Comps cost money – The Update!

On tax day of this year, I wrote a blog about the price of comps and how I was going to start a policy charging a service fee to combat two issues:  expense and attrition.

Well, no new idea is ever complete until you test it.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  No one knows until you put the idea into action and look at the results.

It has been nearly two months since we instituted the $1/comp policy, so what happened?

  • Attrition is down.  Over 96% of all the comps that were reserved and paid $1/ticket redeemed their tickets.
  • We have received only ONE complaint from a customer about the $1 payment.  All of the other customers have given their credit cards to us without any issue, and we’ve covered the cost of the comps, with a little left over.

Oh, and that ONE complaint?  It was from a company who we know for a fact SELLS vouchers that we give them on trade for profit, despite the fact that our vouchers say they cannot be sold.  Money that could have gone to us is being diverted to them instead.

So just like that, a policy that some thought would create havoc and make a lot of people peeved went by unnoticed . . . except by a thief.

It was a big success, right?

Not so fast.  Don’t forget that time is moolah.  Processing credit card orders, getting numbers from customers, etc. all take time from my staff, which means they lose time from other activities that might be more profitable.

So we’re not done just yet.  We’ve got to find a way to automate the process so that it’s less labor intensive.  Or we have to raise the price of the comp. 😉

You come up with great ideas all the time, don’t you?  What’s stopping you from putting them into action.  And once you do, how can you tweak it to make them better?

Here’s my three step process to new initiatives:

  • Have the idea.
  • Put it into action.
  • Examine the reaction.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.