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3 Customer Service Values that Boost the Attendee Experience

Any event organizer who’s been in the business for more than a hot minute has undoubtedly faced unhappy attendees. The reasons for (and severity of) dissatisfaction can range, from conference-goers upset about a change of format, to festival-goers peeved over—well, in the case of the Fyre Festival implosion, everything

What’s more, today’s events are growing in terms of scope, attendance and technological sophistication. As a result, planners face higher levels of production complexity, and therefore increased opportunities for drawing the ire of their audiences. Come on, even Gwyneth Paltrow had egg on her well-moisturized face when a function she hosted earlier this summer failed to deliver. The struggle is real.

There’s no doubt about it: In the world of event planning, the attendee is the customer. In fact, more than 91 percent of event managers measure the success of their events by attendee satisfaction. Savvy planners know that owning a documented strategy for addressing concerns is key to running successful events, and the most seasoned pros actively alleviate issues before they escalate.

Here’s a thought: Why not borrow a best practice of modern customer service teams and create internal tenets for how your attendees should be treated? If you need help getting started, here are three core service values the Success Team at Attendify puts into practice daily to make sure our clients feel valued and heard.

Value #1: We listen, we care

What customer success experts say: According to customer experience (CX) gurus, every customer interaction is meaningful because it’s an opportunity to build a long-lasting relationship between the individual and the brand. Fruitful customer conversations are driven by the ability of service team members to actively listen to challenges and come up with meaningful solutions. 

How this applies to the attendee experience: In order to represent a brand, cause or idea well, event planners must listen to attendees and understand what they want/need to successfully navigate an event. Whether it’s the desire for specific session content, better venue wifi, engaging event technology or even special dietary considerations, attendee input is invaluable.

3 Customer Service Values that Boost the Attendee Experience

Tools and tips: Gathering and analyzing attendee feedback can be overwhelming; luckily a number of innovative event tech tools are making it easier. Pre- and post-event survey solutions are built to capture a wealth of insights. Event apps with real-time polling capabilities allow you to gather opinions in the moment, and those with machine-learning-based sentiment analysis tools can help you suss out how attendees are feeling from their in-app comments. Mainstream social media channels are another important source of information.

Value #2: We make it easy

What customer success experts say: “Want a powerful customer experience?” asks customer experience futurist Blake Morgan in Forbes. “Simply ask yourself how you can make life easier for your customers.” While there are more customer contact channels out there than ever before, Morgan stresses the value of simplicity: “The less effort it takes for consumers to accomplish their goal when they contact you,” she says, “the more loyal they become.”

How this applies to the attendee experience: While face-to-face interactions are at the crux of the events industry, organizers are increasingly leveraging technology to increase productivity and optimize interactions. Therefore, it’s critical to give serious consideration to the integration of both online and offline tools, and make sure attendees are receiving clear, concise and consistent messaging throughout their event journey. For instance, if they have a question or complaint, they should be able to receive the same quality of support via any channel you have in play, be it phone, email, your event app or social media feeds. Even better? Having a truly omni-channel experience empowers attendees to easily move their communications between different channels without explaining themselves all over again.

3 Customer Service Values that Boost the Attendee Experience

Tools and tips: In order to sync your event team and prevent communication silos that negatively affect the attendee experience, consider:

Value #3: We know time is of the essence

What customer success experts say: CX pros know that timeliness is often at the heart of customer frustrations. Waiting on hold in a phone queue can mean the difference between account renewal and churn; a consumer’s inability to find the answers they want quickly online could very well end their desire to buy. In fact, a Forrester study showed that “73% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.”

How this applies to the attendee experience: On average, attendees spend more than $1500 to attend an event. They’re losing time at work and with their families to come to your function. Not to mention, the event can become hectic and confusing when they’re getting registered, navigating a large venue and networking with new colleagues is involved. You owe it to your guests to respond to feedback quickly and competently. It’s not just polite—your brand reputation and event ROI may depend on it.

3 Customer Service Values that Boost the Attendee Experience

Tools and tips:

What are your core attendee experience tenets? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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