Sep 22, 2017
Being Per Mar protected comes in many forms and this week’s blog is designed to protect your business from receiving bad event reviews and instead creating positive feedback tied to great experiences. And, because event services is much more than just security, we have six effective tips on what you can do to break the customer service mold at your next concert, sporting event, fair or convention!
1. Speak Their Language, Positively
If you use your internal industry jargon when speaking with event attendees, it will cause confusion rather than creating that trusting relationship you’re after. People want to have real conversations rather than formal discussions.
Secondly, keep your language positive and conversational rather than negative. For example, use “I’d be happy to let you through the gate once we can locate your ticket” instead of “I cannot let you through the gate without a ticket.” Small tweaks can make a big difference!
2. Never Say “I don’t know”
When an event guest has a question that you aren’t sure how to answer, never reply with “I don’t know” and then (shriek!) just move on. Since “I don’t know” really says “I don’t care,” avoid it at all costs. Instead, find the answer as quickly as possible and report back to the person asking. Try using something like “Let me find out for you” before you track the answer down.
3. When You Have to Say “No”
Believe it or not, we prefer to answer with a resounding “Yes!” when possible, but there are times when “No” is the only option and, in those cases, it’s best to explain why. Your job beyond security is preventing people from tripping over cords, making sure water is available on hot days and keeping aisles clear. Ultimately, your job is to keep everyone safe while helping them understand that you have their best interests at hand.
A good example is football season. During the Notre Dame games, tailgaters tend to ask about moving their grills and tents into the middle of the parking lot to create even more of a group experience. Considering there are tens of thousands of people in attendance at these games, we have to think ahead to that moment when an ambulance might need to get through, which means we are unable to honor the request….even though we’d like to.
Think of it like parenting and how much you dread turning your children down. We don’t do it because we enjoy playing the bad cop but, more often than not, because we are looking out for everyone’s safety. In some cases, it’s because we are following the rules set forth by our client. At the end of the day, your goal is for every guest to have a great experience, so even when you have to say “No” say it with a smile!
4. Go the Extra Mile
Not only do we suggest omitting the “I don’t know’s” and avoiding the “no’s” as much as possible, we recommend going above and beyond the call of duty. When a guest requests a special favor, look into it with the objective of making it come to fruition. Even when you are unable to accommodate the request, that attendee now knows you at least tried going the extra mile. That goes a long way in the realm of customer service!
On the other hand, when you are able to honor those special requests, you might get to make someone’s day! During a concert back in August as part of the LPGA's Solheim Cup event, one of our client’s guests was in a wheelchair and his view of the stage was blocked from his seat. That guest's personal care assistant asked one of our officers if we could do anything for him. The security officer proceeded to find more than a solution by getting both of them access to the VIP area with a great view. We received the following email from the attendee’s brother,
“Charlie - I'm hoping you can pass this on to the security company who worked the Rascal Flatts concert last week. My brother, Marlon, is confined to a wheelchair, born with Cerebral Palsy. A security officer gave him a VIP pass and put him in the middle of the front row for the concert. Marlon did not have a VIP pass, and this person did not have to do this. I just want to say that thank you from my family for good people still out there. Very much appreciated, and take care.” - Sheldon Card
Those are the kinds of lasting impressions and relationships that define great customer service!
5. Let Your Guests Be Heard
Listening is an art, especially in today’s world when we tend to be distracted by multiple conversations happening at once. And, unfortunately, not all guest experiences can be as great as Marlon’s. When listening to a guest complaint, don’t allow yourself to only hear bits and pieces. Listen for the true message. Often, that message is hidden behind several smaller complaints or heated emotions. By giving that guest the autonomy to walk through their entire complaint, you will not only get all of the details and figure out what they really want but you will have gained their respect and trust.
6. After Listening, Empathize
Most of us can relate to the frustration of a difficult situation, so offering genuine empathy should come naturally. But because security officers have a job to do, this may not be their first instinct. So we want to iterate this point that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you provide the best guest experience possible. In other words, how would you want to hear the answer to the question being asked? What type of answer would make you feel safe or reassured? Then proceed as you would if talking to yourself or a loved one.
Event services is much more than security. It addresses crowd control, guest services, ticket taking, ushering and more. It’s looking out for the health, safety and welfare of people attending your events. And, in addition to all of that, it’s providing exceptional customer service. For more information, contact us!