As audio technicians at the Triple Door, we are in a Customer Service position. This means everything- we are in charge of the way the customer experiences the event taking place on stage. The customer experience is our Number One priority. By delivering on our part of a world-class experience, we foster customer retention and word-of-mouth and ensure the continued viability of the venue.
Our customers arrive in this world-class space with high expectations. I see that as a blessing- we get to deliver world-class results every day. How many sound jobs have we all had where nobody really cares about sound quality?
We must do everything in our power to try to keep the show from being uncomfortably loud. This also solves a lot of typical problems with sound quality of live events. Quiet and comfort are our friends. I have noticed that the quieter I can make a show work, the quieter the audience will be. Then the sound system “disappears” and we get that magical interaction between the humans onstage and the ones in the seats.
Although we do some rock and roll, we are not a rock club where the audience is expected to get used to the volume by way of temporary threshold loss of hearing. Older audiences are more sensitive to noise and distortion. Some people will be quite forthcoming with their opinions, others will ask for refunds, others will just leave. Fortunately, we have a great batting average in this regard. And obviously sometimes the act on stage isn’t a good match with everyone’s expectations, but there’s always room to learn something, work harder, and improve. Even for me. 🙂
Occasionally, a customer will question or complain to us directly. The tricky thing about music and sound is that everyone can hear, and everyone can have an opinion. By definition, they can’t be “wrong.” They just don’t know what we’ve dealt with to get to that particular result.
Take a deep breath. Let any defensive instincts you may have just float away and don’t take it personally Listen, empathize and apologize. Go and try to hear it through their ears. Maybe there’s nothing you can do, or maybe there is something. A little kindness costs us nothing and goes a long way toward the customer having a positive impression instead of a negative one.
One recurring source of customer feedback (not that kind) has been excessive subwoofer energy along the side walls. What sounds good in the center of the house might be overwhelming when you sit on those bench seats. I recommend spending a minute there during soundcheck, it was a real eye-opener for me. Good use of high-pass filters can help tighten that up.
Thanks for all your great work at the Triple Door!
June 20, 2013
It’s a thrill for me every time they come to my work and I get to do this: