Joe Cohen launched Seatwave in February 2007 with the specific aim of providing a safe and secure alternative to ticket touting. Rather than trying to navigate the murky world of dodgy touts in dark car parks, music, sport, or theatre enthusiasts can simply log onto Seatwave’s site to sell their unwanted tickets and buy tickets at far lower prices than touts would offer.
With its TicketIntegrity™ guarantee that buyers will receive the tickets they ordered in good time for the event, Seatwave has been a runaway success. Now, just six years after launch the London-based company has more than 3 million tickets for sale at any one point, and is fast becoming a globally recognised brand.
Outsourced customer support
Any ticket reselling service is likely to need significant customer support, and Seatwave is no exception. It receives many e-mails, phone calls and webchat enquiries from both sellers and buyers about a vast range of subjects.
“The most common enquiry is buyers wondering why their tickets haven’t arrived,” says Ivan Uzunov, Operations Manager at 60K and the lead on the Seatwave campaign. “Very often event organisers only release tickets a few days before the event and buyers get worried they won’t arrive on time. So we need to reassure them and give them accurate information. But there are many other types of query.”
Seatwave has used 60K for its Western European and North American customer service since March 2010. It is a genuinely multichannel and multilingual campaign: around 60% of enquiries are through e-mail, 30% phone and 10% webchat, and although English is the main language spoken there are also German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French speakers on the team.
The Bulgarian contact centre now has a team of 20 agents working solely on Seatwave, but it scales this up around a major event such as the 2011 Take That reunion which was so popular the company needed to temporarily add ten extra agents to the team.
While Seatwave may have been attracted to 60K because of its exceptional multilingual capabilities and campaign costs which are around half those of a comparable UK operation, it would only have continued to outsource its customer service if the 60K team met the high standards of customer service Seatwave expects.
“We have three metrics on this campaign,” explains Uzunov. “We began with the aim of responding in real-time to 80% of enquiries, so needing to call back only 20%. This target rose to 90% and we now achieve an average of over 97%. We respond to e-mails within 24 hours, and are the only company to achieve this – all our competitors take 48 hours. Finally, the quality of our customer interactions are evaluated through call recordings and review of e-mails and webchat logs.”
A developing relationship
The relationship is now into its fourth year. While the first group of agents on the campaign visited the Seatwave head office in London for initial training, there is now no need to do that: 60K managers and trainers are able to give new Seatwave agents all the training they need.
Ivan also reports that 60K has added back-office support to its existing customer support role. “We are adding new events to the site, and changing content already on there, as well as conducting fraud checks on sellers,” he says.