Overview

POSITION TITLE: Director of Audience Experience

REPORTS TO: Vice President for Marketing

POSITION SUMMARY: The Director of Audience Experience will create and sustain an empathetic customer experience program for patrons, visitors and guests of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO). This team-based program will deepen the connection between SLSO and its patrons by providing a welcoming, safe/secure, accommodating and memorable experience for all those who attend concerts and events at Powell Hall and its affiliated venues.

The Director of Audience Experience will embrace the opportunity to interact with every SLSO patron, and its internal/external customers ensuring their total satisfaction. This position must be able to inspire and motivate a team of professional staff and colleagues to live the mission of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra of enriching people’s lives with the power of music and to fully enjoy historic Powell Hall.

FUNCTIONS OF THE JOB: The Director of Audience Experience liaises with all SLSO departments to coordinate and deliver exceptional customer service based on an organized, enthusiastic, caring, and contextual program of what SLSO customers deserve and expect. The director will hire, train, manage and support a front of house staff with full-time direct reports, part-time ushers and part-time bartenders.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES:
Customer Service:
1. Institute a formal customer service program based on the SLSO customer service vision with the goal of achieving optimal customer experiences for all patrons in all areas of service including front of house and food and beverage services. Make this an inclusive effort by involving front of house staff and key interdepartmental leadership in the program planning process.
2. Develop a customer service training program for the front of house team and all SLSO staff. Work to effectively brand the SLSO customer service vision and culture. Empower staff with clear guidelines and context.
3. Work closely with the Marketing and Philanthropy departments to provide timely messaging to patrons about concert and event logistics.
4. Work with the Marketing and Philanthropy departments to conduct audience surveys and analyze customer needs and expectations. Proactively utilize results to change or improve services.
5. Incorporate SLSO customer service culture with affiliated business partners. Provide training or information to bring a unified look to SLSO customer services.
6. Develop an internal communication process to arouse interest, joy and pride about the SLSO customer service experiences that occur in the community and Powell Hall.
7. Provide guidelines for the effective resolve of customer concerns and complaints. Ensure follow up and documentation utilizing the Tessitura CSI system.

Front of House Operations:
1. Direct the operations of the front of house: house management, ushers, events, food and beverage staff for scheduled concerts and events.
2. Ensure quality recruitment, training, workplace culture and employee morale. Maximize productivity through staff engagement and by maintaining appropriate staffing levels for each scheduled concert or event.
3. Provide relevant and updated operating procedures and training manuals for house management, event and food and beverage staff. Procedures to include pre-concert, concert, post-concert checklists.
4. Direct the planning of logistics for all scheduled SLSO concerts and events using event management system, the SLSO calendar of scheduled events, booking procedures, and real-time event details. Coordinate the planning process with the production, hall rental, philanthropy, and education departments to ensure that all event logistics are accurate and up-to-date.
5. Oversee front of house set up, concert and event activity, break down, clean up requirements of all scheduled concerts and events. Ensure that related signage, housekeeping, supplies, access, security, and guest services are in place and meet SLSO customer service program standards.
6. Direct the staff responsible for food and beverage hospitality. Ensure best practices in food presentation, food safety, service delivery, and professionalism.
7. Guarantee state, federal and local regulatory compliance, including but not limited to responsible alcohol service guidelines, safety, accessibility, and sanitation standards.
8. Work closely with the Facilities Department to ensure patron safety and security. Assume a leadership role in the planning and scheduling of emergency response training and drills. Provide input and support for SLSO emergency procedure development, bus transportation safety, and curb management.
9. Act as front of house manager as scheduled. Manage the front of house response to emergency and security incidents following SLSO emergency response procedures. Courteously resolve customer service concerns and complaints.
10. Provide comprehensive concert and event follow-up through an established evaluation and de-brief process with internal and external customers.

Administrative:
1. Oversee all Front of House and Food and Beverage documentation and reporting, related to front of house reporting, statistics, food and beverage invoicing, inventories, reconciliation, and payroll processing.
2. Manage and approve front of house staffing and expense allocations. Oversee concert duty scheduling.
3. Develop annual budgets to achieve goals, forecasts and future planning needs.
4. Participate in use and customization of selected concert management software program to provide improved communication tools for front of house and event planning and implementation. Provide front of house staff training in use of the software.
5. Conduct weekly event meetings and regularly scheduled staff meetings and training.
6. Establish an ongoing SLSO Customer Service /ADA committee to continuously improve customer services and accommodations for patrons with special needs.
7. Work with consultants and other professional resources to improve services and achieve customer service goals.
8. Provide an annual report on Customer Service activities and results, front of house and food and beverage operations. Include analysis of customer surveys, space usage, revenues, costs, profits, incident prevention and trends, emergencies/threats.

POSITION QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
Education: Minimum Bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration, event management, and or in a related discipline with advanced customer service or hospitality training.

Experience: 5-7 years of experience progressive management experience in the hospitality field. Experience with front of house management/events planning and management in a large venue is desired. Experience using and administering point of sales and ticketing systems. Working knowledge of Tessitura is a plus. Intermediate level of Microsoft Office usage and reporting ability. An appreciation for orchestral music is preferred, and an appreciation for live music performance is desired.

Skills and Abilities:
1. Passion for delivering exceptional customer service, and proven ability to provide outstanding customer service standards which exceed the customer’s expectations.
2. Strong leadership and staff relations skills with demonstrated ability to train, motivate, inspire and develop staff while fostering a team environment.
3. Possess knowledge of state, federal and local business codes applicable to assembly occupancy facilities and food services. Possess knowledge of the American Disabilities Act Guidelines as applied to assembly occupancy facilities and persons with disabilities.
4. Experience in issues of equity, access, and inclusion.
5. Proven organizational skills, dependable and self-motivated.
6. Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
7. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, effectively multitasking and driving for results.
8. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
9. Ability to courteously interact with patrons, staff, co-workers, and clients to ensure positive customer service results.
10. Exhibit a passion for excellence along with professionalism, dedication and commitment.
11. Ability to work a flexible work schedule that includes evenings, weekends, and some holidays required.

License(s)/Certification(s) Required: CPR/AED certification (Symphony can facilitate), Servsafe certification (SLSO can facilitate), Hepatitis A Vaccine

About St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, celebrating its 139th year in the 2018/2019 season. Widely considered one of the world’s finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connections – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.
In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which has been the permanent home of the SLSO for 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. The SLSO presents Live at the Pulitzer, a four-program series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. The SLSO also serves as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre Saint Louis, with this season marking the 42nd year of a partnership that is unique in the country.
The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, celebrated recordings, and regular touring activity. The SLSO is a highly respected collaborator and sought-after artistic partner by some of the world’s greatest musicians and composers, as well as local and national organizations. The SLSO has a long history of robust and enduring collaborations with artists and composers that have developed and deepened over the years.
Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève. Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following this season as Music Director Designate. For more information, visit slso.org.