Vikings' fan satisfaction increased by 1 point with Satisfi Labs and Apple Business Chat engagement

Summary

We launched the first virtual assistant with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium, to help answer fan inquiries relevant to game day experiences, food and beverage availability, and team info. Information the US Bank Stadium learned from that first Vikings season enhanced the deep knowledge base that was then used to support fan engagement during Super Bowl LIII. In the latest partnership development, the Minnesota Vikings expanded access of its knowledge base onto Apple Business Chat (ABC), a new way for users to communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, making them the first NFL team to launch on the ABC channel.   Initially launched during Vikings training camp to provide fans with more direct access to the team, the new channel has contributed to an overall increase in fan experience satisfaction throughout the season.

Challenge

On average, the Minnesota Vikings see over 66,000 fans at each home game at US Bank Stadium and have an estimated 10M fans worldwide. Initially, they needed a way to answer a high volume of logistical and venue-based questions while engaging with fans to build brand affinity.  Once the virtual assistant proved to be a scalable way to communicate, their focus turned to more quality interactions.  The Vikings were looking for more innovative solutions to increase the quality of fan engagement, and they were looking for more ways to talk to their fans on channels they were already active on.

Solution

We helped the Vikings create a new communication channel on Apple Business Chat that allows fans to chat directly with the Vikings using the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.  By plugging in our Answer Engine to the Apple Business Chat channel, the Vikings can now replicate their virtual assistant on this new channel.  To start an Apple Business Chat, fans opened their camera to scan a QR code that had been placed throughout camp and in the free training camp Playbook. Through a link, a conversation with the Vikings will open instantly in the Messages app, and users can take their time responding whenever it is convenient for them.ABC allows fans to have a direct connection with Vikings as if they are talking to a friend while never having to leave their Messages, so fans that had engaged with the team during training camp can continue the conversation throughout the regular season and offseason. The Vikings virtual assistant experience has helped increase awareness of local food offerings, supports first-time game goers game-day experience, and enhances to the fan’s entertainment experience year-round.

Results

Fan engagement and positive feedback increased after the implementation of the Satisfi Labs virtual assistant. Based on a survey conducted by the Vikings Analytics team after the launch of ABC, fans who interacted with the virtual assistant via Apple Business Chat showed a 1 point higher satisfaction rate compared to fans who did not interact with the assistant.  Of the more than 31,000 messages seen in the 2019 season, 38% were through Apple Business Chat.  The quality of the ABC experience significantly increased their overall experience. Answering these fans questions in more personal channels such as a direct message through an iOS device is proving to elevate the overall experience of fans.

31,000

Fan questions answered during 2019 season

38%

Of total questions were on ABC

1Point

Higher satisfaction with ABC engagement

"It's important for us to bring Vikings fans closer to the team and ensure every engagement point is seamless, informative and fun. Being able to offer the Satisfi Labs virtual assistant through Apple Business Chat helps us accomplish that because we’re able to provide a unique experience on platforms with which fans are already familiar. As we look to further provide innovative ways to enhance the fan experience, we’re glad to continue our partnership with Satisfi Labs and Apple Business Chat."


Steve LaCroix, Chief Marketing Officer & EVP, Vikings