- Think about how you can ensure Fan Engagement is integrated as a strategic concern across the club
- Look at qualitative as well as quantitative measures (real experience is really important – what Tricia Wang calls ‘Thick Data’)
- Don’t be afraid of asking fans direct what they think. You should even ask them about what the club does well, not just where it can improve, and feed it back to staff
One of the overriding aims of the work of Fan Insights is to ensure that Fan Engagement is a strategic priority for those in charge of running the club, those who sit on the board and those who own it, as well as those who deliver and operate the services at the front-end. This is at the centre of we want all clubs to do.
One of the ways in which a club can increase the importance of Fan Engagement, and make it central to the functioning of the club in the business sense, is to report regularly on Fan Engagement activity. A lot of businesses use ‘KPIs’ (Key Performance Indicators), which might be KPIs that show satisfaction of those accessing services online or by phone, or they could be more annualised ones, like the annual surveys carried out by Bristol Rovers, Doncaster Rovers or other clubs. Such data can be very important to be able to understand how the club is fairing at a given moment: a ‘snapshot’.
We think it’s worth feeding these KPIs into the senior executives, board and ownership as part of quarterly and annual reporting. This will help them to see how the club is managing the relationship with its key stakeholder.
Alongside the very quantitative measurements like those mentioned, we’d also advise feeding in a set of qualitative measures. These could be a short report from your SLO, explaining how the last year has gone, reporting from the fans forums the club has carried out throughout the year (how about a word cloud showing some of the most popular words or phrases used to describe a particular issue, gathered through the minutes or footage of the meetings?), or perhaps even a short report from your supporters’ trust or independent group. You can use all of these to highlight where the club has done well from the perspective of fans, as well as any areas that might need improvement.
All of this can help to build a picture of how the club’s key stakeholder views the club itself and what it does to manage this relationship. As well as being something that can also be fed back to staff to tell them what they’re doing well, most importantly it helps to integrate fans more into the day-to-day thinking, as well as the strategic decisions that get made at the top of the business.