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Customer and Experiences and 'Customer Experience'

Below is an article originally written by Sarah Kennedy at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek, and published on February 23, 2018. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

When I was in 8th grade, I got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel from my small town to Disney World as part of a school trip. It was an extra special experience in my mind because it was also my first time ever leaving home without my parents right by my side. Independence!

My teacher gave our whole group tons of agency on the trip: We were responsible for all of our own meals, and we dictated most of our own daily schedules. We were a special kind of obnoxious tour group, I'm sure. I mention the meal thing specifically because my strongest memory from the whole trip involved a lunch that changed my life.

When you're first stepping into big responsibilities there can be a learning curve. Sometimes small things get dropped or forgotten. In this case, that small thing was my very expensive retainer which I had forgotten about and dropped directly into the trash can outside Frontierland.

Of course, I was embarrassed. I can only imagine the hard work Disney cast members do on a regular day and the last thing I wanted to do was to add "dig through the garbage to fish out a tween's mouthguard" to their to-do list. I also knew what would happen if I flew home and told my parents that I'd doomed my teeth back into being crooked. Braces are expensive. This trip was expensive. Having one ruin the other was not the best situation.

I was stuck at the trash can, panicked. Other people passed, dumping their trays before heading off to Splash Mountain. I swear, Disney employees must have a sixth sense that helps them identify kids who are about to cry because this cast member got to me right in time. "What's wrong?" She asked with the warmest, kindest, most genuine tone you can imagine. I don't even think I said the entire word "retainer" before she ripped the top off the can and started hunting. She found it within seconds and saved the day. What was even more surprising was that she thanked me for letting her help. What the heck?!

I wasn't "garbage she had to go through" at her job. To her, I was a person in the middle of the experience of my life, facing an issue that brought all that to a halt. She knew what she could do to positively affect the person at the other end of this interaction and she dove in without hesitation. That is amazing and it showed me how much of an impact someone in service can have on others.

As a company, we're obsessed with getting more people out to live events they care about. We pour our energy into creating a smart, intuitive website and app that connects people and unlocks their ability to go make memories with the people they care about, seeing the artists and teams they love. It's a sweet gig. Obviously an app can't answer every question or resolve every issue that may pop up, which is why we have a dedicated (and sizeable!) customer experience team in the first place.

We have a special CX team at SeatGeek. A group so passionate about helping people create memorable experiences that we built careers around it. We dive in without hesitation and help people resolve anything that's stopping their outing from being the time of their life.

What's extra nice is that our work in CX goes beyond emails and phone calls. We have high level conversations about what our customers go through at every step, from browsing for events to the very last song performed during an encore, and we get to base them on the first-hand accounts we hear directly from fans. Then we use all of this information to connect with the other teams at SeatGeek and together we improve.

Empathy is the name of the game and it's not just a buzzword that we fling around. We're bold in our consumer advocacy: protecting them with our SeatGeek guarantee, anticipating their needs, and using the focus of who is on the other end to influence our decision making. We are truly in service to others in a way that would make Disney proud.

In a world that's becoming more and more automated, our team is excited to learn and offer new and better ways for customers to reach us – we are a tech company, after all. However, we take special care to maintain a human touch at the end of those channels. Email, phone, or social media, any way someone tries to reach us there's another person waiting and ready to help.

We're dedicated and committed to connecting with the person on the other end. Reach out to us and let's dive in.

SeatGeek

SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Jamie Hooker, Director of Talent

Below is an article originally written by Nate Rattner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights - an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. We represent live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and before SeatGeek, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Jamie Hooker, our Director of Talent.

Name: Jamie Hooker

Role: Director of Talent

Where were you born?
I was born in Georgia - outside of Atlanta.

Have you always lived in NYC?
No — I've lived in close to 10 places, but have been in New York for almost three years. I came to New York from Wisconsin, and was in Tennessee before that, and Colorado before that — Colorado will always be home, though.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Vanderbilt — go 'Dores! I'm one of a few Vanderbilt folks here, and actually wasn't the first Vandy hire — Ben Clark holds that title. There are four total now, and hopefully we can add more to that count!

Where is the weirdest place you've ever lived?
I don't think I've lived anywhere very weird, but when I was little, we lived in France and Belgium, which is unique I suppose. I was there for a couple years when I was a toddler so my memories are pretty limited — we moved back to the states when I was about 5 years old.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC?
When I first moved to New York, we decided to turn our living room into an additional bedroom, as many people do, to make our apartment more affordable. I was lucky enough to be able to live in the extra room — my "lean-to." I had to get a wall built, and for some reason there was a really big disconnect between my landlord and the wall company, and I ended up living without a wall for my first two months here. Basically, you'd walk into the apartment and be in the living room, the kitchen, and my bedroom at the same time. The wall is still there, and I'm still in the same apartment, but I've since upgraded rooms.

What's the best project you've worked on at SeatGeek?
Being involved with hiring so many people in one year was really exciting — we hired around 50 people, more than doubling the size of SeatGeek. Of course, there were a lot of people who were a part of that, but being able to be involved was really exciting. Seeing that SeatGeek had gotten to a point that we were really taking off was so cool.

What are three "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
1. I have not always been a Broncos fan — shocking, I know. I did not become a Broncos fan until I moved to Colorado in the fifth grade — prior to that, I have a vivid memory of the Broncos and Falcons playing in the Super Bowl and rooting for the Falcons. I try not to remember my pre-Broncos era — I think I've seen the light since then.
2. I really, really love the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July — it's one of my favorite American pastimes. I went to the event the first 4th of July I spent in New York, and Joey Chestnut won that year, but he didn't break the record. It was the first time they split the contests into Men's and Women's competitions, and Sonya "The Black Widow" was the female champ.
3. I lived in Europe as a child, but I guess you knew that already.

Any favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC?
I like to watch sports at my favorite sports bar, Triona's — any time there's a major game going on or if it's an NFL Sunday, you can find me there. It's become a really fun gathering place for me and my friends. Other than that, I'm probably eating out. I do that a lot, and keep a running list of places so that I can get to as many different restaurants as possible. I'm also really lucky that my building has a nice courtyard, so I spend a lot of time eating dinner outdoors or drinking a glass of wine out there.

What's the best vacation you've ever taken?
Last fall I went to Thailand and we split up time between several different cities — they were all pretty amazing and wonderful in their own right. But the bulk of the trip was spent on an island for some beach time — it was really nice to be literally on the other side of the world. And I got to play with elephants, which was a big highlight.

Do you have a favorite SeatGeek snack?
I have two favorite snacks — one is Babybel cheese and the other is chocolate, which we always have a really nice selection of. They serve very different snack purposes in my life, but they're equally important.

Why do you love SeatGeek?
I love SeatGeek because of the people who work here. Everyone really believes in SeatGeek as a product, and you can tell that people here are really passionate about what we do. People are really driven and work really hard, and it's very easy to believe in the mission and what our product stands for. People are also really great from a social aspect as well — they hang out with each other, get along well, and I enjoy spending time with my coworkers. It's exciting that we can all work together on something that's so cool.

What is your favorite part of the new office?
I still need to do some more exploring — I like so much of it — but I think the stadium seating is really cool. Not only is it great because it gives everyone in the company a really nice spot to congregate, but I think it will be really great for hosting events. It's perfect for hosting meetups or recruiting events.

SeatGeek

SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Erin Elsham, People Ops

Below is an article originally written by Nate Rattner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek, and published on August 3, 2017. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights – an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. But we are also fans and live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and within, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Erin Elsham, on our People Ops team!

Where were you born?
Toledo, Ohio. Well, I was born there – we moved to Iowa after a year, then to Kansas. My dad worked in the agriculture business, so we moved around the midwest with him a bit.

Have you always lived in NYC?
Nope! I packed 2 suitcases and bought a one-way ticket from Kansas City 6 years ago.

It's kind of funny – I went to college in Kansas as well. I was the odd one out of my really close friends and went to Kansas State, even though I was a Kansas University fan growing up, so that was a funny rivalry thing. New York City, for some reason, draws a lot of Kansas people – there are a couple of well-known KU bars here, and I have some friends from growing up who had moved out here right after school. I went to visit one of my best friends and her husband who were living in Williamsburg, and at the time I had just gotten out of school and was bored with what i was doing, so I moved out there. They were nice to let me stay with them for a bit. I literally packed two suitcases and moved, and six years later here I am.

Where did you go to school?
Kansas State University, Go Jayhawks! Oh wait, that's KU (I grew up a KU fan). That's the thing - I went to school at K-State, but was not into K-State sports.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC? Feels like everyone has at least one…
I've always lived in Williamsburg, and once we found an apartment with a backyard, we decided we'd stay there for a while. Because it's a shared backyard, we're friends with all of the tenants now, so if there's ever a backyard party or barbecue, everyone is invited. One time, a friend of a friend who does photo shoots and works with modeling agencies asked if she could do a shoot back there. They brought in a really fancy model and props that totally confused the neighborhood, it was pretty funny.

