SBD/May 16, 2012/Research and Ratings

MLB Clubs Show Year-Over-Year Improvement In Secret Shopper Survey

The season-ticket sales staff at nearly every MLB club improved its performance from last year in the second annual mystery shopper survey conducted exclusively for SportsBusiness Daily/Journal by research firm IntelliShop. The Padres staff maintained its No. 1 ranking, although big jumps by the second-ranked Reds and the No. 3 A’s made this year’s top scores closer than last year. The Reds’ numbers improved across almost the entire 27-question survey, and the club's staff saw the biggest improvement in the study, nearly doubling its overall score from last year. Reds VP/Ticket Sales John Davis said, "Over the past 20 months, the club has created a client services division consisting of six new full-time hires, plus a part-time intern." Additionally, the club last fall brought in independent ticket sales consultant Charlie Chislaghi to train the staff. Reps from the Astros and Giants asked the most questions during the exercise, and no team in the study showed a bigger increase in the number of questions asked compared to last year than the Giants.

METHODOLOGY: The survey was fielded March 12-April 11 among 27 of the 30 MLB clubs. The Red Sox, Phillies and Cubs were excluded from the survey after indicating on the first call that season tickets were no longer available. The survey consisted of mostly objective, multiple-choice questions. One question -- “Which of the following ‘selling points’ did your agent mention as a reason for buying season tickets (or a partial-season-ticket plan)?” -- had 15 answer options, all of which could have been checked off by the caller. More subjective topics included evaluating volume and clarity of the sales agent’s voice, the agent’s ability to retrieve and access information and background noise.

ASSESSMENT OF OVERALL SALES EXPERIENCE
Rk
Team
Avg. score
(1-yr % +/-)
One of the best telephone sales
experiences I’ve ever had
Above avg. but
not among best
About
average
1
Padres
68.2% (+5.2)
50%
30%
20%
2
Reds
67.0% (+32.0)
40%
60%
0%
3
A's
63.5% (+12.5)
20%
40%
40%
4
Indians
61.9% (+2.9)
8%
54%
38%
5
Astros
60.6% (+19.6)
20%
50%
30%
6
Dodgers
60.2% (+17.2)
40%
40%
20%
7
Rays
59.8% (+6.8)
30%
50%
20%
8
Giants
59.2% (+16.2)
30%
40%
30%
9
Mets
57.8% (+10.8)
20%
60%
20%
10
Pirates
56.9% (+6.9)
30%
40%
20%
MLB Avg.
51.0% (+8.0)
15%
37%
40%
 

NOTE: Some totals do not equal 100% because responses for categories below “about average” are not listed here.

How many seconds elapsed between when you first placed the call
and when you reached an agent who was available to help you?
Rank
Team Time (Change from '11)
1
Dodgers 10 seconds (-12 seconds)
2t
Braves 30 seconds (-6 seconds)
2t
Royals 30 seconds (-25 seconds)
4
Giants 31 seconds (-1 minute 42 seconds)
5
Rockies 33 seconds (-22 seconds)
MLB Avg. 1 minute 53 seconds (+32 seconds)
   
Average Questions Asked By Teams During Survey
Team
Avg. Questions Asked (Change from '11)
Giants
3.6 (+1.2)
Astros
3.6 (+.8)
Mets
3.5 (+.9)
Padres
3.4 (+.4)
A's
3.3 (+.6)
MLB Avg.
2.8 (+.3)
   
Did your agent invite you to come to the stadium to sit
in the actual seats before you buy?
Team
Tried to get me to stadium and sit in seats
Briefly mentioned I could sit in the seats before I buy
Did not mention coming to stadium
D'Backs
70%
30%
0%
Rays
90%
0%
10%
Padres
80%
10%
10%
White Sox
40%
50%
10%
Rockies
50%
25%
25%
MLB
Avg.
34%
10%
56%

 

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