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Why it's important to understand your customers

My beloved football club, SAFC, are in the news quite a bit at the moment. Well, when I say news, it’s more lower down, sports news and a lot of fan-based noise. Anyway, it made me think back to last year when they decided to get rid of cash turnstiles and go all digital. Not only for tickets but making the whole stadium cashless.

At first this sounds very forward thinking, modern and the way to go. The problem though, is that not all supporters have the digital skills or the option and so, there was a backlash.

Lots of fans took to social media to vent either their own frustration or that of their family or friends. There was even a Twitter space, discussing at length people’s views and frustrations. Local newspapers ran the story of what happened, further highlighting the issue.

How could SAFC have avoided this backlash? By carrying out research – speaking to supporters and understanding their needs. This would give valuable insight into the different levels of digital skills. Using this info would help ease the transition for the supporters, into a new, cashless system. All the outrage and backlash was avoidable.

From the backlash and looking at the data, SAFC came out and said they would provide one:one support. The data showed 238 people used cash in the previous season. (This was when there were limitations on the number of people allowed to attend matches due to COVID).

The support should have been in place beforehand. Or SAFC should have at least been aware of situations where fans would be excluded. It’s important that businesses understand their customer base and be inclusive.

Do you understand your customer base?

  • Who are they and what are their needs?
  • What problems do they encounter?
  • What are your customer’s limitations?

Are you services inclusive?

  • What areas or segments do you need to consider?
  • What’s your customer range?
  • How do you address your customer’s needs?

Are you thinking about implementing a new feature into your service? This is where I can help. Looking under the bonnet, researching your target audience and current customers. Also looking in-depth at your service, all helps to pave the way for better, smooth experiences.

Take a look around the site and read about Service Design to find out more. Get in touch and tell me your situation and we’ll see how I can help you.
Do better than Sunderland AFC.

What’s underneath matters.

Ha’way the lads