Event organisers are responsible for a lot of moving pieces when it comes to putting on a successful event. One area that is often overlooked, but can make or break an event, is customer service. It can affect everything from pre-event sales, to how customers perceive the event itself, to the likelihood of customers booking with you again. We’ll introduce you to key strategies that help ensure satisfaction among both guests and staff members – from pre-event communication tactics to methods of encouraging feedback post-event – so that you can create powerful experiences without fail.
Develop a customer service plan that includes clearly defined goals and objectives
The proliferation of social media and the ease by which customers can now review and interact with brands means their expectations regarding customer service are higher than ever before. Therefore, it is essential to have a comprehensive customer service plan with clear goals and objectives.
A successful customer service plan will include standards of proper communication, identify customer needs, and propose solutions tailored to meet customer expectations. Establish a tone in communication that matches your brand (whilst remaining courteous and professional), and establish a timeframe by which you will aim to have responses acknowledged, and then resolved. If practical, gather information/statistics on which channel your enquiries are coming from, and what they are about. Establish measurable goals such as response time, reduced complaints, or increased satisfaction ratings. You will then be able to make informed decisions as to where your efforts in customer service should be focused and what actions you can take to improve things.
For instance, if your statistics are showing that you/your staff are spending a lot of time answering emails with a common enquiry, consider drafting a template response to quickly deal with these enquiries, or even set up an email auto-reply to take care of them as soon as they land. Through constant improvement and adaptation, event organisers can improve their system and create an excellent customer experience. A well-crafted customer service plan can also serve to differentiate your business from your competitors and facilitate long-term customer loyalty.
Create a FAQ section on your website to answer common queries and alleviate pressure on customer service staff
Having a FAQ section on your website can do wonders for your customer service operations. Not only is it a useful way to answer common queries, but it also alleviates pressure on your customer service staff. With a well-organized and informative FAQ page, customers can easily find the answers they need without having to go through the hassle of waiting on hold or sending an email. This not only saves time and frustration, but it also improves customer satisfaction. Plus, having a robust FAQ section demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of your products or services, making your brand even more trustworthy and reliable to potential customers. So, if you haven't already, consider creating a FAQ page on your website and enjoy the many benefits it can bring.
Ensure that staff are trained to provide a high-quality experience
Delivering exceptional customer service requires a team of highly skilled professionals who are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to handle any situation. This has proven especially true in the events industry over the last few years, as high-profile instances of poorly managed events, cancellations, and customer service disasters have gone viral. It is not enough to simply hire people who are polite and friendly. Customers expect a seamless and effortless experience when interacting with a business, and well-trained employees are integral to making that happen.
Investing in comprehensive training programs for customer service staff is essential to ensuring that they can provide high-quality experiences to every customer. Through effective training, employees can learn to handle difficult situations with calmness and tact, and are equipped to handle a variety of customer needs. Not only does this help to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it also boosts the company's reputation and can ultimately lead to increased revenue. By imparting the necessary skills and knowledge, customer service staff can confidently address any query or concern and ensure that each customer feels valued and heard.
Utilise feedback surveys to find out what customers think about their experience with you
Gathering feedback from customers can be an invaluable tool when it comes to improving your business. A feedback survey provides a direct line of communication between you and your customers, allowing you to find out what they think about their experience with you. This information can be used to identify areas where you’†e doing well and areas where you need to make improvements. However, it’s important to approach the feedback process in a considered and strategic way. If you’re not careful, surveys can end up being time-consuming, frustrating, and end up providing you with little useful information.
Creating effective and useful surveys for event organisers is a great way to gain valuable feedback from their customers. Here are some tips to help make sure that event organisers get the most out of their survey-taking efforts:
Click to open our quickfire survey guide
1. Make the survey short and to the point. Long, convoluted surveys can be off-putting and may lead to respondents dropping out before finishing. Instead, focus on a few key questions that will provide the most valuable insights into customer satisfaction and experience.
2. Understand where to use open-ended questions, and where to use closed ones. Open-ended types of questions allow customers to share more detailed information about their experience than a multiple-choice question would. Additionally, they can reveal new insights that can help inform future decisions or strategies. Conversely, it is good to offer closed questions (such as, rate your experience 1-10) to quickly gather quantitative data that can be easily measured and tracked.
3. Offer incentives for completing the survey. Incentives like discounts or free tickets can entice people to take part in surveys, increasing response rates while also providing a great opportunity for customer engagement.
4. Personalize each survey to ensure relevance. Customizing surveys by including personal information such as names or purchase history allows event organisers to tailor their questions towards particular customer groups or interests, leading to more accurate results that are more useful for identifying areas for improvement.
5. Follow up with respondents after the survey has been completed. Taking time to thank customers for taking part in the survey and letting them know how their feedback has been used not only shows respect but also encourages repeat participation in future surveys and helps to foster customer loyalty over time.
By following these tips, event organisers can create effective and useful surveys that will provide valuable insight into customer satisfaction levels while also engaging directly with their customers in meaningful ways.
Respond to complaints quickly, professionally and ensure solutions are satisfactory for everyone involved
In today's fast-paced world, it's more important than ever to be responsive and understanding when receiving complaints. Whether it's a minor issue that can be resolved quickly or a more complex concern, responding in a timely and professional manner can make all the difference. By ensuring that all parties involved are satisfied with the solution, you can build trust and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
When responding to complaints, event organisers should take a proactive approach to ensure customer satisfaction. This can be done by listening carefully to the customer's complaint, asking clarifying questions to better understand the issue and confirming their understanding of the problem. This will not only provide more information needed to rectify the issue but help smooth things over with the customer - they will know they are being listened to. Provide a clear action plan on how you intend to resolve the issue and provide regular updates as the process moves forward. It is also important to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank customers for bringing the issue to their attention.
To ensure that feedback is acted upon effectively, event organisers should have a system in place that allows them to track complaints over time and identify any recurring issues. This information can then be used to inform decision-making processes and create strategies for improvement.
Ultimately, responding quickly and professionally to complaints, as well as taking actionable steps based on customer feedback can help foster trust between event organisers and their customers and lead to improved satisfaction levels overall. Moreover, it allows event organisers to demonstrate their commitment not only to customer service but also their dedication towards running successful events.
Prioritise customer service as one of the foundations of your event planning business
As an event planning business, there are many priorities that you need to juggle to ensure the success of your events. However, one of the most important foundations that you should never neglect is customer service. High-quality customer service can make or break your reputation in the industry, and it can have a huge impact on the success of your events. Whether you're dealing with clients, vendors, or attendees, you need to prioritize their needs, expectations, and satisfaction. That means responding promptly and professionally to their inquiries and concerns, listening to their feedback and suggestions, and going above and beyond to exceed their expectations. By prioritizing customer service in your event planning business, you'll not only enhance your reputation, but you'll also build trust, loyalty, and lasting relationships with your clients and partners.
To conclude, it's clear that customer service is absolutely key when it comes to running a successful event planning business. It's fundamental that customers feel they are being adequately looked after and have their needs taken seriously. Customer service is a challenging and often thankless task, but it pays off in the end if done correctly - and happy customers are worth their weight in gold! So, make sure you prioritise customer service as one of the foundations of your business - then watch your event portfolio grow. For more tips, advice and inspiration for event organisers, be sure to check out our blog!