When we set up this interview, we knew we were talking to a business that's faced real uncertainty over the past year. We wanted to find out how Skiddle planned to use reviews moving forward as the industry rebuilds itself. But what we discovered is that their approach to customer service and review management throughout is what’s given this brand the competitive edge.
I initially wanted to talk about Skiddle hitting the 10k review count, and how they planned to build on that as life gets back to normal. But hearing how they managed the pandemic was amazing - a real testament to the brand and the team behind it.
Marketing Manager, REVIEWS.io
In prioritising the customer experience despite the challenging circumstances, Skiddle held on to the most important part of any business:
Without the money we won’t be here - but without the customers, we won’t be here either.
Jamie Scahill, Head of Marketing
Now approaching their 20 year anniversary, Skiddle started out as a what’s on guide. As ticket sales shifted to online platforms, the business grew organically, and is now one of the UK’s leading ticketing services and promoters for both established and grassroots festivals, music events and club nights.
They teamed up with REVIEWS.io around six years ago, and their strategy brings maximum return from customer reviews. They value real feedback from real customers, see negative reviews as an opportunity for growth, and reward staff members mentioned by name in positive reviews.
Head of Customer Care, Ella Green, calls it a ‘cycle of goodness’ - giving good service and getting good reviews in return. It’s a sentiment echoed by Jamie, who sees reviews as the best way to improve a business:
It gives you a reason to change. The more information you can get about your company from customers the better.
One of the most impressive things about Skiddle is that in the midst of the pandemic, they not only hit 10k reviews, but kept their high star rating. This speaks volumes about their customer service, and it’s something Ella in rightly proud of:
To hit that milestone as well as maintain our reviews rating was mega. I couldn’t be anymore delighted about it.
So how did they do it? Despite losing money due to refunds and no events permitted, they kept a customer first perspective.
They reassessed their processes and cancellation policies, optimising them to ensure first class service and mitigate complaints from understandably frustrated customers. They kept lines of communication open, and although response times suffered due to sheer volume, customers were updated regularly and all reviews were handled with care. They also ensured refunds were easily obtained and processed quickly - something many companies failed to do.
As Jamie says, communication is key to getting through tough times:
Keeping quiet and ignoring people is not the way to build a business. Business was always going to come back - it’s just what state your business was going to be in.
Having kept audience engagement going through positive content, Skiddle are now seeing the industry reopen its doors, with a steady uptake in ticket sales.
No longer dealing with cancellations, refunds and all round frustration, they’re now facing what Ella calls ‘good problems’ - sold out events, requests for second dates, and the simple everyday issues that show the wheels are turning again.
As for their review strategy, they intend to keep moving on the same course - responding to any negative feedback and making relevant changes within the business, and maintaining first class customer service to enhance an already impressive brand reputation.
If you’re eager to get back out on the music scene but still wary of buying tickets, we highly recommend Skiddle - you can see why on their review profile page. Any issues that might crop up due to restrictions, Ella and her team have got you.
If, like Skiddle, you want to improve business performance and customer experience by collecting reviews, sign up for a REVIEWS.io account today.