The Language of Our Relationships
Last month I was in Las Vegas and I went to a conference where I had the opportunity to hear some of the more important entertainment companies on the strip talk about their work. These were the folks that put on the shows for Celine Dion and Elton John, as well as highly-staged corporate events. Something I heard over and over has stuck with me these past few weeks and seems highly relevant to our business.
Each one of the speakers referred to the people that attend their shows as "guests." Never "ticket buyers", never "customers", always "guests".
It got me thinking about how we refer to our customers. I named our company "Patron" Technology because it seemed to me that if you treat each person as a potential patron (i.e., a donor) you’d be treating them right from the start. We create technology that helps you build relationships with your patrons.
How many of us have attended cultural events and feel treated like guests or patrons? How would you expect to be treated if you were a guest, versus a ticket buyer?
I don’t go to nearly as many events as I once did, but my overall reaction is that we ticket buyers are often treated like cattle. Maybe it’s just my New York City experience, but the process of getting into the theatre, getting past the lobby and seated isn’t great. I’ve harped on this issue before, but I think it bears repeating. This weekend I was in a theatre lobby where well meaning but misguided interns where literally shouting at us. They screamed out where we should go, which line to stand on, and all the things we should not do. "Keep moving, keep quiet, turn off your cell phones, there is no intermission, check your coat here."
When was the last time you greeted a guest in your home like that? Perhaps we can learn something from Las Vegas, and perhaps it’s simply vocabulary.