By: Clay A. Lundquist

There is nothing I hate more than bad customer service. I can go from completely calm to ballistic in a matter of minutes when I am receiving horrible service. Now, I do know that I am a little high strung. But it’s more than that. I find it utterly reprehensible when someone who is representing a brand that I am spending money on does not treat a customer well. I’m not saying that I want someone to kiss my ass. Not at all. But I do want someone that is attentive, knowledgeable and friendly.

Attentive, Knowledgeable and Friendly. Now aren’t those also the qualities that you are want from the people representing you at events. Event marketing is all about customer service. You could have the most basic table or popup setup with a product that is completely dull but if you are great at customer service people will take notice.

I always find it interesting when I walk by a booth and the staff is sitting down waiting for people to come to them. This happens with both hired event staff and folks who work for the brand. They are completely unapproachable. In many cases this is your first impression with the brand and it’s definitely not a good one. Event days may be long and at times boring but how hard is it to stand up, smile and greet people as they walk by your booth. Besides, it’s way better than sitting your ass in a cubicle and I’m willing to bet you will get a lot more action in your footprint if you do this.

Clients hire you to create something special for them. They want you to recreate their corporate culture in an event atmosphere and represent their brand to the high levels of customer service that their clients/consumers expect. Hopefully your client is known to have good customer service. If not maybe they aren’t a good client to represent or it may be a great opportunity for you and your team to shine and change the bad ideas about the brand that are out there. I can’t tell you how many times clients have asked me where I get my people from. They wonder how someone who has no real vested interest, that isn’t an employee at their company, is able to represent them so well. All you need is someone who is a people person. Anyone can learn the facts of the brand but a real people person will make you stand out at any event.

On the client side you are servicing the client. Customer service in it’s most basic form. They are paying you to provide them a service that they need. Now, again, this does not mean that you need to be a kiss ass. They have plenty of people who are there for that and you’ll feel better about yourself if you don’t stoop to that level. Be straight with them and deliver a great product and you’ll create a relationship with them that is built on respect and hopefully friendship.

Customer service seems to be a dying art these days. Which is sad. It’s such a basic concept and really good customer service makes all the difference. I am very loyal to a handful of brands like Amazon, Hotels.com, Zappos, Hilton, Hawaiian Airlines and Target that have given me great customer service throughout the years. So much so that I am willing to pay higher prices and deal with small issues here and there because I know that they will take care of me during the initial purchase and beyond. With event marketing you are getting the chance to serve current and future customers face to face. This opportunity should be seen as precious and you better make sure you put your best foot forward or that may be you last chance.

www.claylundquist.com