A few months ago, I flew into Los Angeles for a weekend work event. As one who isn’t big on renting a car and driving in a new city, let alone LA, I opted to take a different method: Super Shuttle, a shared shuttle service. Even though Super Shuttle was recommended by my hotel, I was slightly nervous about using them for the first time.
Super Shuttle has numerous offerings, but the one I opted for was the shared shuttle. The shuttle would pick me and a few others up who were traveling in same general vicinity. We would each pay a lesser fee than a cab, but have the added time of dropping off/picking up everyone in our group.
As soon as I arrived at LAX, I received a text message from Super Shuttle welcoming me to LA and detailing where I would need to go and check in. Upon finding the location, I checked in, and the Super Shuttle employee told me the van would be there shortly. I then received another text message telling me the number of the van. As it arrived, I was confirmed by the driver. Then, when the shuttle dropped me off at my hotel, the driver mentioned to me where the shuttle would pick me up.
On the way home, the experience was similar. I pre-paid for the ride online (which enabled me to tip in advance, and avoid worrying about having cash on hand that day), and selected a pickup timeframe. As expected, my shuttle picked me up, picked up a few others, and then made it to the airport in plenty of time before my flight. After arriving back in Philadelphia, I immediately received an email from Super Shuttle, thanking me for my business and asking me to complete a survey about my experience.
Despite my initial nervousness, the Super Shuttle experience went very well. I would attribute this to the communication I received from Super Shuttle. They were detailed in letting me know ahead of time when I’d get picked up, and by whom. The only area I think Super Shuttle could improve upon (which I detailed in the survey I completed) is the experience inside the van. It would be nice if the driver had mentioned how many more people he was planning to pick up when he picked me up, to give me an idea of how many stops to expect before heading to the airport.
Sports teams and entertainment properties can learn a lot from Super Shuttle. Keeping your customers up to date on the details of your event would ease new attendees’ worries as they come to the event for the first time. For example, when I arrived to a recent college football game at a neutral site, I had no idea which exit to use, or which parking lot to go to (multiple options were available). I realize an organization may not be able to send an email ahead of time to every attendee due to the variety of ticket purchase methods used, but for those fans they can reach, a guide to arriving would be helpful.
Also, had I received a survey upon leaving the stadium, I would have been able to share my thoughts regarding another issue: my concessions experience. Since it was a cold night, hot chocolate was a big commodity for fans, and the concession stands were running out. I can understand this, but after waiting in line for 8 minutes for hot chocolate only to find it was sold out when I reached the counter, I was frustrated. This could have been avoided if a worker had mentioned to fans waiting in line that the item was sold out, or had a sign posted to that effect. This would have allowed me to visit another stand without wasting 8 cold minutes only to leave empty-handed.
The lesson here is simple: when sports and entertainment organizations communicate with their fans in a proactive way, the better the experience is for all attendees.