As many of you know, my marketing sales and customer service offerings include mystery shopping for individual companies and associations. Recently I finished a large mystery shop (using multiple shopper sets) to assess a multi-winery event.
What forcibly struck me about the answers the shoppers provided in the questionnaires they completed was the lack of training that has been given to the “first responders” that is, the people who are on check-in at events.
The employees or part timers at the check-in desk are the first people that the attendees see and the first people they have any interaction with. The interactions with the check-in folks may very well set the attendees’ attitudes for the entire time they spend at the event. Their first impression will have a great impact on whether or not these people decide to visit the business again.
In this particular case, not only were many of the check-in people inattentive and in some cases unhelpful, it was obvious by the answers they gave to simple questions that they had received little or no training for their role or information about the event itself.
Put one of your most cheerful and most accommodating staff members in charge of check-in. Make sure that the staff members you have on check-in have been well trained and can deal politely and calmly with people who have been waiting in line, been stuck in traffic, couldn’t find a parking space, or anything else that may have frustrated them before they got to check-in.
When visitors begin with a good experience, their attitude towards the whole event is better. They will be more patient if things go wrong or if they have to wait in line for food, wine or to purchase.
I hear a lot of horror stories from consumers about things that have gone wrong while they were trying to check in at a busy special event. So, please, train your staff and make sure to put your best and brightest on check-in.
A tip of the glass from me to you!