Adopting the box office role and minimising customer inquiries
A utility article from TicketCo Media Services on ticketing for online events
Box office enquiries are part of the build up to any live event, and when your event is put on sale you should be prepared to deal with questions from your ticket buyers. By taking some simple steps you can minimise the volume of in-bound inquiries.
In many pre-COVID examples, box office enquiries would often be handled by a separate team. But when streaming content, it is primarily the event organiser’s responsibility to communicate with customers. At TicketCo, we will answer ticket buyer questions as best we can. But, ultimately, the broadcaster will have greater knowledge of their event than anyone else. As part of our ’10 Steps to Streaming Success’ guide, we reveal how to prevent a wave of last-minute enquiries by drawing on the knowledge of Simon Baker of Wise Children.
Each e-ticket we distribute is published with an email address where viewers can send messages to ask any questions they may have via ‘contact the organiser’.
It is strongly advised that event organisers setup a widely accessible email account to deal with customer enquiries so many people can monitor the inbox pre-sales, during sales and when the broadcast is taking place.
“Ahead of Romantics Anonymous – our first live stream performance – we were not ready to deal with the volume of enquiries from our ticket buyers,” said Simon. “We’re a theatre company and not a venue, but suddenly we had to take on the box office role in-house. TicketCo supports organisers’ aims to reduce the number of enquiries by answering frequently asked questions within its platform, but they won’t be in a position to answer questions specific to your show.”
Guidance for viewers
The platform provides tools that allow organisers to significantly reduce their viewers’ call rate on the day of the broadcast.
We have published a thorough guide on ‘how to view’ broadcasts via TicketCo Media Services and answered a number of viewers’ frequently asked questions.
“I strongly recommend sending TicketCo’s ‘how to view’ and ‘ticket buyer FAQs’ pages to viewers in advance and on the morning of your broadcast,” said Simon.
“By using ‘contact attendees’, it is possible to send out an email with viewing instructions on the morning and evening of the broadcast. From our experience, using this feature cut our call rate down from 10 per cent to just two per cent.”
Exchanges and refunds
Common last-minute questions you could encounter include exchange and refund requests from people that have booked tickets for the wrong day or wrong event.
We can support event organisers with refunding tickets, but many organisers find it easier to reissue the customer with complimentary tickets to the correct event via our free ticket setup under ticket types.
“Rather than cancelling a viewer’s ticket and then refunding them, we created a free ticket and sent the customer this instead,” said Simon. “You should define your refund policy in the waiver section under event details, ultimately it is your decision whether you wish to refund a customer’s ticket.”
To refund a ticket, organisers should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite your best efforts to define your show, its start time and availability, viewers will ask questions on these topics.
For example, video on demand events often draw questions from the public asking when access to the content expires.
Simon added: “The public may be confused about what a live pay-per-view show is. We invested time in messaging the idea of live as happening live, and that you would miss the show if you weren’t viewing it at that time.”
Last-minute inquiries are common too from ticket buyers who are struggling to view the show during its broadcast.
Our live chat feature will be of use in this scenario and allow your box office team to quickly communicate with viewers who are experiencing streaming difficulties. But social media is also a prominent point of contact and your channels should be monitored regularly.
Simon added: “Your box office team will need to work closely with your technicians and marketing team. If there is a technical issue with your stream, your box office team will need to be informed and communicate this to the public.
“Good communication with your ticket buyers leading up to the stream creates a better experience for everyone.”
To read our full step-by-step guide to box office enquiries, click here.
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