Prevent Last Minute Ticket Cancellations

Prevent Ticket Cancellations

As a long time season subscriber to our local theater and a frequent patron to Austin’s many live events, I expressed to the theater my disappointment when I learned that they would impose an exchange fee of $6.00 per ticket. This is an egregiously high fee for a ticket that may represent as little as $35 of my season package value. As a result, that fee translates to a whopping 17% price increase over that ticket's price. This encompassed the theater's process to prevent last minute ticket cancellations.

Subscribers are among theaters' strongest supporters. Unlike single-ticket buyers, subscribers purchase their annual season packages with only the vaguest notion of the shows ahead. So, they may deserve a separate level of accommodation when it comes to considering the amount of fees to impose.

Certainly, late exchanges provide a more limited window of refilling the seat. Rather than penalize your most loyal patrons, why not implement a multi-pronged process to prevent last minute ticket cancellations? For starters, make sure you are using ThunderTix’s automated show reminders to email patrons a few days in advance. Patrons welcome reminders especially when their own calendar notification fails to alert them. Further, ensuring customers arrive for the show helps prevent credit card chargebacks when customers miss an event.

Tools to Reduce Cancellations

Let’s face it. We all have difficult customers, so it's important we try to prevent problems before they occur. For example, late seating is a distraction to those that arrive on time. Order confirmations should indicate that once the theater doors are closed, late arrivals must enjoy the start of the show from monitors outside the theater. You can try scheduling pre-show email reminders to those who consistently “forget” about the show then insist on a refund. Use our built in customer tags to label challenging patrons with the euphemistic tag, “deserves special attention”. Then you can easily download the full list of patrons who may need a personal call in advance.

And your ThunderTix tool belt provides for yet another method to prevent last minute ticket cancellations. You can optionally allow your customers to easily exchange tickets. With this feature, you can quickly move customers from one date to another to rebook at a convenient time.

Further, for customers who cannot attend any performance for the run of shows, consider refunding their entire purchase to a gift card for future purchases. You can use our automated pre-event reminders to offer either of these solutions.

Insurance for Last Minute Cancellations

Another useful tool to fill seats from last minute cancellations is the "waiting list". Simply turn it on for your events, and patrons who missed out on the opportunity to buy tickets can sign up and be called as last minute cancellations or exchanges occur.

Finally, why not let patrons gift their tickets back to you. Many patrons may not be able to attend even a makeup performance. Rather than let those seats sit empty, your most loyal customers would rather "donate" those seats enabling you to sell the same seats twice.

Creating loyal patrons

Subscriber or not, there are times when a fee might be in order. If you’ve followed steps to ensure a full house, it’s okay to charge a fee that helps cover the cost of lost revenue. The key is to be proactive in mitigating losses, but flexible when your valued subscribers need your help.

In the case of our local theater, I pointed out that an advance reminder might help in the future. Maybe I was labeled as “deserves special attention”, but with a mutual agreement, they agreed to waive any fees, and I promptly renewed four subscriptions.