Your front-of-house box office team is the lifeblood of your organization for a variety of reasons. They are integral in creating a great first impression of your theatre, and they handle one of the most important aspects of your business: selling tickets. 

That being said, this integral team needs to feel empowered and equipped with the right tools to succeed. After all, as you’re preparing for opening night, the last thing you want to be worried about is ensuring your box office is up to snuff. Streamlining your operations and ensuring your team is feeling confident will reap major benefits down the line. On The Stage explains how you can empower your box office team right now – whether you’re a school program, a community theatre, or a professional non-equity organization. 

How to Empower Your Box Office Team

Set SMART goals

One of the most straightforward ways to empower your team is by creating objectives they can strive towards. But remember, these goals need to be SMART:

  1. Be specific: Instead of saying, “Let’s sell a lot of tickets this quarter!” give a specific percentage or numerical target goal.
  2. Measurable: Ensure you can track your team’s progress, utilizing data to help you see where they may be lacking or improving.
  3. Achievable: We’re all about reaching for the stars, but you need to make sure your team can reach the goals you set. If not, you’re setting up your entire operation – not just your box office team – for failure.  
  4. Relevant: Make sure your goals will contribute to the overall success of your theatre.
  5. Time-Bound: Most people work better on a deadline, so use that motivational tactic by creating an end date for your goal. 

Communicate expectations

Along the same lines as creating SMART goals, make sure your team knows what is expected of them outside of sales targets. If you don’t convey the do’s and don’ts of box office etiquette, along with other idiosyncratic expectations you have of your team, you will probably end up disappointed. Remember—people aren’t mind-readers. 

As far as setting the tone and conveying expectations, remind your team that the box office is often where patrons have their first experience with your theatre. A professional experience will impress new patrons. A good first impression creates an impact, and an impact creates a reputation.

In short, it offers open lines of communication and fosters an environment where questions are welcome. The more prepared your team is, the better the experience for everyone. 

Train your team well

With goals and expectations communicated and locked in, it’s now time to equip your team with the other tools they need to succeed: a comprehensive understanding of the box office process and any new ticketing software they need to know about. 

When teaching your front-of-house team about new box office implementations, make sure your language is consistent across the board and that everyone involved is fully prepared for any situation—from ticket exchanges and refunds to subscription renewals, merchandising upsells, digital ticketing scanning, and more. 

By training your team before the first rush of patrons, you’re creating confident employees and also streamlining the box office experience for patrons. A smoother ride at the box office means a higher percentage of return customers. 

Focus on customer service

So, your team has its sales goals, it knows your expectations, and it’s competent and confident about using your new software. But we’re missing one small thing—the human touch! 

What we mean by this is that your staff also needs to be friendly and passionate about your theatre during each box office interaction. Customer service – or lack thereof – can truly make or break a business. So, make sure your team is ready to serve customers efficiently and kindly. 

Consider running a few practice scenarios with your team where a ‘customer’ (most likely you or another member of your team) is unhappy with their tickets, needs a refund, or has another problem. Work with your box office staffers on how to troubleshoot problems without getting overwhelmed, short, or frustrated. This patience and kindness will go a long way and leave a major impression

Make your box office accessible

You’re setting your team up for failure if it’s even slightly difficult for patrons to communicate with your box office or access it outside of coming in person. Convenience is key! 

So, make sure patrons can purchase tickets online via a show site with a seamless ticketing portal. Additionally, ensure you have enacted the correct channels for patrons to communicate with your box office team if they run into any issues—whether that’s through a helpful chat feature on your website, an email form, or a direct phone line. 

All in all, empowering your box office staffers with communication channels to your patrons will ensure a smoother ride from start to finish.  

Share audience insights and data

If we know one thing, it’s this: data is king! As the leader of your theatre, you use patron data and demographics for many things—marketing efforts, sales, creative choices, you name it.

So, make sure that all-important data is also being shared with your box office team. If your front-of-house staff understands who they’re selling to, they’re likely to lock down more sales and even add bundles and merchandise add-ons, increasing your average order value. 

Like many industries, sales has a psychological component. To truly empower your team to succeed, ensure they know all about their intended sales targets. 

Ensure ticketing software is up-to-date

Your box office team will not make as many sales as you want them to if your computer software or technology constantly glitches or crashes. 

So, if you’re using desktops, make sure all computers are updated and ready to handle an influx of activity. If you’re using mobile ticketing software on phones, make sure all your staffers have fully charged, fully updated devices to avoid bumps in the road. Also, make sure they know about the ticket scanning software and are able to utilize it quickly and efficiently. 

Partner with On The Stage

So, we’ve established why empowering your box office team is important and a few tips on how to do so. The last thing you need to get started? A partner in the journey!

On The Stage offers an all-in-one Box Office Portal that professionalizes the front-of-house experience for your patrons, as well as streamlines your box office processes, resulting in a more efficient and elevated experience for everyone. With OTS’ portal, you can create a customer-first, professional atmosphere and manage all your box office needs in one robust yet easy-to-use software. Expect help with: 

  • Flexible ticket options—Your team can sell and process general admission, reserved, and comp tickets at any time, whether in person, online, or on the day of the event.
  • Order management – Your front-of-house team can quickly look up orders, resend/reprint tickets, manage refunds, exchange/transfer tickets, or convert tickets to donations – all in one centralized portal.
  • Varied payment options – Your team can easily collect, manage, and process cash, check, and credit card sales, as well as professional comps in one place.
  • Donation processing – Make it easy for your team to take donations from patrons at the door, generate additional funding for your organization – and help your staffers reach their sales goals! 
  • Real-time reporting – Receive real-time reporting from purchase to check-in with no delay, arming your team with the tools to succeed. 
  • Help with selling and redeeming subscriptions – Sell, upsell, and redeem subscription and flex pack ticket packages anytime, even on-site the night of your show.

Now that you know how to empower your box office team and have found a partner in your journey, it’s time to begin! Elevate your box office experience with On The Stage by booking a personalized demo today.

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