Delivering Excellent Customer Service

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

When it comes to customer service, companies are learning it is not only important to say the right thing; they must also do the right thing. We never get a second chance to make a good service impression.

We are members of an elite industry. We produce and deliver trade shows and events, giving us two things in common:

  1. We’re in the business of storytelling. We craft, produce, and deliver stories and experiences about our brands, technologies, and products.
  2. We’re in the business of delivering great service. Sincere, professional, focused service. To succeed and establish a community that loves your company, great service is more important than ever.

Our prospects leave their families and homes and travel to come visit us on a noisy trade show floor, or convention center ballroom. They put in a great effort leaving the comforts of home and expect a great event experience. Our prospective customers put great effort to come see us

Exceptional Service is Your Superpower

Bad service experiences go viral as soon as the customer is out the door. Look at any recent posting from the airline or hospitality industry and you can see the depth and breadth of people’s negative experiences.

Conversely, great service rarely gets recognized- and it should. As exhibitors, brand side and client-side marketers make a difference, one communication at a time. It takes a small amount of time and effort to thank someone for helping and it reaps great rewards personally and professionally.

We may be old fashioned, but nothing beats the sweet analog experience of opening a handwritten thank you note!

At the beginning and the end of a meeting, take time to recognize a team member, share a thank you or read a positive comment from a client. Rising tides lift all the boats!

Delight Your Staff and Customers

Honor the work your on-site staff is doing by acknowledging what they need to be successful and ensure they receive it. Regular breaks, hydration, and plenty of staff on each shift creates an environment of productivity.

Members of our industry rely on a community of service providers across all the show services. We can’t execute an event without them. As an exhibitor or agency, begin your conversation with a positive statement that reflects your belief that the person can and will help you.

Make gratitude a part of your events tool kit. A simple thank you paves the way for a win-win experience! Taylor Swift provided a heartfelt thank you and bonus to the truckers for her domestic Ero’s tour. Our industry does not have that kind of financial surplus, but the truckers and shippers delivering your exhibit, tech, and equipment deserve recognition too. Our careers ride in those trailers!

What Does Great Service Look Like?

Great service starts before you engage with anyone. These simple steps will take you there:

Give your staff an etiquette refresh – smile, listen, silence your phone’s ringer during your shift, listen, qualify, and make eye contact with everyone you speak to.

  • Many people are out of practice with simple human interaction due to imposed isolation during Covid and too much time with illuminated glass screens.
  • Host a simple interactive session during your pre-brief to demonstrate these behaviors. Record for others who can’t make the meeting.

Great service includes limiting the use of digital devices during your shift. If you must use a device, step away from the booth to prevent negative optics to attendees. Be present and stay engaged.

The Disney Service Playbook

Successful businesses understand that a customer who complains is an invitation to improve. Excellent customer service is not a cost, but a sales opportunity. By enhancing the experience with quality representatives, the gain is a returning customer who remembers the service you provided along with the price they paid. Disney has perfected this using a method called H.E.A.R.D. Agents attend in-depth training to master this simple technique for resolving customer complaints.

  • H ear: don’t let the customer’s anger influence your behavior
  • E mpathize: acknowledge their feelings, take their problem seriously
  • A pologize: tell them you understand why they are upset
  • R esolve: focus on the problem so you can fix it
  • D iagnose: fix what is broken


This simple formula takes customer service to a new level of excellence.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Qualtrics XM Institute states that poor customer service can collectively result in losses of $3.7 trillion annually. This represents a 19 percent rise from the estimated cost to businesses of roughly $600 billion last year . For perspective, in 2018 Forbes estimated the loss at $62 billion. More than half of consumers report they won’t do business with a company after a single negative experience.

Get It Right the First Time

Every time we interact with a customer or customer service representative, we have a chance to get it right. If we don’t, we lose them. It’s everyone’s job to get it right the first time.