Ticket Office Leaders Are A Valuable Asset
Leaders are essential to a ticket office. There should always be two back-up staff leaders in your ticket operations and sales department. The problem rests on how much authority either of them should have at any one time, and whether you are capable of ceding control at times in order to allow them to run the show. That isn’t an easy as it sounds, specifically if you are used to keeping control in-house, and authority over your staff. But by allowing your staff to grow, and two back-up staff leaders to exist in your office, it can pay dividends when the chips are down and you aren’t available to be everywhere at once.
Letting Go To Gain Momentum
Silos only work in farming. And even then, the practice can sometimes be questionable. When a franchise executive holds all of the keys to the castle, and never allows their staff to run the show, they risk two major issues; either an exodus of quality staff members moving on to other organizations where they will be given a chance to wield authority, or a breakdown in communication as well as operations when a larger game day issue strikes and the staff is unable to cope with the changes. A lot of this rests on the shoulders of the franchise executive, who must check their ego enough to cede control and allow others to know how to handle the various components of the ticket operation.
Perhaps this is an issue of fear of being replaceable that prevents the franchise executive from doing more with their staff. Fear is an unfortunate byproduct of not being open to change. It also can create the type of environment that culls away talent, instead leaving a bunch of slugs who possess little to no ambitions to succeed. The last thing that a franchise executive should want is a staff who does not yearn the question nor creative new patterns of success. Yet that happens often then the franchise executive prevents the ticket office from becoming a learning environment overall.
Training From The Start
From the first day of training, there should be at least two designee staff members with a back-up leadership status. These are the people that a ticket office’s staff will look up to if the franchise leader is unavailable to be present. Sometimes this happens when there are issues requiring the franchise executive to be away, either on a business trip or vacation, or in the head of an event night where the franchise executive is on the other side of the busy venue. Having put systems in place that reduce silos creates the opportunities for higher efficiencies within the ticket office overall.
Whether it be protocols or platform short-cuts, the ticket office should never rely on one designee to have the only knowledge, on-site, of how to handle the issue. This means that if a ticket platform’s mapping system is being created for a show by the ticket office and not the platform itself, there should at least be three people inside the ticket office who know how to operate the mapping system. This may sound like common sense, except that several ticket offices operate in a silo system, where only one person on staff fully understands or engages with a feature, which tends to translate into a breakdown of service when that person is unavailable and there is an issue with that feature’s operation.
Franchise executives should be running through every component of training with their back-up staff leaders. Consider it in the same manner that an stage actor has an understudy behind them in a play. Because the show must go on, even if the major player is unavailable to participate. The same is true for a ticket office, which cannot keep their windows closed if the ticket director is unavailable for contact, because the on-sale show must go on there as well.
Building Up Your Leaders
Creating a back-up staff leader is a great opportunity for the franchise executive as a whole. The goal should be to have capable people, throughout every component of the venue’s operation, as well as create a pipeline of success. Even if those staff that are trained as back-up leaders tend to move on to other organizations, the example of being placed in a position of success will yield a higher pool of quality candidates who want to have the same experience. This pays across the board for the ticket office and the franchise executive who implements it.
This also pushes the other staff harder when they see their peers being placed in these leadership roles. It forces them to ask what they can do in order to be put in the same type of position, and causes a ripple effect that provokes further professional development, rather than a case of regression. When a franchise executive focuses on implementation based on their staff’s best qualities and places them in a back-up leadership position, it can have a drastic, but positive effect on those in the ticket office around them.