Here's a picture.

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
Full of surprises!

I've been told that I'm like a stealth bomber – I'm pretty quiet for the most part, but I listen to everything, so I always kind of know what's going on. Even with friends and family, I'll know what's going on and plan something that will surprise them in one way or another. For example, my boyfriend's 30th birthday: he really likes Wet Hot American Summer, so I planned a themed party in our backyard and made everyone wear 70s camp gear. He had no idea. Also, the SeatGeek portraits – nobody knew that was coming. I like surprising people.

Best project you've worked on at SeatGeek?
There are a ton! I love to show off how fun we are as a company, so employee portraits and Life@SeatGeek Instagram account are the top!

What is your dream project to work on at SeatGeek?
Workation was a blast planning last year and I can't wait to plan an even better event for this year. It's a huge challenge planning an event for 150 people, but I've got some good ideas and am super excited.

What are three "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
I'm an aerialist. I perform trapeze in seasonal circus cabarets in Brooklyn, wear funky costumes and fly in the air – think that's the most fun fact I've got. It's all volunteer, and I choose my own songs and make the costumes I wear during shows. I've been doing it for about 5 and a half years at the same circus school in Williamsburg, am really close with my teacher and have made some amazing friends there.

Favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC?
Backyards and rooftops – there's nothing better than living in the borough with the view! There are a lot of cool places, but they're always too crowded – once you find someone with rooftop access, you've made it. The beach is fun to go to as well – I usually try Rockaway.

Best vacation you've ever taken?
So far, my first "real" vacation as an adult with no plans and no weddings was Puerto Rico with my fiance three years ago. I've been a bridesmaid like seven times, and have had a wedding almost every single year, so I haven't taken a lot of vacations because it was all weddings for a while. Puerto Rico is great – it's cheap, fun, and the water is clear.

Favorite SeatGeek snack?
Eggs? Do those count? Is that weird?

Why do you love SeatGeek?
It's the people – everyone's cool. They're all so amazing, friendly and welcoming. So many smiles. There is not a single person I don't feel like I could talk to.

Favorite part of the new office?
SG Portrait wall – sorry, I'm biased! That was the most fun I've had on a project. I had to be secretive about it (which I love), and we hired an outside designer for it and worked with them to get the details right and continue to work together for SG 1-year anniversaries!

SeatGeek

SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Lily Dai, Finance

Below is an article originally written by Elizabeth Turner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek, and published on November 3, 2017. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights – an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. But we are also fans and live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and within, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Lily Dai from our finance team!

Where were you born?
Los Angeles

Have you always lived in NYC?
No, I just moved from LA six months ago.

Where did you go to school?
I went to the University of Southern California and studied Business and Film with a double major in Accounting.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC? Feels like everyone has at least one…
We were friends on Facebook, but we never talked until I reached out to see if she needed a roommate. Can't think of any funny stories, but we once had 12 pints of Halo Top in the freezer. I called it the "Juice Cleanse".

How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
Goofy, perceptive, adventurous

Best project you've worked on at SeatGeek
We're currently redoing our forecast for the next 18 months. We're talking to the product, marketing, and recruiting teams and learning what their needs are. I'm diving a lot deeper into our business. (I know all the secrets.)

What is your dream project to work on at SeatGeek?
My dream project would be to do a deep dive into our snack inventory and find out what's the most popular. Personally, some of the protein bars taste like chalk, so figuring out which can go and what new ones we can get.

3 "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know
* You can pour 5 cans of any beverage into a frisbee disk, and I can drink it very quickly. * I fixed cars with my dad for about 10 years. If I'm ever stranded, I can fix the car. * I've taught my kitten to fetch.

Favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC
Prospect Park. I've been there about 30 times, and I still get lost almost every time. I also love that NYC has a bunch of queer spaces to hang out.

Best vacation you've ever taken
My post-college trip with my friends to East Asia. We went to six countries. We had island lifestyle and ancient temples. It was a great way to close out college plus everything was a dollar. We had an oceanfront hotel room for 50 bucks.

Favorite SeatGeek snack
Peanut butter pretzels

Why do you love SeatGeek?
Besides our business model, I love our culture. We had a pride themed happy hour. I almost teared up at how supportive everyone was of our LGBTQ co-workers. It was the perfect example of how supportive and open-minded everyone is here.

Favorite part of the office?
I love the pods in the lounge. They're super comfy, and you could take a nap if you wanted to while watching the people at Blink work out.

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