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Blues awarded customer experience prize

  • 16 October 2012 12:10
  • Posted by Nicola McCarthy

City are among the first clubs to scoop VisitFootball Awards for providing the best customer service to fans.

Four Barclays Premier League clubs are to receive awards for the quality of their customer care as part of a national scheme that is improving standards of fan experience at football stadia. Arsenal, Fulham and Liverpool are the others.

VisitFootball is a joint venture between the Premier League and the national tourism board VisitEngland.

It has has been assessing the care that customers receive at football grounds since August 2010 and for the first time handed out awards.

City received the ‘Best Fan Innovation’ for our City Square and Family Stand projects.

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VisitFootball has adapted VisitEngland’s ‘Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme,’ which is used to assess other tourist attractions such as theatres and museums, specifically for football stadia.

All 20 clubs in the Barclays Premier League were judged by a professional tourism assessor across eight areas of the supporter match experience, such as ticketing, stewarding, catering, toilets and the club shop.

Visit England commended the improvement in customer care since the scheme started two years ago, hailing the Premier League for taking the care of supporters visiting its stadia so seriously.

The success of the scheme in addressing standards of customer care in the Barclays Premier League is such that it is to be expanded this season to include the assessment of facilities for away support, accessibility and hospitality.

For the Awards the panel brought together the marks and comments of the assessors from Live Tourism to determine which clubs and personnel offered the highest quality for Premier League football fans.

This is what the judges said about City:

 

Manchester City has set the benchmark for football clubs with their City Square and Family Stand.

"The all-weather food and drink outlets, giant TV screens and post-match player and legend appearances in City Square are clearly a hit with the fans.

“This is how to look after people so they will want to come again.

“In the Family Stand it's the little things that matter: the catering where the kiosk is at child height, the age- appropriate food portions, the entertainers who keep young fans engaged, the breast-feeding facilities for mothers.

“This is thinking about their fans as customers at the highest level."

Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive said: “The one thing that you cannot guarantee at a Premier League match is the result but one thing we should be striving for is that every fan who comes into our grounds is receiving a high standard of experience.

 

As the VisitFootball Awards show, not only are clubs like Manchester City providing that, but they are going above and beyond.

“A lot of effort has been put into making Premier League grounds more safe and welcoming over the last 20 years, which is why we have seen traditional fans being joined by more sections of society.

“Nearly a quarter of attending fans are women now, 13% of season ticket holders are children and overall 63% of supporters coming to a match do so with a family member.”

James Berresford, VisitEngland Chief Executive added: “We have had a magnificent summer of sport in England.  The London 2012 Olympics & Paralympic Games highlighted the importance of a warm and friendly welcome. 

“The volunteers at The Games will be an important part of the legacy and showcased to the world that we are nation which loves our sport, gets behind the teams and knows how to welcome visitors whether they are local or international.

“The Premier League has already been playing its part over the last two years to improve its football welcome and I'm delighted that our Quality Assured Stadium programme has had such an impact.

“They should be congratulated for taking this so seriously and the progress made so far. But it's also important that football clubs continue to build on these improvements.

“If we want to show the commitment both the sporting and tourism industries have to providing fans with a high quality, highly memorable experience, then the Premier League expanding its VisitFootball scheme with us is exactly the right signal."

 

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