24.09.2019 Author Jukka P Sormunen

Eyes on the stands – how do you charm a customer?

Hu. Hu. HU. HU-HU-HU!

Having lost their 2–1 lead at the last minute, the Finns are upset, but the Icelandic fans are on their feet, clapping their hands in a steady rhythm. I can feel cold chills running down my spine. Whether the last goal should have been accepted or not is irrelevant here, there’s something magical and captivating in the crowd’s “HU” chant. For a moment, the entire crowd is one big tribe of Icelandic fans – you can even call it love for your team.

In the corporate world as well, we can create tribes and enchant our customers. The key ingredient here is deep understanding. Only by understanding our customers can we provide them with services, products, experiences and feelings that hit like Cupid’s arrows, creating spontaneous buzz and excitement.

How do Real Madrid understand their fans?

In our day-to-day lives we can just march into the kitchen and ask how everyone’s doing. However, in the world of sports we need a different method to create an understanding of things. When Real Madrid want to understand their 450 million fans all over the world, they can’t just call each one and ask them how they’re doing. Instead, they can utilize knowledge-driven solutions: consulting, research and analytics services. These tools, combined with modern technology and service processes, make it possible to create such a sophisticated model of data collection and utilization that it can be used to respond to the fans’ needs, wishes and behavior – and to create unforgettable experiences for the fans.

Using data, Real Madrid have developed an operating environment that’s hard for others to copy, which creates a long-lasting competitive advantage. The environment’s operation model is used to collect and combine all the data that truly matters. Fans’ conversations on social media is combined with data on how fans use the Real Madrid app. Data from the video service is seamlessly integrated with user profile data and, for example, with match attendance data. All these sources of information along with several others come together forming a clear core. Using information derived from it, it is possible to communicate and act with each fan tribe taking their specific needs into account.

This provides Real Madrid with a solid understanding of their fans and fan tribes. Utilizing that information and a knowledge-driven leadership approach, they can create content, campaigns and offers that are genuinely appealing to their fans. Meaningful interaction creates a more profound bond between the team and the fans – while also creating an advantage for Real Madrid in the ever more data-intensive world of sports.

Monetizing understanding

While Leicester City FC, aka the Foxes, leveraged data and analytics efficiently and sharply to assemble the right team and later, to everyone’s surprise, to win the Premier League, the baseball team Texas Rangers leverage data with their eyes on the stands. Data allows them to analyze, for example, how many customer service reps are needed in order to make things flow smoothly for the fans and to avoid overstaffing. On the other hand, they also use data to find out which products, side events and services yield the best results.

Sports clubs and companies have always had plenty of certain kind of customer data at their disposal, but – as with Texas Rangers earlier – that data has been scattered in silos, making it hard to use. However, today it’s possible to quickly handle and structure data from several different sources, to use analytics to discover and get meaningful answers from within and outside of a company, and to create comprehensive, in-depth customer understanding.

The stories of Real Madrid and Texas Rangers are merely examples of how modern technology and knowledge-driven leadership solutions together enable real-time, comprehensive customer management and how that information can be used for example to create an improved customer experience. By bringing meaningful information to different levels and everyday operations of an organization we can make our customers feel that we understand them. To be understood is a powerful force that builds both trust and loyalty. Why should we look anywhere else, when this pioneering company understands us best? It’s easy to fall for a product or a service that meets both your needs and wishes as closely as possible.

Have you already figured out how to create attraction within your customers?


Jukka P Sormunen
Director of Customer Relations, Analytics Services

Read more: Innolink’s Knowledge-driven leadership solutions
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