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Music Festival Customer Service.

Andy Robertson

The price charged to attend music festivals will rise in coming years due to inflationary pressure on the costs of running these events. This makes it vital that festival organisers place more emphasis on providing great customer service to all festival-goers and ticket buyers to increases their satisfaction and loyalty.

Music festival organisers don't have the best reputation for providing good customer service. This was exasperated during the coronavirus pandemic when festivals were getting cancelled, postponed and line-ups altered. Many ticket buyers were left in the dark and experienced difficulties in getting hold of organisers to find out what was going on. What lessons can organisers learn from this experience and build great customer service for festival-goers? 

Ticket Sales.
Always one of the biggest complaints from ticketholders is getting hold of someone who can answer questions about refunds and transferring validity for postponed events. It's worth conducting a thorough assessment of any ticketing supplier used for events as there are a variety of factors to consider. Some ticketing companies charge large fees to both organisers and ticket buyers but offer comprehensive marketing, customer service and 24/7 phone helplines. Other ticketing companies have lower fees but may only offer basic customer service. Other options that reduce costs is for organisers to manage the ticketing themselves which will reduce costs significantly but they will have to provide all ticketing customer support.

Pre-Event Enquiries. 
Before making a significant investment in a multi-day festival ticket many buyers have questions about what is an isn't included or want to know about headline acts, camping, parking or VIP packages for example. Most of these questions can be answered by using comprehensive Q&A or Information sections on their website. Additional use of AI bots and having messaging and email communication channels available can help to schedule and prioritise enquiries for answer. This still requires a team to handle enquiries and answer phone calls which should ideally be the last option for customers to use.

On Site Service.
Any large-scale festival will have an information centre on site which can be managed by volunteers. Help and information can also be provided by volunteers roaming the site with high visibility signposted jackets. Most enquiries will relate to directions, scheduling, lost and found and medical treatment. Use of on-site apps installed on festival-goer's phones can help avoid over use of on-site staff to provide information.

Post-Event Enquires.
Most post-event enquiries may relate to lost and found and festival organisers usually have robust procedures in place to handle lost and found items after each event. There will always be those who want to complain about just any aspect of the festival and where possible these should be directed to email which allows organisers to investigate and provide suitable responses. 

Festival organisers should manage their customer service teams in conjunction with anything happening with the event. When making announcements in social media the customer service teams should be fully briefed on this before it’s made along with anticipated volumes of enquiries. Previous experience should enable organisers to estimate potential traffic by phone and email for example. There is nothing worse than making an announcement about a postponement and having no one available to answer calls and emails form ticketholders plus staff who were unaware of it.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics.  The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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