Case Study: The Barbican

Developing sales through WOW service

The Challenge:

To develop a training solution that would enhance customer service and also increase the sale of additional products and services through the barbican box office. The concern was that this was a predominantly reactive operation. The team were good at handling basic customer requests, and taking bookings for shows and events, but less interested, confident and able, to introduce additional products that they in some way saw as being of limited benefit to the customer. From the organisations perspective it was essential that additional revenue was generated through the box office as considerable sums had been spent on developing additional facilities, including restaurants and packages that were to this point not being utilised effectively.

The Solution:

We began by spending time in the box office, observing and talking to the customer service advisors, their team mangers and box office manager. This helped us to understand their perspectives, thoughts and in some cases concerns. We then listened to a cross section of their telephone calls enabling us to understand the customers’ agenda, what the advisors were already good at, what could be improved and what might need to be added to their performance if they were going to be able to successfully enhance their customer service and introduce new products and services.

We then designed a two-day workshop that focussed on developing a new proactive mindset, using new powerful language, and using questions to explore their customers’ needs enabling them to introduce new products and services in a friendly and relevant manner. This was delivered to all box office staff. We also developed an internal team to continue and support this training.

We have now worked closely with the team to develop this package for all customer facing staff within the barbican to create an enhanced total customer experience organisation wide.

The Customer Benefits:

  • Sales of tickets, memberships, car parking and pre-paid meal packages increased across the board (25% – 200%)
  • Pre-paid restaurant sales rose nearly threefold from 2.2% to 6.4%
  • Increased customer satisfaction: 82% of customers were ‘highly satisfied’ according to mystery shopping reports
  • Product knowledge increased from 76% to 85%
  • Improved customer mood and experience: staff friendliness and helpfulness rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ by 90% of customers
  • Quote-background

    The training delivered by Future Vision has been fantastic. It has provided our teams with the understandings, skills and behaviours to deliver consistently great experiences across the box office and front of house teams.

    David Duncan,
    Head of Customer Experience, Barbican,



By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator