It is interesting for community theaters to look at and examine the various customer touchpoints they have with their patrons or ticket buyers. We believe there are seven key customer touchpoints that community theaters have with their patrons – seven moments that matter.
1. Learn about the Event
At some point, the patron discovers the fact that the event will be occurring. This may be through a newspaper article, seeing a poster, or more likely, learning from friends or family who are involved in the event in some way. They could be performers, box office staff, stage crew or anyone else involved.
It is useful for community theaters to let their staff or performers know how to describe the event. Some leading community theaters will give their staff brief event description points. That is, “here’s how to describe the event to friends and family if they ask”. Some staff members may not really know what the event is about even though they are involved in some way. They should be equipped to describe the event is, why it is so great and how to get tickets.
2. Purchase a Ticket
After hearing about the event, your customers may then look to purchase a ticket. Again, if they heard about the event from someone involved in your community theater, hopefully that person was equipped to describe how to get tickets. If they learned about it from a poster or a newspaper article, those items should have clear “calls to action” – a simple instruction on how to get tickets. For example, the poster should list your website, or even better, the specific page at which to purchase tickets.
Needless to say, the ticket buying experience must be easy and enjoyable. If your ticketing system requires too many steps or makes it difficult for people to buy tickets, it is time to look for a new system.
3. Look at the Ticket
After purchasing tickets, many patrons will look at that ticket many times before attending the event. They may leave it in an obvious spot to remind them of the upcoming event. That is why is critical for community theaters to have a ticketing system that produces attractive and clean tickets. Each time your customers look at the ticket is a moment that matters. It is a branding opportunity for your community theater and the event.
4. Arrive and Check in
It is important here to make the arrival and check-in experience again as easy and enjoyable as possible. So, the door in which the customers would come in should be obvious. If it isn’t use signage to make it obvious.
Once in the venue, it should be obvious where the ticket holder should go and what the check in procedure is. Again, great signage is useful.
For customers who have gone to the trouble of purchasing their ticket ahead of time, they should not have to wait in line check-in. There should be an opportunity for them to go directly to the seating area and get checked in at that point. Check-in processes must be fast. If you are scanning ticket barcodes or QR codes, ensure there are enough ushers or check in people to get the job done without having customers wait.
5. View the Performance
Obviously, the reason your customers are at the event is to view the performance. Clearly, the quality of the performance will have a major impact on the customer experience.
Some leading community theaters also give thought to the experience just after the event. They want to ensure that the process of leaving the seating area and the venue itself is pleasant. Opportunities to gather and linger, should patrons desire, are great. On the other hand, streamlined exits for those who do want to depart quickly are important.
7. Discard the Ticket
Interestingly the departure may not be the end of the customer experience. The patron may keep their ticket or program for several days as a reminder of the great time that they had. Therefore, again the attractiveness of your tickets and of your programs are important to brand building and customer experience for your community theater.