The event planning industry is home to some of the most customer service-focused professionals you will find. Between planners, the hotel staff, food and beverage crew, and various other vendors, everyone is determined to provide the highest level of customer service. But with many high pressure situations, tensions and burnout rates can run high and proper customer service at all times can sometimes fall by the wayside. Over the years, we’ve learned that having the best customer service and attendee interaction is the one thing that will truly set you apart from the rest. So we asked our full staff of on-site professionals how they stay focused on consistently providing top tier service below are some of their top answers.
“Put yourself in the customer’s shoes”
Maybe you have a million things you are keeping track of in your head and a million more to do when you get back to the office, but the attendee asking to change their room doesn’t know that. Never let yourself get frustrated by requests, changes, and one-off needs of your event or meeting attendees.
“Ask attendees questions during registration that help you personalize their experience”
Creating a memorable experience starts at the very beginning of the event process – asking questions like “do you have a birthday coming up?” or “do you have a favorite beverage or snack?” can make a world of difference on-site. Adding these small, personalized touches lets the attendee know that you are paying attention to them and that you care about their experience.
“Walk through expectations with all partner staff before guests arrive. You are a team.”
Having a detailed, thorough meeting with all event partners before the event itself makes a world of difference in the experience of an attendee. When everyone on the team (not just the planning staff) knows the expectations, it is less likely that there will be customer service slip-ups or requests that slip through the cracks.
“Make friends with concierges and hotel/venue staff – they make magic happen”
When something comes up that you can’t fix or change yourself, your next line of defense is the staff of the venue or hotel. They want the guest to be happy as much as you do, and they’ll work to make it happen if you respect them and treat them like an equal member of your team.
The event planning industry is one in which there are constant “what-if” scenarios that need to be considered. Get together with a team and think like an attendee, see if you can punch holes in the best laid plans – you’ll be that much more empowered to take action without having to scramble for ideas.
“Embrace the pressure”
Have you ever heard of “the zone” athletes get into when they are performing at their peak during competition? Find that zone during on-site experiences. Without getting too dramatic – this is what all the training is for. Use the pressure to focus and prioritize thinking, and you’ll find that you provide an even better experience for attendees.
“Ask direct questions to get quality feedback”
“How is your stay?” “Is there anything I can do to make your trip better?” Often, you won’t know the answers to these questions unless you ask directly. Frank, honest feedback right from the source at the right time (even if it isn’t great) is better than hearing frustrated complaints after the fact. Place the responsibility on yourself to find out how you can help create the best experience for each and every attendee.
“Never tell guests no”
Rather than “no, I can’t do that” always make sure to make every effort to make something happen. Appropriate responses can include “I’m so sorry, I’m not sure about that. I will check with someone immediately and get back to you as soon as I can. May I have your contact information?” or “I don’t know the answer to that right now, but I will find out right away.”