It’s essential to become a team with the client, not a mere transcriber of what they ask us

Luis Rodríguez de Robles, Customer Service Manager at evenTwo, shares his point of view on the events sector

Customer success, technical support, after-sales service… Terms that would frighten the most patient of customers. And the event tech industry is of course no exception.

Luis Rodríguez de Robles arrived at evenTwo in November 2020 with the mission of paving the way for companies, partners and agencies that were getting started on the somewhat intimidating adventure of organizing virtual and hybrid events. We chatted with him to learn from his perspective and extract some keys that make this area the lifeline of the event professional.

Tell us first what is your role in evenTwo

Well, I’m the Customer Service Manager, which may sound a little fancy but it’s actually pretty simple: I’m in charge of coordinating the company’s technical support service. We work hard so that at the end of the day clients are satisfied with our work. Especially, that they treat us as just another part of their team.

You arrived at a difficult time for the sector. What do you think made you a good fit at the moment?

They needed a person who quickly understood customer needs and could provide answers to them. I guess the more 20 plus years in events organization had a little to do in the selection process. In addition, for almost five years I was the head of technology in a communication and event organization agency, so I knew very well the ins and outs of the products that evenTwo offers.

To what extent is customer service key in the MICE sector?

For some time the client has not been the center of our attention. Many of us experienced the boom of the sector between the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, and companies focused more on budgets. As I’ve already said, I believe that the most essential thing is to become a team with the client, not a mere transcriber of what they ask us. We know the sector well and the things that work or not, we love to advise.

Do you think that good service is even more appreciated in this new context of virtual and hybrid events?

I hope I don’t repeat myself too much (laughs), but the fact is that we would like it to be valued a little more. If someone asks me “I want you to do this like this”, but we see it differently, we are going to comment on it, with its pros and cons, but if our solution does not convince you, we will do it as we’re told. Unfortunately, in many cases, we have this feeling of preaching in the desert. Virtual and hybrid events have a new format that is difficult for all of us to understand, but we must help each other in this learning process.

Most of the times the biggest problem we encounter is not one of understanding, but of communication

Is the events industry heading towards a more personalized service or a more ‘do it yourself’ concept?

I like to think that it’s headed towards a DIY. In the Support team we share the feeling that it provides a special satisfaction to see how clients take control of the projects and do everything by themselves. Of course, they will still have our support and ask us whenever they are in doubt or need some extra training from us. However, we can’t just forget about personal attention, because there are customers that need a tailored suit, made with time, dedication and love.

How can we make both types of customers coexist, the self-reliant and the dependent?

I think the key is in the human support team. We need profiles that can withstand the pressure and tackle the most mechanical work without forgetting about building a relationship with clients. In the short time that I’ve been in the company, I’ve realized that many times the biggest problem we have is not one of understanding but of communication; we’re not speaking the same language, and that’s a barrier that we have to smooth over, little by little.

The events sector is seasonal. How can the same attention be guaranteed in high season as in months with few events?

Anticipation is one of the keys, the best projects we’ve done in recent months prove that they couldn’t have happened overnight. The better everything is planned and the more we know about the needs of the client and the client’s client, the more time we’ll have to anticipate possible problems and the more satisfactory the result will be.

You sure have already come across all kinds of requests and cases. Do you want to share an anecdote?

The most peculiar one, which generated a lot of laughter with the client, happened just recently. Before launching the mailing to the attendees with the download instructions for an event App, there was a user who searched it in the App market, installed it on his mobile and accessed it. He was curious! But he went even further and uploaded a picture of himself to the comment wall and left several messages. We wrote to him in a private message from the App and he never replied. I guess he realized he was being too anxious!