Identifying Customers with Access Requirements

Harry Brett-Jones
Harry Brett-Jones
  • Updated

In order to ensure you’re providing the best access offering possible, it’s important to know who in your customer base has access requirements and exactly what these requirements are. Spektrix can help you to identify these customers and record their access requirements, so that you have all of the information available to you, and can – if appropriate – use it to facilitate functionality such as unlocking seats, redeeming offers, and powering dynamic content in dotdigital.

In this article we’ll look at a number of ways you can identify and flag these needs in Spektrix and, once set, use them as eligibility criteria to power other Spektrix functionality. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Identifying access requirements

The first thing you’ll want to consider is what access requirements your customers might have. A fairly comprehensive list of requirements might look something like this:

  • I’m a wheelchair user (electric)
  • I’m a wheelchair user (manual)
  • I use a wheelchair but prefer to transfer to seat
  • I’m unable to use stairs for any other reason
  • I’m blind or visually impaired
  • I require Audio Description
  • I’m D/deaf or hard of hearing and a BSL user
  • I’m D/deaf or hard of hearing and use captions
  • I need to sit within a Hearing Loop
  • I require a Personal Assistant/Companion
  • I have a registered Assistance Dog
  • I require a seat close to an exit
  • I need to know about strobe lighting/fog/gunshots
  • I have an access requirement not listed here

Of course, you may have other access requirements that are unique to your venue that need flagging up. When considering this, we’d recommend you speak to your access customers – they know better than anyone what they need.

Once you’ve assembled your list of access requirements that you want to be able to record, the next thing to do is decide how you’re going to flag them in Spektrix.

NOTE: if you decide to ask customers for proof of eligibility for whichever option you choose, we’d recommend you follow the advice of Attitude is Everything in their Practical Guide to Evidencing Disability.

Recording access requirements in Spektrix

There are various ways you can identify your access customers, each of which records information in slightly different ways. You’re not limited to just using one option, you can use some or all of them depending on what you want to use the information for.

Using Tags
One way to flag these customers is by using Tags – we’d recommend these as your best option as they can easily be applied and removed from a customer’s record by your Box Office team. Even if you choose to use other methods, it might well be worth also having Tags set up; they’re easy to search and report on, can be seen at a glance on a Customer Record, and they’re really granular, letting you create lots of different ones and combine them as needed to clarify customers’ specific needs.

In the Admin Interface, under Customers > Tags, create a Tag Group and add your list of access requirements as individual Normal Tags. Here’s an example of what that looks like, with the first few access Tags already created:

Once you’ve created all of the Tags you need, they can then be applied to customers as needed by simply going into their records and, in the Details section, scrolling down to Tags. Click the Edit Tags button and you’ll be given the option to add any Normal Tags to this record:

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Click the check box next to any Tag to add it to the customer’s record.

NOTE: Tags can only be a maximum of 50 characters in length, so you’ll need to be mindful of this when you’re creating them.

For more information about Tags, have a read of this article.

Using Customer Attributes
You can also use Customer Attributes to highlight customers’ access needs; these will be visible in their customer record under Details, just below the standard Spektrix asks (Name, Email, etc.), and can be completed by your Box Office team.

These are created in the Settings Interface and, as with all Attributes, can be a currency field, date/time calendar, dropdown list, free text box or check box.

It might be useful to consider having a very simple Attribute that is, for example, Access Customer and gives the option to really simply highlight someone with additional access needs. This means you can use your Tags to get a clear idea of what their exact needs are, while using the Attribute to just identify that they do have access requirements:

If you’re looking to be more specific with this Attribute, you’ll want to use a dropdown list; this means you can pre-define the options, but bear in mind that this could also be limiting for customers who have a number of different access requirements. As such, it’s worth defining a number of possibilities and also ticking the Allow users to enter free text for this Attribute box, giving people the option to list their own particular needs:

For more information on Attributes, have a read of this article.

Using Memberships
Another option is to offer a Membership that identifies your access customers, and can be renewed as necessary and used as eligibility criteria. This is as simple as setting up any Membership in the Admin Interface, under Other > Memberships; you can read our how-to guide to doing so here.

You might, for example, want to consider setting up a similar system to that which Park Theatre uses for their under-25’s membership scheme. They’ve created two separate Memberships: one temporary Membership that has a fixed period of two weeks and is available for free online, and one full Membership that is only available in the Sales Interface.

When a customer purchases the temporary Membership, they receive an email the next day which lets them know that they have two weeks in which to bring in their proof of eligibility before this temporary Membership – and its related benefits – expires. When the customer brings this evidence in, the Box Office staff simply ‘sell’ them the full Membership (at no value) at the counter.

When you set up any Membership, you’ll be given the option to decide if it’s available to be purchased online in its Website section. It’s also easy to automate the process of sending emails requesting proof of eligibility using Customer List Schedules.

For more information on creating and using Memberships, have a read of this article.

Using Order Attributes
If you have an event that presents unique access requirements that you’re unlikely to need to ever ask about in future (e.g. a site-specific piece of theatre that involves audience members needing to climb a large number of stairs), you can use Order Attributes to hold this information at the order level, rather than against the customer record. The benefit of these is that they’ll show up as part of the booking pathway, so a customer will immediately be made aware of any access requirements they’ll need to consider for that particular event.

Order Attributes can be set up in the Settings Interface. As with Customer Attributes, it might be your best bet to define a number of possibilities in a dropdown Attribute and also select Allow users to enter free text for this Attribute box, giving people the option to manually list their requirements.

Once these have been created, they can be applied at the Event level by selecting an Event in the Admin Interface and navigating to the Order Attributes tab:

NOTE: if you are using Order Attributes, it’s always worth thinking about whether holding the information you’re requesting against a customer’s record could be useful going forward.

Best practice

Once you’ve identified your access customers with Tags, Customer Attributes and/or Memberships, you can use these as eligibility criteria for lots of different functionality, including:

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If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.

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