What’s your beast from the East story?
That crazy snow we had in the first week of March really did hit the UK hard, causing disruption both in transport and logistics.
Over the past few weeks I have met many people with a story to tell of how they missed the wedding, got stuck at home or worse still at their in-laws!
My personal one was the monster 22 hour journey I undertook returning from Poole in Dorset to where I live in South Wales.
It involved several trains, an overnight stay in Bristol, an eye watering £60 uber ride and then finally a 1 mile walk in 2 feet of snow dragging a roller suitcase.
Now many of you probably have similar stories or perhaps can even beat my 22 hour record. Whatever your struggle or delay, if you’re reading this, you will no doubt appreciate the disruption that the weather caused to live entertainment
We saw football games and concerts cancelled either due to artists not being able to make the venue or the approaches to the venue being judged to be too hazardous.
As I sat at home slowly defrosting, I did suddenly think “I wonder how many people will not be able to make tonight’s performance?”
By coincidence I had a call booked with Simon Mabb of Romero Insurance the parent company of Booking Protect. We were actually due to be discussing the upcoming Ticketing Professionals Conference, but I couldn’t help asking how bad the snow was going to be for either them, their clients or their clients’ customers.
“Not a problem at all” he replied , “ it’s what we do! We added some extra staff to the call centre and we were actually already settling claims this time yesterday”
Whilst it was refreshing to hear that statement, I did ask how they could be collecting valid proof of a claim so quickly?
“Simple” he replied “We have all of our client’s protected bookings on our system. When a refund request comes in we can see you live in Barnsley and the show you were going to see is in Leeds. We are not going to ask people to send us photos of the motorways closed or trains cancelled when we can see it for ourselves.”
Like most businesses Booking Protect had staff issues so were under pressure, but it is their clever use of technology coupled with their commitment to fast and efficient settlement of claims that in that first week of March gave massive benefits to their clients. They were never outside of their 48 hour SLA commitment.
Their clients saw the benefit of having refund protection offered to their customers along with a rock solid customer service offering to back it up.
So the snow was a once in a decade occurrence. I cannot remember the depth or drifting of snow anyway like I saw, but other incidents occur like this, on an International, National and regional level on a regular basis.
Train strikes, flooding, motorway closures as well as let’s not forget illness effect your customers ability to attend the performance that they have booked.
We should use these once in a decade disruptions not as a sign for us to start thinking about protecting our customers, but to actually start doing it!
The chances of snow for the rest of the year are minimal ( double checks outside window) but now is a perfect opportunity to start discussions with providers of refund protection as well as your ticketing platform provider.
Make sure you pay close attention to the tools or services a provider can offer. Ensure that bookings are correctly and compliantly recorded as well as the providers ability to offer outstanding customer service.
Now – where’s my sledge?