One of the crown jewels of the Berlin art scene is the Komische Oper. Declared the city’s most forward-thinking Opera House by the New York Times, the company is famously visionary for pushing the boundaries of genre and tradition. Equally innovative in their approach to customer relations, the Komische Oper implemented messaging as a new communication channel nearly two years ago. Consequently, they’ve positively redefined how cultural institutions can connect to their audiences and foster unprecedented customer engagement.
In 2017, the Komische Oper celebrated its 70th anniversary. The event was marked by a carefully curated program of ten pieces, two of which were world premieres. 2017 also witnessed another premiere for the Komische Oper–the introduction of Airy to the company’s customer communications strategy.
“We decided to start messaging with Airy because we wanted to provide our customers with an easy way to get support when choosing performances and booking tickets,” says Andre Kraft, head of marketing and communications.
Now, they can contact customer service through Messenger on our homepage…and it has worked fanatically!”
As mentioned in a previous post, messaging is becoming the preferred communications channel for both consumers and businesses. The Komische Oper’s success with Airy is a testament to this. Furthermore, the ease with which they have adopted Airy proves that the overall experience of messaging is not only seamless for customers, but for businesses, too.
Recently, we spent a day with Andre Kraft and Christian Dittloff– the Komische Oper’s head of social media–as well as Jürgen Haus, managing director of their call and fulfillment center, to see just how they have adopted Airy’s products to successfully streamline marketing and customer service, and get more customers to engage with them via messaging.
1) Making Customers Happier through Messaging
The Komische Oper sells over 300,000 tickets per year, which makes it the second busiest venue in Berlin in terms of total sales. Patrons from all over the world come to Berlin to visit the opera house; their respective backgrounds and reasons for visiting are all unique. However, there’s one thing that more often than not is the same–their questions.
Every company, no matter its market or target audience, will end up receiving frequently asked questions. Answering these questions can become repetitive and they often prevent customer service teams from focusing on more involved requests. To address this very problem, Papagena, the company which handles customer service for the Komische Oper, started using Airy Messenger.
“We created over thirty templates in Airy to allow our representatives to easily respond to common questions like “How do I order tickets?” or “Do you sell gift certificates?” says Jürgen Haus, managing director of Papagena.
Now, instead of having to type out a response every time someone wants information on one of these topics, our agents can quickly reply with the click of a mouse. It makes life easier for us, and the customer response has been great.”
As we all know, conversation can be an art form, especially given the right medium. This is also one of the main reasons the Komische Oper was initially drawn to Airy Messenger, as it allows companies to create ready-made responses composed of far more than text. Users can also add hyperlink buttons and eye-catching images to their replies.
A great example of this are the templates the Komische Oper uses to provide customers with more information on current programs and upcoming performances.
For over two years now, the Komische Oper’s customer service and ticket sales teams have been able to efficiently reply to FAQs, provide better customer service, and do so in a way that is interactive and dynamic.
2) Intelligent Automations: The Key to a Seamless Messaging Experience
Each year, over 180,000 patrons visit the Komische Oper. To run such a bustling institution, the Komische Oper employees over 400 full-time employees–many of which work in consumer-facing departments like the opera’s call center. These team members help develop close customer relationships, and messaging empowers them in the process.
In order to handle the increasing volume of messages, the Komische Oper, Papagena, and Airy developed flawless Messaging Automations to guide customers automatically and efficiently to the appropriate staff members.
When Facebook users message the Komische Oper, they’re presented with three options: Newsletter, Customer Service, and Tickets.
The first choice subscribes users to the company’s newsletter and marks them as eligible to receive relevant news and content in the future. The Customer Service automation helps customers resolve FAQs. In the event that those questions can’t be answered, the user is routed to a Papagena team member. The third option directs ticket requests to the ticket sales team.
By using Airy’s Intelligent Automations, the Komische Oper is able to connect customers straightaway with someone who can field their request. And they’re able to do so all within the ecosystem of Facebook Messenger, thus guaranteeing a positive, painless, and user-friendly experience.
