The customer should be at the core of any business, particularly in the brand experience industry, where the opportunity to converse with customers face-to-face and in a live setting is the drawcard for many brands. In these settings it’s important that we provide our exhibitors with not only a high level of customer service, we create a system that ensures their individual needs are catered for.
Doing away with the one size fits all approach
No two events are the same — they all are unique in one way or another, and their customer base will similarly be different from the customer base at any other event out there. This means it’s important to be flexible in our processes so that we can meet the needs of the exhibitors at each event. For example, if historically we know that a particular show tends to attract a higher volume of exhibitor queries — this could be due to its sheer size, the complexity of the show or other — we can scale our teams and allocate more customer service representatives than normal.
Working alongside the organiser
It’s also important to really dig deep and ask the organiser about the type of service they want their exhibitors to receive — something that is especially valuable when the event is completely new to the business and team, as the more information we have about the unique facets of the event and its exhibitor base the better. At the end of the day, the exhibitor is a customer of both parties. We also need to develop a robust understanding of each and every exhibitors’ event expectations, to help ensure we provide a level of service that will enable them to achieve their goals.
Delivering a consistent, tailored service
The traditional view of a customer service department, whether within the brand experience industry or elsewhere, is the call centre model. We’re in the business of face-to-face communication, so we need a fresh take on this approach. If we allocate particular team members to support specific exhibitors with pre-event tasks like overseeing their orders, solving queries and conducting the relevant checks, they will build rapport. By bringing these team members onto the show floor to help their customers throughout the build stage, we ensure a seamless and consistent experience for the exhibitor. This approach ensures exhibitors’ experience is heightened, as they receive a level of service that is unique to them.
Exhibitors are important to the success of any event. If their experience exhibiting is positive and they achieve their event goals, it’s likely that they’ll re-book for the following year, and that the event will continue to grow and prosper. The pre-event process plays a key role here, as an effective, reliable system will ensure exhibitors’ needs are met and that they maximise their experience when the show is open. At the core of this is the need to work with each exhibitor to understand their individual needs, and provide a service that not only meets, but exceeds their expectations.