We surveyed 200 people and asked about a recent ticket buying experience. We asked several questions about how they felt about the event organizer’s online ticket solution and the overall process for buying and receiving tickets. In analyzing the results, three questions were focused on were:
What did you like about your ticket buying experience?
What did you dislike about your ticket buying experience?
What suggestions do you have for improvements
About half of the respondents had recently purchased tickets online using the venue’s online ticketing solution, and about half had made their purchase in-person. (A handful had placed phone orders, but not enough to analyze.)
Ticket Solution Dislikes
This post focuses on what customers did not like about overall experience. A future (more uplifting!) post will describe what they liked. Let’s start the group that bought tickets online.
Although the respondents answered in free text format, most of the answers fell into certain categories.
Dislikes of the Online Purchasing Experience
Not surprisingly Service Fees was at the top of the list of most disliked. This was a dislike with approximately 30% of respondents. The numbers don’t tell the full story, though.
Customers Hate High Service Fees
When we read the comments, we saw what a true sore point service fees are. Many of the comments should not be repeated in this post. Here are a few that can:
I was charged a service fee to print them out!
Some charges are hidden, then I see them at the end.
The service charges online are ridiculously high.
The insane 25% service fee from the site.
There was a ridiculous processing charge that seemed too high and unnecessary.
I pay more than if I buy in-person.
Order Not Completed
The next biggest dislike was Order not Completed. 24% of respondents had an issue with the order not going through when using the ticket solution. They either had to try to place the order multiple times until they succeeded, or they simply gave up trying to purchase the tickets. Representative comments for this item include:
The payment failed 3 times before it finally processed.
Money transfer problem.
If the net connection gets broken, then whole process will be stopped.
I don’t like it when the ticket providing site moves to bank site and there is a chance of transaction failure
The other categories were much smaller, but included having to spend too much time on the order, the system being hard to understand, security concerns, not getting the ticket at the time of payment, and unrelated advertisements. Again, it is useful to look at representative comments:
Limited amount of time to get the tickets.
I had a hard time at first understanding the seating chart and determining where the best tickets were.
We didn’t get paper tickets; we had to rely on the venue having a record of our names.
If i could pay money when i collect my tickets that would be nice.
So what does all this mean to you? Well, if you are charging high services fees, that may not be sitting well with your customers. This does not mean you should not do it. There are many things sellers must do that buyers may not like. However keeping the service fees to reasonable level would be a best practice. Also, if you believe your ticket solution is free because you are not paying for it, but your ticket buyers are paying a service fee to cover the cost of the ticket solution, this survey is a good reminder that nothing is really free.
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Also, if you are considering a new online ticket solution, you will want to ensure the system performs well in the above areas – i.e. it is easy for customers to use and processes their payments effectively.
Download our White Paper that discusses the five steps in selecting a ticketing solution.