Another benefit of using Airy’s Intelligent Automations is that when chatting with customer service, users can choose to give feedback in the form of happy, neutral, or dissatisfied emojis. Depending on the feedback, they are also given the option to leave a review on Google or TripAdvisor, or asked to provide more information as to how the Komische Oper could provide better customer service. Additionally, customer service agents have the option to manually send this feedback template to customers in order to solicit feedback.
Chances are that the majority of responses the Komische Oper receives are smiley faces. Studies by McKinsey confirm that Messaging automations are able to increase customer satisfaction, as measured by NPS scores by up to 33%, while reducing customer service volume for agents up to 50%.
3) Acquiring More Contacts and Subscribers
Given the positive feedback from Komische Oper’s customers, Andre Kraft and Christian Dittloff decided to double down on messaging and make it even more accessible to their customers.
“More and more of our customers are engaging with us via messaging, In 2017 we started with a few hundred messaging contacts; in 2018 we had over 1,000. Now, in the first two months of 2019, we’ve already surpassed that figure. We’re projected to have over 10,000 messaging contacts by the end of the year.Christian Dittloff
“More and more of our customers are engaging with us via messaging,” says Christian. “In 2017 we started with a few hundred messaging contacts; in 2018 we had over 1,000. Now, in the first two months of 2019, we’ve already surpassed that figure. We’re projected to have over 10,000 messaging contacts by the end of the year.
We knew we needed to find a way to consistently grow this traffic, and we’ve done so with the help of Airy.”
By doing the following three things, the Komische Oper has successfully increased their messaging volume: installing a Facebook chat plugin on their website, running Facebook ads to let Berliners know that they can stay up-to-date and in-touch with the Komische Oper via Messenger, and placing Messenger QR codes in their physical location.
Last month, the Komische Oper’s website received a little over 100,000 visitors. The Komische Oper turns that web traffic into messaging traffic by having a Facebook Chat Plugin on their website, so that guests can easily and intuitively contact them.
The second tactic the company has used is the creation of an ongoing Facebook ad that informs Berliners of the Komische Oper’s Messenger newsletter with a ‘Send Message’ call-to-action button.
Facebook ads are a straightforward and cost-effective way to target audiences that are interested in your brand or product and easily convert them, through messaging, into qualified leads.
Finally, the third measure that the opera has taken to grow messaging volume is placing QR codes in their physical location. These are strategically dispersed throughout the opera house, and when patrons scan the codes with their smartphones, they are redirected to Komische Oper’s messaging channel and given the option to subscribe to the company’s newsletter, contact customer service, purchase tickets or give direct feedback.
4) Driving Customer Engagement through Messaging Campaigns
So far, we’ve detailed how the Komische Oper has successfully implemented Airy into their workflow and increased their messaging contact volume. In order to sustain this traffic and ensure that their investment will continue to be fruitful, the Komische Oper has embraced one of the most powerful tools in the Airy kit–messaging campaigns.
For example, they recently announced via Messenger a live stream performance of Puccini’s La bohème. Those interested in bringing the beauty of the opera into the comfort of their home simply had to click on the hyperlink button in the message.
Bravo, Komische Oper! Bravissimo. This is a perfect example of cool, useful content that’s sure to be appreciated by anyone who follows the Komische Oper on Facebook. It also incentivizes patrons to continue messaging the company in the future. The Komische Oper also recently sent out a broadcast announcing that tickets to West Side Story, which was previously sold out, were once again available. Over 1,300 followers received the message, and a staggering 91% of them opened it!
West Side Story Campaign
|Open Rate ||91.4%|
Public response to the West Side Story messaging campaign was overwhelmingly positive, as well. One guest remarked: “Thank you very much! This is a great service.” While another said: “Thank you! We ordered tickets for the performance and are very much looking forward to it!”
Clever, relevant, and actionable messaging campaigns like these are essential to the overall messaging experience–both for businesses and consumers. They distinguish messaging from other communication channels by making it dynamic and rewarding, and empower companies like the Komische Oper and their clients to engage in a way that’s never been possible.
If that isn’t worthy of a standing ovation, we don’t know what it is.
The Komische Oper is a great example of an established company that has embraced messaging and, in turn, revolutionized the way that they interact with their customers. Globally admired for their interpretation of the arts, they should also be praised for their innovative approach to customer outreach.
Interested in drafting a similar success story for your organization? Send us a message. We’d be happy to help!