DIGITAL EVENT CUSTOMER SERVICE: SCALING BIG, SCALING FAST AND SCALING FOR SUCCESS
As we continue to execute digital events, we’ve noticed the consistent trend of exponential increases in attendee registrations and a wider global audience reach. To put it simply- a digital event means more people and more people means- you guessed it, more people looking for support.
Take the usual sight of attendees lined up at the registration counter, each anxious to get their event underway, but may need some help navigating their experience and getting their bearings- and make it digital! Although the frequently asked questions are no longer “can I get my badge reprinted?” or “which way to room 123?” we have identified some common questions in digital attendee support that you can your team can prepare for as you execute your digital event.
NEW Q’s ON THE BLOCK
By far, the area where attendees need the most help is logging in. If the event went from an in-person experience to a digital one, it may be that they registered a month ago and can’t remember their credentials, or maybe their browser is caching a different account and is causing technical issues with logging in. Whatever the reason, your login page will receive the highest traffic on day 1 and throughout your event! With that being said, attendees will be reaching out for support to make sure they are able to access their schedule builders and most importantly the full event experience! So how can you make sure you’re prepared for that morning rush?
How do you know what kind of volume you will see? Well, get out your crystal ball! Knowing how much support will be needed and when is a bit of a guessing game in the beginning. Our advice? Assemble the Avengers. If this is your first digital event, being overstaffed on the customer service side of things is ideal! It would be a success if by the end of the day some people are twiddling their thumbs- this means you ensured there were enough resources available for all attendees to receive support in a timely manner.
The alternative? Without enough resources to support, attendees are unable to log in, unable to access sessions or navigate through the event platform, and you have loose one engaged attendee and gain one frustrated attendee who did not find value in their digital event experience.
So, how do you support that many requests quickly and efficiently? You need to scale not only your team, but also your processes!
So you’ve assembled your team and everyone is ready and raring to help! Now what? Now you determine your plan of action! With larger teams, you have more hands in the pot, more chefs in the kitchen- and you need to first get organized!
Our best advice is to use a ticketing tool! Ticketing tools allow you to tackle a substantial amount of requests quickly and efficiently. The market is not lacking in these customer service ticketing tools and based on the functionalities you and your team are looking for- there is one out there for you! We have found the best tools for us are those associated with email-based support as that is the main venue attendees use to get in contact with the support team.
Work with your teams to develop a workflow that works for you! Divide your team into categories based on their knowledge base and provide a clear path for escalations. An example is “Generalist” and “SMEs or subject matter experts” Generalists field questions from the front-line and escalate the more complicated requests to the group of SMEs. This allows generalists to most efficiently respond to common questions from attendees and by routing the complicated tickets to the SMES, tickets can be triaged more effectively.
Once your teams are divided by skill and knowledge level- it’s crucial you define clear roles and responsibilities and share them out with the entire team. This ensure that in the chaos of day 1- your teams know exactly that they need to be executing on and that their execution aligns to you’re the overall customer service strategy.
You have your tool, your roles and workflows, and a team eager to jump in- now it’s time to show them how! For some, this might be the first time managing through a ticketing system, for your seasoned customer service team these maybe new workflows, and for some- it all might be brand new! Set your team up for success by investing in time dedicated to training so that when it’s time to execute the team and confidently use the tools and leverage the decision-making power outlined in their roles.
Start with outlining the event, it’s objectives, and the audience demographic to provide context and event knowledge that allow the team to connect with the big picture. Then dive into your customer service goals, objectives, KPIs, workflows, and R+Rs. This ensures everyone is working towards the same customer service goals.
To build confidence in new tool, make sure to give ample time for your team to poke around in the tool! Shoot off some test tickets, and give the teams a chance to assign, reply, and escalate.
Leading up to the event, work with your broader teams to understand and document anticipated frequently asked questions, both from a general event standpoint as well as anticipated technical issues. Use these FAQs to generate dynamic, templated standardized responses your staffers can use. Knowing what the biggest issue could possibly be, you can craft templated responses that pull in standard copy for a reply but also pull information associated with that record (I.e. first name, last name, etc.) which can help triage the inquiry even faster.
Host a Know Before the Show meeting just days before the event. A few reasons for this: 1. Let’s be honest, up until this point the details for the event are still being ironed out. Hosting the KBTS closer to the event date ensures you are sharing out final details/experiences with the staffing team. 2. It will give your team the refresher they need to move through inquiries quickly day of and 3 It gives you time to build out final templates to be used on live days.
As attendees get excited for Day 1 you will see a steady increase in the number on inquires that come through! We’ve seen this pick-up as early as a week out from the event. With that in mind, we recommend using a ramp up model for support and to tie it to any milestones from your MARCOM plan. For example, you may want to schedule more staffers the day of/after your tools launch as you will likely see an increase in ticket volume.
Digital events mean scaling big, scaling fast, and scaling for success. Daunting right? But with the right tools, a little extra preparation, clear communication, and a team dedicated to going the extra mile – you can make your vision of success a reality!