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« Teasing Users with Event Details on Your Web Site | Main | Front Loading Value for Your Next Event »

Your Event Web Site as a Customer Service Portal

A few days ago I was conducting some search engine optimization research for an event marketing client. During the process I found a few first page indexed links that a typical web user might perceive as a negative customer feedback regarding a client's annual event. In the case of my client there were various blog posts and forum entries indexed into Google referring to their event. It is important to remember that Google and other search engines hold on to older relevant content. The search engine links which contain potentially negative feedback could show up for years in search engine results. Those indexed links could also impact someone's decision to buy tickets for a given event in the future.

The Continued Growth of Social Media
Social media is going to continue to grow. Today it's difficult not to find very specific niche markets without at least a blog, forum, or dedicated web.  People love information and flock to anything that could be perceived as new information for a given topic of interest. The user's need for information can be either a virtue or vice for event marketers. Search engines don't discriminate between negative or positive feedback they view it all as content to be crawled and indexed.

A Suggested Remedy

You'll never be able to stop people from posting information about your company, product, or service. Yet you can address the situation, in your own words, on your web site.  An official web site has some authority with your patrons. If your event web site has been up for some time you've probably build trust and credibility with your target market. Use your web site's authority to your advantage.

In the case of my client, they knew of most of the customer service issues raised by their patrons the day after their event. One of the best remedies would have been to acknowledge customer concerns almost immediately on their own web site. The negative feedback wasn't event my client's fault, unfortunately from the user's or patron's point of view it comes down to a matter of perception. People are still going to blog and post their opinions to forums. You can position your organization and event in a positive light by quickly acknowledging the concerns and allowing users to provide additional feedback on your web site.

Consider this except from The Mystery of Online Customer Satisfaction:

"There was one very important piece of actionable information that TARP provided.  95% of unhappy customers will do business again with you if their issue is resolved immediately. Your window of opportunity might be narrow and short, but you still have time to do sometime. Use the speed of technology to quickly recover from a customer service issue."

If something goes awry at your event use your event web site to address the issue immediately and let patrons know their concerns count.

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