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CLUB: We're all striving to get better

United delighted to receive Family Excellence Award

18 May 2022

Following two inspections during the season, the club is delighted to have been recognised for its match day provision with the EFL Family Excellence Award.

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The club has received the results of the second visit of independent, mystery shoppers to assess our match day experience for families.

Each year we have two unannounced visits and receive feedback, reports and recommendations on how to improve. 

This latest visit was at the Northampton game on 12 March 2022, which saw over 8,500 fans attend on the day.

We are then benchmarked against others in League Two, and across the rest of the EFL.

This second visit ranked us at 6th of 24 in League Two, and 25th of 72 in the EFL, with a score of 8.5 overall.

This is an improvement on the first visit which assessed us as being ranked at 7th of 24 in League Two, and 28th of 72 in the EFL with a score of 8.2 overall. 

Click HERE to view the first visit summary.

Looking at the season we are ranked 7th of 24 in League Two and 30th of 72 in the EFL, with a score of 8.4 overall.

second visit summary.jpg

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The independent report concluded:

From the moment you land on the club's website, you are aware of a very clear focus on families with added levels of detail everywhere (including where the SLO is going to be at different times during the match day). This plethora of useful advice creates a very positive first impression and the people you meet on the day are on the front foot, engaging and keen to make sure you get the best possible experience.

The Family Zone provides a variety of activities designed for kids of different ages and this is complemented by a wider than expected range of refreshments, including freshly made pizza. This runs a close second to the club's match day representatives [the meeters & greeter team]

The detailed scores in 10 assessed key areas, with the comparison with League Two and the wider EFL is contained in the summary report, which can be found HERE.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The independent report is an improvement since the first visit, and is very positive.

“It shows the hard work that goes on behind the scenes off-the-field, week in, week out. For the second visit to cover the biggest crowd of the season, and one which had a lot of families and less frequent visitors to the ground, and for us to get such glowing feedback, is fantastic.

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“Every single day the operations staff are contributing to improve and make the match day the best it can be. That’s from the pre-match information and taking the first phone call to personal interaction with fans on the day.

“It may surprise some to see the club achieve such a glowing report, but it’s reward for all of that hard work. It is credit to the staff that they continue to perform at a high level, and continually strive to improve. It’s great for their work to be recognised. 

“All this effort to go the extra mile can be easily overlooked given the issues we face in the stadium, especially when results or other off field club issues are in the spotlight. This is why independent benchmarking and balanced, unbiased feedback is so valuable.  

“The process is also valuable as it gives recommendations, ideas and feedback for us to get better again, as well as allowing us to see how we compare with other clubs.

“Our score has improved since 19/20 and we are always looking at ways we can continue to get better.”

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Background

The purpose of this award and inspection process is to help improve levels of family engagement at the club by providing detailed feedback on every element of the new family experience (from finding information to leaving your stadium after the match).

The report makes clear recommendations on what could be done to address any ‘gaps’ and strengthen the experience.

The report gives an overall score and individual scores for 10 specific areas (including friendliness and feeling valued). 

It includes a two-page summary of the touchpoints, with assessor feedback and recommendations for improvements.

Also provided is a written summary of the detailed assessment report, as well as benchmarking and historical performance information.

If we achieve the required standards across the two visits, then we can be awarded the EFL Family Excellence Award. 

The club has achieved the Family Excellence Award in every year bar once, since it we established over a decade ago.


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