INDUSTRY BLOG: “We want all customers to be able to make an informed choice”

Posted on 22.02.2017

INDUSTRY BLOG: “We want all customers to be able to make an informed choice”

Emily Noakes is the Front of House Manager at Charter venue Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, who just signed up to our Access Starts Online campaign. She explains how Attitude is Everything’s support helps them provide a better service to their customers.

Constantly reviewing the services we offer is a way of keeping us on the right track for providing what our visitors require. Customer feedback and forum consultations highlight areas for future consideration and allow us to continually improve our facilities.

Another way we can strive to offer the best possible service is through the assistance and advice given to us by organisations like Attitude is Everything. They really help us to spot any gaps in our provision, or any areas where we do offer services, but don’t shout loudly enough about it.

This is where the Access Starts Online campaign has offered us a very helpful insight into the information we provide customers in advance of their visit. This also helps remove barriers to potential customers who have not visited us before. If someone has to work hard to find out the information, as a consequence there would be some dropout rate. Working with the Access Starts Online framework helps us to achieve the aim of providing information customers require in advance, to ensure their actual visit is comfortable and stress-free.

Reading through the Access Starts Online guidance gave us that extra ‘eureka’ moment.  The phone calls we would often receive, and questions asked, were some of the topics contained in the guidance. Putting this information online would be another method of communication – removing the need to pick up the phone.

Any areas of information we were missing, as highlighted in the guidance, we could make every effort to clarify. By simply going and measuring distances from parking spaces in close proximity to our venue, or counting the steps to certain facilities, we could provide a crucial piece of information to customers that needed to know this. In essence we were addressing those deal breaker moments for someone when booking. The Access Starts Online campaign has helped us to sharpen our focus and make sure we are pre-empting questions and answering them online

Reading the guidance also highlighted to us how, here at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, access provision does not simply fall to one person; access provision sits at the very core of all roles and penetrates throughout the organisation. By looking over the guidance we can see just how deep this sits and what we provide as standard. We realised that we know what we do in-house and can detail this when a customer asks the question, but this in turn showed the missing link to potential customers receiving this information online at their own leisure.  For example, we are aware customers (current and potential) will browse for information when it is convenient for them, and this could be at 3am – not during our standard box office opening hours when someone would be available to take their call!

Providing the information online also helps to spread the word about what we do. For example, someone may not require the information themselves but wishes to find out more so they can discuss what options are out there for a family member or friend. Having information available also helps to reconnect to some customers who may have visited us in the past and hadn’t realised that there were services that they could access now they have an additional need.

Another key factor we noticed about information available online; if there is an improvement that you are currently investigating and soon to implement, having this status available online can reassure customers that the development will happen. This helps to avoid the frustrations some people may feel and alleviate their concerns whilst knowing that you are essentially aware and on it!

Ultimately, we want all customers to be able to make an informed choice and Access Starts Online campaign has helped us to achieve this.