Archive for July, 2013

Customer Service and Sustainability

July 10, 2013

At the recent PCMA Education Conference, a roomful of meeting planners and professional suppliers were asked if we were in the customer service business; we all boomed, “Yes!”  Our PCMA speaker told us we are in the customer experience business; a component of that concept is customer service.

Sustainability initiatives have become an automatic in today’s meetings marketplace and defining the customer experience through such actionable steps enhances customer service as well as the guests’ takeaways and expands the learning content beyond the classroom setting.

 At American Chemical Society’s 2013 spring meeting in New Orleans, a popular networking and educational event, Sci-Mix, featured an interactive poster session, beer and popcorn networking opportunity.  At the end of this fun event, special bins were set up to handle various waste streams.  These areas were coordinated by our event staff who helped determine the proper stream for each discarded item as well as answered general meeting questions. Image

The ACS guests’ experience was enhanced by this visible and knowledgeable support staff focused on ACS sustainability commitments.

Likewise, ProShow’s sustainability program and contest within our team points to the staffers most concerned with personal sustainability practices at the same time these staffers are positively impacting the customer experience.  Demonstrating the highest level of customer service in each interaction, and living sustainable practices in plain site of our attendees, equals an integrated program, generating a positive customer experience.

Central to meetings’ sustainability initiatives is the rapid movement away from printed handouts to the use of mobile apps.  More and more meetings clients are educating their attendees pre show about the use of the app and challenging them to move past their need for paper to the focus on handheld technology. 

Rather than heads stuck in program books and/or a tradeshow floor map, attendees are interacting with other guests and experiencing the tradeshow floor in different interactive ways through the use of the show app.  Several ProShow clients are working with their guests to help them make this shift and experience how it will add depth to their on site experience.

Sometimes in the meetings world, we start at the wrong end of the issue and work toward the right end; let’s start with the customer–always the right place to start!