Before I joined the vendor community, I was a client of streaming and digital event platforms. From the client side, I found a wide variance in the quality of customer care and customer support. Just because webcasts and related digital events happen online, doesn’t mean that they’re trivial to execute.
Some digital events can have as many moving parts (and dependencies) as a comparable face-to-face event. Be sure to include customer care and customer service in your considerations for digital event service providers. I factored this in to my prior selections and it always worked in my favor.
Let’s consider attributes to look for in your digital event partner.
What happens when it’s the evening before your digital event and you just realized that you provided the wrong version of the keynote presentation deck? You want to be able to call your service provider and have them answer the phone. Or, you want to send a “high priority” email and have them reply back to you a short time later.
For me, “dependability” meant coming through when called on – but it also included “coming through when it matters most,” especially going above and beyond when the situation called for that.
By “nurturing,” I don’t mean that your service provider always say “thank you” and “how’s your day going?” – even though that’s kind of expected! Your service provider will be more knowledgeable and experienced than you about digital events – so for me, “nurturing” means providing education along the way.
Instead of being a pure “receiver” of deliverables, a nurturing service provider may say, “you know, based on what I’ve seen in other events, here’s a better way you could accomplish things.” The more providers can educate (and empower) their clients, the better service they provide.
A service provider should take a leadership position in your success. Are you doing your first digital event and figuring out how to sell sponsorships? Providers who are leaders will guide you on some sponsorship packages and attend meetings with your sales team to show them the ropes. Leadership means acting in a proactive manner whenever possible.
Related to leadership, sometimes service providers need to “tell it like it is.” For instance, if clients are past overdue on deliverables, it must be communicated to them that the event is at risk. If they’ve made decisions that increase the likelihood of a component failure, this also needs to be communicated and documented. Factors related to the success of an event cannot be sugar coated.
And here’s the ultimate destination for a service provider and its clients. Trust is typically built and developed over a number of events. But once you’ve reached this destination, you get into a groove, whereby things flow smoother – and you just know that if any roadblocks surface, that your service provider will resolve them with you. Trust also means that as your service provider makes strategic recommendations to you, that you know they’re coming with your interests in mind (and not their’s).
Going back to when I was on the client side, I found only a few service providers who delivered on all of these attributes. When I found one that I trusted, however, the planning and execution process became much less stressful.
What are your thoughts? Use the comments area below to let us know what you seek regarding excellent customer service.
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Post contributed by Dennis Shiao