In the past, ticket refunds haven’t been allowed for most types of events, but the world has evolved in the last couple of years. As a result, making the decision of whether or not you’ll allow refunds for your event tickets requires a bit more consideration today.
Event attendees have evolved along with the changing world around them, and events need to evolve too. With that in mind, there are circumstances when it could make sense to allow ticket refunds.
Let’s take a look at why you should offer ticket refunds, when it’s most appropriate to do so, and special considerations that can help you decide whether or not you’ll allow refunds on tickets to your future events.
Why You Should Offer Event Ticket Refunds
Many event organizers don’t want to give ticket refunds – ever – but such a strict policy could do more harm to your event than good. Following are some key reasons why you may want to offer refunds.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
There are many situations when a customer could request a refund, so a one-size-fits-all policy doesn’t always work. Sometimes these situations occur prior to the event and some happen during the event.
For example, a ticket buyer could pay extra for VIP seating, but the VIP section is full when they arrive at the event. Alternately, the event may not deliver what was advertised to ticket buyers.
You should have a policy and process in place to allow refunds under certain circumstances to improve customer satisfaction, which leads to positive word-of-mouth marketing and higher ticket sales for your event the next time you hold it.
Increased Ticket Sales
When people know that refunds are available, you’ll sell more tickets to your event. The reason is simple. People will feel like there is far less risk involved in the purchase, and with a boost in confidence in their purchase decision, they’re much more likely to buy.
If your event is good, few people will ask for refunds, so there is probably less risk for you to offer refunds than you think. Keep promoting your event to ticket buyers to remind them why they don’t want to miss it, and you won’t get many refund requests. Here’s how to do it.
Meet Attendee Expectations
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people think about events. Event organizers have to adapt and do things differently now. One of the things they have to change is their stance on refunds.
COVID-19 has taught people that they could be forced to change their plans at a moment’s notice. If a ticket buyer is exposed to COVID-19 or shows symptoms, they shouldn’t be punished for it. If you don’t offer a refund to them, they’ll be unhappy and are likely to complain about it to anyone who will listen, particularly across social media channels. You don’t want that type of negative publicity to spread.
On the other hand, the ticket buyer exposed to COVID-19 could choose to attend the event if they can’t get a refund, which means they’ll expose everyone else at your event. You don’t want to be accused of holding a super-spreader event!
For more pandemic-related information, read 5 Things Event Organizers Should Do During the Coronavirus Crisis.
When You Should Offer Event Ticket Refunds
It’s critical that you have a process in place to approve refunds and refund a buyer’s money as soon as possible when people request a refund and meet your refund requirements.
Be sure to include information about when refunds are allowed, when they’ll be processed, and when funds will be returned in a refund policy published on your ticket sales page, receipt, and website. This information should also be clearly explained in the frequently asked questions section of your ticket sales page.
Don’t forget that different credit card companies have different policies for refunds. Some companies, like American Express, simply take the money, and the seller has to fight to get it back. Others allow the seller to try but don’t issue the refunds.
Furthermore, take some time to understand how credit card companies respond to merchants that have a lot of chargebacks. Too many chargebacks can damage a merchant’s reputation with some credit card companies leading them to close the merchant’s account (so you can’t accept future payments). Do your homework and be certain that you understand the process and rules for each company.
These are just some of the reasons why it’s important to work with an experienced ticketing provider that will help you handle refunds!
Important Refund Considerations
Make sure you choose a ticketing software that can process refunds as well as a ticketing provider that will answer ticket buyer calls and can approve refunds based on your specific refund policy.
Following are some essential questions to ask ticketing providers to ensure refunds will be managed efficiently and effectively for your event.
Can Your Online Ticketing Software Handle Refunds?
The online ticketing software you use to sell and manage tickets to your event should make it easy for you to set up a refund process that adheres to your refund policy. Importantly, the software should automate refunds so you don’t have to handle them manually.
Of course, there will be customer questions and not all refunds can be automated, but automating as much of the process as possible will save you valuable time and make customers happier.
It’s also important to choose a ticketing provider that has a team of ticketing experts on staff who can help you with refunds and take some of the burden of talking to customers and processing refunds off of your plate.
Will You Help with Refunds?
Not all ticketing providers are alike. The truth is you need more than a ticketing sales platform for your event to be successful. You need a ticketing provider who will work with you to maximize ticket sales and customer satisfaction. One of the most important things to look for when choosing a ticketing provider aside from the ticketing software is what kind of help the provider’s team will give you, including help with refunds.
For example, will the ticketing provider answer ticket buyer calls for you? If not, you’ll have to field all customer calls yourself, and you could get a lot of phone calls. Choose a ticketing provider that will reliably answer ticket buyer calls and handle refunds for you, so you can spend your time managing your event.
To help you with your provider search, here are 15 questions to ask to find the best ticketing provider for your event.
Will You Allow Me to Include Refund Information on My Ticket Sales Page?
If an event ticketing platform doesn’t allow you to include all relevant information about refunds on your ticket sales page, there will be problems.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you choose a ticketing provider that makes it easy for you to create a detailed ticket sales page where you can include information about refunds in a frequently asked questions section as well as in the terms and conditions section.
Be as transparent as possible about your refund policy on your ticket sales page so customers feel confident about their purchases.
Key Takeaways about Event Ticket Refunds
Event organizers should consider offering ticket refunds in certain circumstances. Doing so improves customer satisfaction, increases ticket sales, and meets ticket buyer expectations in a world where COVID-19 has made significant changes to how people think about in-person events.
Make sure you work with a ticketing provider, like AttendStar, that can help you with refunds, sell as many tickets as possible, and make your event as successful as it can be. Contact Gary Bradshaw at AttendStar (615-223-1973) or use the Contact Us Form to get started.