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By James Croll and Ashlee Omeara Sales & Marketing Specialist
Australasian Leisure Management
James Croll explores how ticketing software has revolutionised the entire customer experience in the Leisure sector
Think of ticketing software solutions and chances are that your immediate thoughts will be of software that simply offers a means of selling tickets online. The truth however, is that today’s ticketing solutions often provide much more than just a means to sell tickets. The more advanced solutions are often backed by a comprehensive suite of other digital solutions including marketing, management and reporting functions, as well as CRM functionality and financial management tools; functions that not only put the vendor in control, but provide the customer with an altogether more rewarding experience.
This dramatic shift in the ticketing offering has come about as the software providers continue to seek a more comprehensive and complete end-to-end solution that will not only enable their clients to manage their booking processes efficiently but enable them to drive their businesses forward.
Melbourne based ROLLER has been providing digital solutions for the leisure industry for the past six years. Their ticketing solutions are complemented by booking systems, electronic data management, website design and apps and much more. Their founder and CEO Luke Finn, recently presented at the 2016 Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) annual conference in Sydney and spoke of the importance of investing in the right software to not only ensure the best customer experience, but to optimise sales and repeat business.
“At ROLLER we are continually innovating to increase our client’s conversions,” says Finn. “It is an ethos we adopted from the start when we took complex entertainment business issues and wrapped the solution in a fresh, easy to use platform. We created a pioneering, customer centric platform with a suite of supportive apps and software solutions. We provide a complete ecosystem for any business in entertainment. Our partners receive a curated 360 view, empowering them to uncover their own untapped operational efficiencies.”
It is an ethos that has allowed ROLLER’s clients to take their sales and marketing strategies and their operations to an entirely different level. In an age where ‘innovation’ is the buzz word, it has allowed them to think outside the square.
Leanne Salmon, General Manager at Adventure Park, Victoria’s largest theme park, describes her experience with ROLLER as “outstanding,” adding, “ROLLER’s system has solved so many problems that we used to endure on a daily basis, saving us countless dollars. Not only is the system easy to use, it is built with the newest technology, allowing us to grow as a business, taking advantage of mobile, social and RFID. They are constantly releasing innovative features that keep us excited and allow us to think outside the box … this is the next generation in amusement park ticketing and bookings.”
Software providers now invariably like to manage website development, as this creates the platform for a good customer experience as well as the platform to drive sales. The developer’s understanding of the potential customer journey invariably allows them to ensure that the site visitor can clearly understand the multiple ticket types and other options available to them, whether it be ticketing options for an amusement, recreation or other leisure venue or indeed large scale event. The need to be mobile friendly is also crucial to the customer experience.
Taking control and directing up-selling opportunities at the point of booking has also developed into a key area to increase revenue. Finn at ROLLER sees this as a crucial part of their software build early on.
“Our ‘Add On’ functionality allows our clients to sell reserved areas, vouchers, merchandise and much more from within the booking process,” says Finn. “We also provide some very exciting solutions which enable our clients to encourage and reward their customers for spreading the word to get their friends and family to purchase tickets as well. Word-of-mouth referrals are key to driving more sales.”
Managing all of their bookings online through their own website and social media pages has had a dramatic impact on the financial control of many venues and attractions who have invested in the right software. Without the need to redirect payments to a third party provider, they are able to take payment for reservations directly through their own websites and Facebook accounts, while having complete control over inventory, pricing, authorisation of bookings and a lot more. In turn, this allows them to receive their funds in real time thus avoiding any cash flow issues.
Another of the more important functions in the better software solutions available on the marketplace are those that integrate efficient CRM tools. The ability to profile customers, retain their data and market to them effectively is a crucial factor when it comes to successfully retaining loyalty, driving repeat business and encouraging referrals.
Luke Finn of ROLLER sees the software platform solutions they provide as being far more than ticketing, management, and sales and marketing solutions. He’d even go so far as to say that their solutions are all about community engagement.
“We are in the service business of entertainment,” says Finn. “People are not only buying our software but the personality and the lifestyle we represent. If one focusses on the relationship, the business follows. We are open and allow them to peek behind the curtain. We are transparent and generously share our personality across our clients’ ROLLER platform… After all, this is for fun’s sake.”