Everton CRM tackles tickets, sales

Everton Football Club has scored with an all-in-one ticketing and customer relationship management (CRM) system that went live in October this year.

The Premier League club decided to update its customer-facing and ticketing technology after an appraisal of its deliver options.

It selected the all-in-one system designed for sports clubs and venues, TALENT Sport, to speed time-consuming ticket office processes, revamp their online ticket sales service and improve its sales and marketing opportunities.

Andy Ward, Everton's head of ticketing said the new systems were installed to tight timescales. "It was quite a challenge moving to a new ticketing system mid-season, plus we had just six weeks to get it implemented," he said.

The system is also simplifying ticketing processes, where it is the club's policy is to prioritise tickets for its most popular fixtures to their most loyal supporters first. Previously, tickets could only be bought via postal applications or at the box office. "We now have the ability to control the correct qualifying criteria for online sales by applying mandatory prerequisites to games and this ensures tickets are allocated to the right supporters at the right time," said Ward.

The club also runs a pre-payment scheme for supporters to sign up in advance for cup competition tickets. Ward added: "Before, it used to take us up to four days to process sales for each cup game. Now it is much quicker - we can do it all in less than one day."

Everton's gates are fitted with SkiData turnstiles to allow supporters to enter the grounds using a smartcard or ticket. Previously, season ticket cardholders buying a ticket for a non-season match had to be sent a new match ticket. Now, the integration offered by TALENT simply activates their smartcard for the desired match.

Everton will also be using the new software to gather customer information in support of supporter and corporate marketing campaigns.

Robert Elstone, Everton RF deputy chief executive added: "The system is helping us offer a better service to our supporters, increase sales and secure operational efficiencies."

The system is used by Everton's rival Premier League clubs Liverpool, Newcastle United, Manchester City, Reading and Sunderland and is from the Software4Sport division of software vendor IRIS, who merged with TALENT's original developer, Computer Software Group in July this year.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.