What to Look for in a Great Ticket Seller
While most of us encounter ticket sellers on a frequent basis, it’s undeniably true that the job has gotten a reputation as being the summer/after-school domain of pimply teens. However, the reality is that not all ticket sellers are created equal. Or rather, while the basic requirements are pretty straightforward, certain skills set apart a great ticket seller.
And though sometimes an overlooked position, ticket sellers are central to the operation of many businesses — movie theaters, concerts, and more. Without selling tickets, these events don’t occur, so it’s worth making the effort to ensure the function is carried out to a T.
The right attitude
Another stereotype that appears in many an on-screen scene: the surly ticket seller. As with any customer service function, this can be a thankless occupation, spent dealing with finicky and impatient, or at least dismissive, patrons. The ticket seller is a key portal between the client and the business, however, so finding one with the right attitude and people skills is an important task.
A major factor in this is patience. A good ticket seller needs to be able to deal with rushes and a fast-paced setting and maintain a cool head with disagreeable customers. Politeness and an unfailingly friendly, courteous attitude are also a must. Finally, look for an assertive and efficient approach to maintain work flow. Customer service experience in sales, retail, box office, or the like is a good marker of these traits, though a lot can also be gleaned through an interview.
As a stopping point before the business or event, the ticket seller is responsible for greeting visitors, answering questions, and dealing with complaints and difficult clients. Thus, communication and interpersonal skills are crucial. Keep an eye out in applications and interviews for assets such as keen listening and an ability to directly and articulately answer questions and convey information.
Adeptness at reading a person/situation, anticipating problems, and remaining calm under pressure is also a boon in any customer service role, ticket seller included. Whether or not these attributes are evident in an application, it’s often worthwhile to ask how a candidate would deal with potential customer interactions and conflicts on the job.
Though they might not be responsible for a bank vault or treasury, ticket sellers need to know how to handle money. Though most sales accounting is now done by machines, basic math aptitude is still important. For the most part, a simple query about math proficiency and coursework or experience should cover this.
Previous experience working with money and cash registers — cashier, clerk, sales, etc. — also provides a helpful indicator. In addition, dependability and trustworthiness are essential when dealing with money. This is largely a matter of intuition, though it’s certainly feasible to contact a previous employer or reference for extra reassurance and/or information.
Technical skills: computer and phone
The tech knowledge required for a ticket seller isn’t exactly rocket science, but it is crucial. Make sure candidates are able to manage basic ticket sales and records systems, use spreadsheets, and keep track of digital information and databases. On top of that, the ticket seller is often in charge of answering the phone, so an understanding of phone etiquette and ability to operate phone systems is a huge plus.
Work environment fit
Though similar to many service positions, ticket selling has its own environment that the best candidates will be well suited for. First of all, a ticket seller’s work is largely an independent endeavor. Even if working at a counter of sellers, each employee is responsible for his or her own register and customers, and there isn’t usually a lot of collaborative work. As such, a good ticket seller needs to be self-sufficient, comfortable managing customers and sales on his or her own, and able to make decisions at his own discretion for the most part.
A direct approach to this is to simply ask how an applicant works best and how he or she feels about working independently. Furthermore, multitasking is a key skill. Ticket sellers will be simultaneously ringing up sales, answering questions, and greeting and making small talk with clients. Therefore, it’s a good idea to discuss this with candidates and pay attention to how they approach juggling various tasks at once.
Contrary to how it may seem, the person in the box office is valuable for much more than handing out bits of paper — or rather, those bits of paper represent a vital function in many ubiquitous consumer businesses. There aren’t many concrete requirements — usually only a high school diploma or GED is necessary, though background checks are common — but paying attention to the trademarks and attributes above will help ensure you find one up to the duty.