Ydilo Voice-Recognition-Based Ticketing Solution for Sports Event in Spain is a Success

MADRID, SPAIN - On the 6 of March 2002, Real Madrid does not only celebrate its 100th anniversary but also participates in the finals of the "Copa del Rey", the competition that brings together the teams from all Spanish divisions and allows the winner to participate in the UEFA cup. With a projected television audience of above 54% of the total population this match will be the main sports event in 2002. Real Madrid anticipated an enormous demand for the 26,000 tickets at its disposition and decided to allocate these first to its 25,000 "Euroabonados" or preferred members who pay high fees for this status. Ydilo designed and developed a voice application to automate this tasks using advanced voice recognition. The members call a special phone number and are validated with their membership number and birthdate (which functions as a PIN). Callers who are not "Euroabonados" are denied access to the ticketing system in a friendly but decisive way. The Ydilo application collects information such as number of tickets, preferred seating area in the stadium and credit card details and assigns a Caja Madrid (a large bank in Spain with a dense network of offices) branch office close to the member's home where the tickets can be picked up. The Real Madrid members interact with the Ydilo system speaking in a natural way. Different accents, expressions (e.g. "one ticket" or "I'd like to buy one ticket, please") and ways of accessing the service (e.g. by mobile phone or in a noisy environment) are handled by the application. Real Madrid has confirmed that the Ydilo solution has been a success: - 25,000 tickets sold in a fully automated way - Better customer service without waiting at the box office, without on-hold times on the telephone and pick-up close to the members home - Ydilo designed, developed and deployed the Real Madrid ticketing solution in a very short development time - High scalability for peaky call profiles: When call volumes for the Real Madrid tickets exceeded estimates Ydilo added capacity without disrupting the service or making people wait. "We are immensely satisfied with the Ydilo solution," said Raúl Respaldiza, Director del area Social of Real Madrid. "We would have needed a huge call center to provide a comparable service to our members. The quality of the voice interface was astounding and user acceptance turned out to be no problem at all. Many of our preferred members are very senior and their reaction was very positive. The most senior person who bought his tickets for the Copa del Rey using the Ydilo solution was 86 years old." Because of this success the Royal Soccer Spanish Federation asked Ydilo to put 2,000 more tickets on sale one week later. These tickets were sold freely to the public in general, as opposed of the Real Madrid case in which only certain persons had the right to buy. Therefore, the telephone number, date and time of the opening of the selling period, was broadcasted in the news, radio and newspapers nationwide. The results: The 2,000 tickets were sold in less than 30 minutes. 97,000 simultaneous calls were placed in peak periods. Around 1,240,000 calls were generated in an hour.
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