FC Seoul is leading the way in the K League’s spectator culture. The club has gone beyond just watching soccer games to provide customized services that meet the needs of its fans.
Starting with the question, “Who are our customers (fans) and what kind of experience do they expect to have with us?”, Seoul has been working on a project to build a CRM (customer relationship management) system to drive effective marketing activities through detailed customer management.
Not only did the team put their heads together, but they also collaborated with ’52g’. ’52g’ stands for ‘5pen 2nnovation GS’ and is an innovation organization that creates a sustainable future for FC Seoul’s parent company, GS Group. ’52g’ started as a small community in 2020 and has since grown into a large crew with volunteers from each affiliate. Its main task is to digitally transform on-site and off-site work practices and share them with employees. Seoul’s own employees have also joined the 52g crew to build their competency in fan data, redefining the club’s project tasks from a customer perspective. 안전놀이터
To personalize their service, Seoul first defined the characteristics and criteria of their customers through surveys, interviews, and membership data for each game. Using their own database, they found that the highest percentage of ticket buyers are in their 20s (31%) and 40s (25%), with 1.7 additional adult tickets purchased for every child. The proportion of female fans has also increased from 27% in 2019 to 32% this year. The club has responded by organizing traveling soccer classes for children, advertising in apartments in Seoul, and outreach to elementary schools in Seoul. For example, if a fan won a game on a rainy day, the team would share memories with them and pay attention to details that would encourage repeat purchases.
We then designed the differentiated experience they wanted. This is where we learn about the pain points fans have when attending games. In order to strengthen customer service, which has been conducted only through phone calls to the club’s office, the team has created a token inquiry window through the website and app so that customers can ask questions at any time. If you go to the club’s website, you can see the ‘Contact Us’ button on the bottom right. It is a real-time consultation service ‘chatbot’. It says that you can get an answer within a few minutes. Through the ‘chatbot’, various ‘complaints’ such as the lack of women’s restrooms and inconvenient convenience store lines poured in. Seoul has been working with GS Retail to digitally solve convenience store problems. While not all problems can be solved right away, the data collected can be used to spark positive change. Internally, the club formed the Fan eXperience Team (FXT) in 2023 to define Seoul’s customers and resolve fans’ viewing inconveniences from the second half of 2022.
“These opinions are explained through dashboards and sharing meetings so that all employees can quickly see them and come up with solutions, and through the project process, Seoul is internalizing the ability to look at customer opinions in a new way and grow data-driven,” said a Seoul official.
Seoul has seen a ticket repurchase rate of nearly 25% for the 2023 season. The team is testing services such as convenience store pickup, Seoul Secut, AR photo cards, and enhanced events at Bukka Plaza with the goal of reaching the 30 percent mark. There is nothing to gain by not trying. As of the 29th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023, Seoul is the only city in the K League 1 with an average attendance of 20,000 (21,941) and is on the verge of breaking the 400,000 mark (currently 329,116) for the first time in history.