Clearly flagging this information won’t just make an access customer’s visit more enjoyable, either – it will also help your front of house staff to feel more comfortable and equipped to help where needed.
In this article we’re going to look at a couple of different ways to flag access customers to your customer-facing teams:
The easiest, at-a-glance method for making sure your box office and front of house teams know when an access customer is in attendance is to use Customer Groups. These allow you to clearly signpost customers who meet certain criteria in both the Sales Interface and the Scanning Interface – you can find out more about Customer Groups in this article.
You can use Customer Groups in two ways. In the Sales Interface, you can use them in searches to highlight customers with different border colours (along with the name of the Customer Group) depending on the criteria you’ve set. Here’s an example of how that looks:
As you can see, this makes it clear when customers have access requirements, allowing your box office team to highlight access performances that might be of interest, recommend appropriate seats, or perhaps offer a free Personal Assistant ticket where applicable.
In the Scanning Interface, once a customer’s ticket is scanned, you can see a coloured dot and the name of the Customer Group on the screen of the scanner. Here’s how that looks:
Your front of house team can clearly see here whether a customer has any access requirements and, depending on what those requirements are, offer the relevant assistance as needed.
There’s a good chance you’re already using this functionality to flag particular groups of customers; common examples are suspected duplicate records, potential members, and VIPs. To create a new Customer Group to alert your front of house staff when an access customer is making a booking at the box office or visiting your organisation in person, just follow the instructions in this article. You’ll want to make sure that you:
- Give your Customer Group a simple, recognisable name – this is what your customer-facing teams will see against a customer’s record. Longer names will not be immediately visible in their entirety on the tab in the Sales Interface (although hovering over the tab will bring up a pop-up of the entire name), so keep it clear and concise
- Select a colour for the Group that’s clear and easy to identify; higher contrast colours are always a good bet! If any members of your team are visually impaired or have colour blindness, ask them what works best for them and set these up accordingly
- Tick the Visible in scanner check box if you use scanners and want these to show when tickets are scanned
- Decide how to set up your Customer Groups and who to include. You might want to have one overarching Customer Group for all your access customers; alternatively, you might want to be more granular and have numerous Customer Groups, one for each specific type of access requirement, e.g. Wheelchair User, BSL/ASL User, etc.
- Use the Tags, Attributes and/or Memberships you've set up to identify your access customers to set the Customer criteria for the Group, as in the screenshot below:
A note on criteria
Choosing criteria when setting up Customer Groups uses the exact same logic as the Customer List Builder, including using the AND, OR, and NOT rules.
For example, a Customer Group that contains people who have a Caption User Tag OR an Audio Description User Tag would look like this:
Give our article on the Customer List Builder a read if you’re unsure how these rules work or need a refresher.
While Customer Groups help your client-facing teams to respond on an individual basis once access customers have arrived at your venue, you might also want to plan ahead and consider the bigger picture of which customers are going to be in attendance for each particular event.
A great way of doing this is by using a custom Front of House report, which you can schedule to run daily and help your front of house team know ahead of time who’s coming and what their access needs are. These reports can be as simple or as complex as you like, depending on what information your front of house team needs. We’ve picked out a few examples from Spektrix clients to help inspire you.
Hull Truck Theatre
Hull Truck have a really simple Front of House report that highlights access customers attending that day based on tickets purchased for seats with particular Lock Types – wheelchair accessible spaces, seats within the hearing loop, etc.
If a customer has booked one of these seats, the report outputs their name, seat number, the Tags that they have against their record, and any notes from the customer record’s blue sticky note.
Great Canadian Theatre Company
We built a report for the Great Canadian Theatre Company that shows any customers who’ve purchased a seat with a particular access Lock Type, or whose order has a specific access Order Attribute.
The Nuffield Southampton have a Pre-Show Duty Manager report which, along with flagging any access customers attending based on Customer Attributes, also includes the content of any notes made against their order (using the blue sticky note function), a summary of sales, the details of any members attending – and even if anyone in attendance has a birthday coming up!
How to request a Front of House report
There isn’t a Standard Report version of a Front of House report, so if you would like one of these, please get in touch with the Spektrix Support team to request one by filling in a Report Request Form.
Please make sure you upload a detailed mock-up of what you would like this report to look like, and include the names of any Attributes, Tags or Memberships that you want it to reference – this helps us to make sure we include all the data you need, and create a report that looks just the way you want it to.
Things to consider
Remember that setting up Customer Groups and building a great Front of House report are just the first steps here; you also need to make sure that everybody who’ll be making use of them knows what the various access requirements that they highlight entail – even the ones that might seem self-explanatory!
Just as important as flagging access customers in attendance to your customer-facing team is ensuring that they understand what additional help they might need to offer customers, and feel comfortable offering it. If you think your team would benefit from it, both Attitude is Everything and Stagetext offer training around disability and D/deaf awareness from a customer service perspective.
Following the guidance in this article, and the specific information in the setup articles we’ve linked out to, you should have everything you need to be able to flag your access customers to your front of house team. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Spektrix Support team, however, if you have further questions, or would like to discuss anything from this article in more detail.