Fulham Football Club is to be presented with the VisitFootball Warmest Welcome award for providing top customer service to our fans.
A panel of industry experts from the tourism, football and customer service industries voted that Fulham’s staff should win the award for being “a club where all departments are working towards a common goal of improving every supporter’s day out.”
The awards are part of a national scheme that aims to improve standards of fan experience at football stadia, and VisitFootball is a joint venture between the Premier League and the national tourism board VisitEngland.
VisitFootball has been assessing the care that customers receive at football grounds since August 2010 and gives out annual awards for those who deliver outstanding customer service. It 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.
There were four awards in total, with Manchester United winning Club of the Year, Liverpool awarded Best Fan Innovation, and Wigan Athletic presented with the Unsung Hero accolade. 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. The judges’ comments explaining why Fulham were awarded Warmest Welcome are as follows:
“The Warmest Welcome Award is about how supporters are treated across every aspect of a football club, from the moment they arrive to the final minute when they leave. What is abundantly clear at Fulham is that this is a club where all departments are working towards a common goal of improving every supporter’s day out.
“Staff at Craven Cottage have a friendly can do attitude, balancing hope with reality in managing expectations. Their stewarding is often outstanding, and we loved the team of stewards who have access to an iPad, ensuring not only that fans can get the right information but that they can support their fellow stewards who may not know or have all the answers. Add in reduced catering service times, two new giant video screens and family stand branding and you can see why Fulham provide the warmest of welcomes.”
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “Premier League clubs are working harder than ever to ensure that when supporters come to a match they receive excellent service. The passion and commitment of the fans is an integral part of the Premier League’s success and English football culture. The VisitFootball Awards won by Manchester United, Liverpool, Fulham, and Wigan demonstrate that not only do our clubs take looking after their fans very seriously, but they are extremely good at it.”
James Berresford, VisitEngland Chief Executive, said: “The Premier League has already been playing its part over the last three years to improve its football welcome and they should be congratulated for taking this so seriously and the progress made so far. It's also important that football clubs continue to build on these improvements and we have certainly seen that with Manchester United, Liverpool, Fulham and Wigan.”