A venue should always operate the “One-Person Management Structure” (this is my invention, by the way) where one person is responsible for dealing with client enquiries, guest enquiries or event enquiries.
It depends on the size and type of venue, because a large venue may have two or three people managing clients, but the basic idea is to ensure that the client or guest is handled by ONE PERSON from start to finish. In the retail and corporate sectors, this would be the key account manager, but for some weird reason the events and hospitality sector hasn’t yet got the knowledge of how to do it.
The one-person management structure must begin at the very beginning and not half-way through the operation. This means that when the client makes an enquiry to the venue, there is ONE PERSON whose job it is to take enqjuiries. If this person is unavailable, somebody else should take note of the client contact details ONLY, so that the right person can follow-up the enquiry when they return to their desk. This is important because all enquiries should be handled in the same way and by the ONE PERSON who is trained, experienced and knowledgeable with handling enquiries.
But, the one-person management structure doesn’t end there. The point of the principle is that the same person manages the client throughout the entire process and with all contact with the venue. So, if the enquiry converts to a booking, the same person who took the enquiry will oversee the booking. It means that the client isn’t forced to deal with the chef for the food, the bar manager for the drinks, the furniture hire company, or the florist.
From the venue side, the one-person management structure ensures the standard procedures are followed and the levels of service to the client are maintained. If there are any problems during the course of the booking, the management knows who to blame!
From the client side – and this is very important, of course – the client has just one person to deal with and doesn’t get passed around all departments such as the bars and the kitchen. Clients don’t have time to chase chefs and bar managers – and the chef and bar manager don’t want clients ringing them, anyway.
Also, there is far more likelihood that the client will build a quick working relationship with one person at the venue. This is excellent for success and repeat business.
That is the idea behind the One-Person Management Structure. Is there any reason why you are not already doing this…?