM Digital Analytics.
“Our IBM Digital Analytics solution helped us understand how our customers were engaging with us online, what they were looking at before they took the decision to buy, and the points at which they were abandoning their sessions,” Tattenbaum continues. “This data is very valuable to our Broadway clients, as it enables them to figure out if their marketing strategies are working well. However, we still faced significant challenges around reproducing the experience issues that customers reported via our contact center—we knew we needed to dig deeper to fix them quickly.”
Identifying customer struggles
To drill down into real-world customer behavior on the digital channel, Shubert Ticketing selected IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics. The cloud platform combines the web analytics capabilities of IBM Digital Analytics with comprehensive data capture for real-world customer sessions—enabling the company’s IT team to replay unique sessions as if they were sitting next to the customer.
“We felt that migrating to IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics was a natural step in the evolution of our approach to analytics,” recalls Tattenbaum. “Better still, because the IBM solution is based in the cloud, we knew we could avoid the cost and complexity of managing and maintaining the platform ourselves.”
To get up and running with its new solution quickly, Shubert Ticketing engaged IBM Gold Business Partner Pereion Solutions to provide expert support throughout the deployment process. Today, Shubert Ticketing uses IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics to replay the journeys of customers who experienced technical errors—helping it determine the root causes and take rapid action to solve them.
“Working with Pereion Solutions was a great experience, and it was clear from the outset that their team had deep experience around customer behavior analytics,” says Tattenbaum. “Pereion Solutions helped us to create the monitoring events we needed to gain visibility into a wide range of potential error conditions on our sites, and design reports to help us understand the root causes of the behaviors we were seeing. The team was extremely proactive in their approach, and their guidance was key in enabling us to transition to the new way of working rapidly.”
Delivering outstanding experiences
Equipped with deeper insight into digital customer behavior, Shubert Ticketing is already experiencing the financial benefits of delivering higher-quality experiences.
“The interrelationships between our back-end systems and customer-facing sites are complex, and making changes increases the risk of inadvertently introducing sticking points along a customer journey,” explains Tattenbaum. “It’s crucial that we catch and fix these kinds of issues quickly, because even an hour of being unable to process all customer orders can quickly add up, especially during a big onsale.
“For example, we recently discovered via our contact center that there was an issue in our checkout process that caused country codes for some international customers to be entered twice into our booking systems—preventing these customers from completing their orders. In the past, solving this error would have required us to find the log data from the customers affected, then build up enough information to identify the problem and push out a fix—a potentially painstaking process.
“Thanks to our IBM solution, we successfully diagnosed and remediated this issue almost twice as fast as was previously possible. What’s more, if the issue had continued, we estimate that we could have missed out on a significant amount of ticket sales—a clear indication that there is a major advantage in solving experience issues quickly.”
The ability to drill down into customer sessions is empowering Shubert Ticketing to build closer relationships with its theater clients.
“When a new show goes on sale, it’s crucial to demonstrate to our clients that we’re delivering a reliable and seamless checkout experience for their audience,” adds Tattenbaum. “During a recent on-sale event for a new show, our client saw that some of its customers were reporting that they were unable to check out their baskets. By replaying the sessions in the IBM solution, we were able to reassure our client that these experiences were the result of user error, and propose design changes to make our desktop site even more user-friendly.”
By uncovering customer behavior trends in IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics, Shubert Ticketing can prioritize improvements to its site that will have the biggest impact on customer experience.
“Some of our extended-run shows are commercial theater productions that have been running for more than 30 years—and because there is greater flexibility on dates, customers tend to be willing to wait until their preferred seat or ticket price is available,” Tattenbaum comments. “We are preparing to roll out a search feature on our mobile site that will enable customers to find the first date they can get a seat for a certain price. And by measuring the popularity of the feature in the IBM solution and its impact on conversion rates, we can decide whether or not to deploy it to our online site in the future.”
Tattenbaum concludes: “We aim to offer customers a fast, straightforward route to find the right tickets at the best price—and thanks to Pereion Solutions and our IBM platform, we’re achieving exactly that.”
About Shubert Ticketing
Headquartered in New York, NY, Shubert Ticketing is a leading international provider of ticketing services. Shubert’s ticketing system sells millions of tickets each year via a range of online distribution channels, at box offices and call centers, and through hundreds of third-party agents. Shubert Ticketing is part of the Shubert Organization, America's oldest professional theater company and the largest theater owner on the Broadway.
- M&E: Agile Enterprise
- M&E: Connected Customer
- M&E: Customer Sales and Service Transformation
- Watson Customer Experience Analytics
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Headquartered in Reading, MA, Pereion Solutions helps businesses shape exceptional digital customer experiences using customer analytics solutions. An IBM Gold Business Partner, Pereion Solutions was founded in 2012 and is led by a team with more than 25 years’ experience in technology solutions. To learn more about services from Pereion Solutions, please visit: pereion.com
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