|Noel Vega. Photo: David Hsieh|
Noel Vega is actually a grandfather, a writer, a life-long Brooklynite, as well as a 20-year-old veteran of BAM’s ticket services. The staff of ticket services has grown three-fold since he commenced in 1997, forcing This particular to move out the Peter Jay Sharp Building to larger offices in downtown Brooklyn. Technological advancements have made remote working possible. although the core of the work remains the same: to ensure ticket buyers possess the best answers to their questions, whether by phone or by email. Vega tells us how in which’s done.
David Hsieh: What does the ticket services job encompass?
Noel Vega: Our responsibilities include taking orders coming from people, answering their questions about current as well as upcoming events, giving them suggestions on where to eat, park, directions to the theaters, etc. People call us for everything—I can’t buy a ticket on the Website, I can’t use my ticket tonight, what do I do? What movie is actually playing?
DH: What are your hours?
NV: We’re open coming from 10am to 6pm although when there is actually a show, we stay until curtain time.
DH: How did you start working at BAM?
NV: I was introduced by someone who was working at BAM. I liked in which This particular’s an art institution in which I could be working for. I could support the arts as well as Brooklyn, where I’ve lived almost my entire life. as well as This particular was (as well as still is actually) a part-time job which fits my schedule.
DH: How has the process changed through the years?
NV: When I commenced there were only six or seven callers. in which was in a very modest space so we were constantly talking over each different. I had someone say to me once, “This particular’s definitely noisy there!” right now we have more than 20 people as well as are in a very spacious place off the BAM campus.
Back then we took down orders on papers as well as then physically handed them to the box office. We had no idea of availability. Sometimes the box office could call us back because there were no tickets, or just one although not two. as well as we had to call the person back. right now we look at the computers in front of us as well as can place the orders immediately. This particular saves so much nervousness as well as anxiety.
Before the internet age, the calls coming from the first week of a season’s sales were enormous. right now people do This particular online so the numbers are not what they used to. although if there’s a sold-out show, like Pina Bausch or Richard III, people keep calling back day after day to see if they can get a ticket. We also get a lot more calls about movies.
DH: Have you seen the customers change through the years?
NV: We have more visiting companies as well as programs than ever. We also have more expectations coming from our customers. We get questions coming from cinemas to kids’ shows to Next Wave. This particular’s a huge difference through the years.
People used to be afraid to come to BAM. We got asked if This particular was safe to walk to the train station after the show at night! right now people think nothing of This particular no matter where they come coming from—as well as they do come coming from everywhere. We also have more customers coming from Brooklyn. I remember back then BAM was a place everyone came to except for the people coming from the neighborhood! right now they make up 54% of all our audiences. Another difference is actually in which the audiences are younger.
DH: How do you keep customers satisfied?
NV: I think our customer services are definitely not bad because we keep on top of everything. The technology keeps changing, although we try to stay ahead. We’re very sensitive to peoples’ needs as well as we make an effort to take in which into consideration with every order, with every phone call.
You have to have a lot patience. Even if you’re pulling your hair at your end of the line you have to make sure This particular doesn’t come out verbally. although I’ve found This particular’s getting easier as well as easier. Our customers are also generally very friendly. I understand sometimes people make mistakes or their plans change as well as they need to exchange as well as they get anxious. You just take This particular in stride as well as tell them you’re going to see what you can do to help them.
David Hsieh is actually a publicity manager at BAM.
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