I’ll never forget the poignant words an old mentor at university taught me, ‘working hard for something you care about is passion, whilst working hard for something you don’t, is stress’. Since that day, I’ve applied those words to many different situations, but nowhere have those words resonated more than in my role today.
At this point, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Matt, head of our customer success team at LiveStyled, and to date, I’ve overseen the roll out of our platform in over twenty European venues. Over the course of the next 1,000 words, I’m going to be sharing with you my recipe for customer success.
Wherever you go in the world, the roll out of any venue app is most often driven by one or more of the following three initiatives: enhancing the visitor experience, driving spend increases, and getting customers in earlier. Now, don’t get me wrong, all three of those are excellent reasons for rolling out an app, but there’s a crucial fourth initiative that our best-performing clients do so, so well.
Imagine for a moment that you are a senior decision maker at an entertainment venue with a capacity that ranges anywhere from 500-25,000 people. You’ve just signed a deal (with LiveStyled of course!) to roll out your new venue app, encompassing mobile ordering, loyalty, engagement and way-finding. Now that the contract is signed, it’s time to handover to the respective teams at your venue for implementation.
Now, let’s briefly look at who the key stakeholders involved in your app roll out will be:
The Marketing and / or Digital team
The digital team, or in smaller venues, marketing team, will more often than not be the key stakeholder in any app project. They have the experience, tools and know-how to drive the success of the app project. They will be tasked with integrating the app into their current marketing strategy and ensuring the app is rapidly gathering users, whilst effectively supporting the commercial elements too.
Catering and Merchandise management
To successfully roll out in-app ordering, full buy-in is needed from both the catering and merchandise teams. At smaller venues these teams will be kept in-house, while in bigger venues this responsibility will be outsourced. The catering and merchandise teams are a key operational cog in the equation as in most cases, these teams will own the first human interaction your users have with your application.
Your customer service team (both at-venue and online) will be extremely important in responding to any queries about your app. Be it having a query about an order or giving you honest, candid feedback, the customer services team must be equipped with the knowledge to respond.
Now that we have that clarified, let’s now understand what all of the above teams have in common, aside from the obvious of working in the same venue!
From experience, I can safely say that whatever the size of the team, or size of the venue, the answer to this question is very simple, they are very busy people, juggling many balls to ensure their events offer the best experience possible for attendees. Does this stop them from powering their customer’s mobile experience in their venue? Absolutely not.
Without further ado, the fourth initiative that our most successful venues do so, so well is very simply, communicating their vision for the project, from the very top to the very bottom of their organisation.
It sounds so, so simple but I assure you, if you can convince your team that the app will A) make their job easier and often more importantly B) is integral to the vision of the future of your venue, then the three core initiatives I reeled off initially will become so, so much easier to deliver on.
But how exactly do you effectively communicate your vision for the app to the wider team? Well it’s actually quite simple, and I’ve broken it down into three steps below:
1 Ensure your vision is clear and emotive
We covered earlier on the likely objectives you have for rolling out at an app, or your mission as we’ll describe it here. You want to increase revenue/ efficiency, and that’s absolutely okay. But it’s important to understand that if your workforce is going to really invest mentally in the project, your mission must be accompanied by a truly emotive vision. An example being, ‘we want to be the most technically advanced venue in the world’, or ‘we want our app to make the lives of every attendee, and staff member, easier’. This sort of vision is a lot more human, easier to connect with and filters much more effectively down the ladder than your mission.
2 Give ownership to your most enthusiastic ambassadors
Giving ownership of the app project across each department is my number one tip for filtering your vision through the venue. This certainly doesn’t have to be the leaders of each team, in fact, one of our best-performing venues has given ownership of the app to their marketing assistant. The thought process here is that if people feel both responsible and accountable, they’ll be enthusiastic about the project and that enthusiasm will undoubtedly cascade through the rest of the team.
3 Don’t leave anyone out
Travelling from venue to venue, I’ve always been amazed at just how enthused and keen to learn lower level staff can be by new technologies and ideas. Although they may not be directly involved, your vision is your vision and everyone should be a part of it. An expression I often accompany this message with is ‘everyone is your marketing team’, and that is absolutely the case here.
If you can turn everyone in your venue into an advocate/ knowledge base for your app, you will be nailing your objectives in no time.
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