Providing Better Customer Service Through Enhanced User Experience Design

Recently, my web development firm launched a new orchestra user website and we’re in the initial launch period where the site is live, but they haven’t announced it yet.

When the time exists, these serve as great shake-down periods where we can iron out any wrinkles and use some initial visitor feedback and metrics to make last minute tweaks before the formal announcement. This project spent a good bit of time finding ways to improve and enhance the existing box office customer service experience for the full range of ticket buyers (single, subs, groups, etc.).

Adaptistration People 196To that end, some of the more time-consuming tasks included ticket exchanges, re-prints, and donations. As a result, we worked toward finding a way to help reduce staff time and create a much-improved experience for the ticket buyer to complete those tasks with less effort.

In a nutshell, we created a series of patron services forms to facilitate those three tasks.

We designed them to be super mobile friendly, easy to find, and easy to use.

Without even announcing the new forms to existing ticket buyer or even mentioning it at any of their social media channels, the orchestra already had several form submissions in the course of the handful of days the new site has been up and running.

That’s a terrific result and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a purpose-built solution begin fulfilling need right out of the gate. It demonstrates the current box office staff did a great job at identifying ticket buyer pain points and an equally great job at identifying the best possible solution.

In turn, that solution ended up being intuitive enough that general site visitors had no trouble finding and using it on their own.

Take for example, the new ticket exchange form. Currently, the ticket exchange process involves a patron sending a pic of their existing ticket voided out. Previously, this was all done via email so you can imagine how tricky it was for the box office staff to keep track of everything.

Now, the new ticket exchange form includes an upload image field that when accessed through a camera enabled mobile device, means a patron can take a pic of the ticket right there and upload directly to that form.

From there, the box office staff get an email notification with all the info they need to quickly process the exchange and the image files get routed to a cloud storage folder where staffers can easily access whenever needed to validate the voided ticket(s).

Once the group publicly announces the new site, we’ll take a closer look at that feature and more.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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