The entire Race Roster team cares deeply about your health and safety, as well as the success of your business. We are focused on helping you take action should precautions surrounding COVID-19 impact your event operations. To support you in getting ahead of customer inquiries, we’ve put together the following tips and guidelines to assist you in managing the effects that COVID-19 may have on your event.
Please note, it is essential that you work with your local government agencies and health authorities on recommended actions surrounding public safety for your event.
Dealing with customer communications:
It can be challenging to provide clarity for the consumer in a time where you’re unable to draw on concrete answers. We have found it’s possible to instil confidence by providing regular, clear, and empathetic communications.
- Provide regular messaging – Draft concise updates and send them out periodically leading up to your event whether plans are changed or not. Leverage our campaign tool and your social channels for this message and any follow up messages required.
- Communicate options – In the event that a customer is unable to participate, communicate any options you have available to the customer that keeps them connected to your brand.
- Show empathy – We suggest showing your participants as much empathy as possible in situations where they email or comment in frustration. In this difficult time, it is important to sustain the customer’s connection to your brand, build trust, and minimize credit card chargeback requests.
Potential contingency plans
The programs and features outlined below may help you with instances where participants are choosing not to attend, or in the circumstance you must handle an event cancellation.
- Virtual Run/Walk – Kick start a virtual program that allows you to engage with the participant. Go the extra mile by giving the participant a few graphics to share on social media, invite them to tag your event in their posts and explore options for getting them a medal and shirt upon completion.
- Deferrals – Offer a full value deferral or percentage discount to a future race or future event year. Deferrals can go a long way in keeping participants connected to your brand and minimizing their disappointment surrounding this change. Deferrals will vary based on the size and format of your business.
Visit our knowledge base for information on how to defer a participant.
- Partial refunds – With enough lead time, you may be able to offer partial refunds to your customers based on the costs that you have not yet absorbed. If this is part of your plan, simply use the Race Roster refund tool to issue partial refunds to affected participants. Our Customer Success team is ready to support you with these steps.
Visit our knowledge base for information on how to process full or partial refunds.
- Convert registration to a donation: If you are a charity or fundraising event, consult your fundraising organization on facilitating the option for participants to choose to allocate their registration towards the event’s fundraising efforts. Use our manual donation tool to support your receipt generation tasks.
Visit our knowledge base for information on how to turn a registration into a donation.
- RegShield Insurance – Turn on the RegShield purchase insurance option, which is simple to do in your event settings menu. This tool allows your participants to register with confidence by purchasing insurance coverage to protect them if they are unable to attend for reasons covered by the policy. Please note, these insurance policies will not apply if your event is cancelled.
For more information, visit Protecht/RegShield’s Coronavirus update.
What to expect from Race Roster
Additional customer service resources
Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate any tough situations that arise. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a call. We look forward to supporting you.
Assistance with managing chargeback risk
- What is a chargeback?
A chargeback is a charge that is reversed after a cardholder disputes a charge with their bank. In the running event industry, cardholders typically file chargebacks when events are postponed or canceled because they didn’t receive the goods or services they expected. Even with a “No Refund” policy, banks may exercise their discretion to grant a refund if the policy is unclear or unfair. To reduce the risk of chargebacks, it is important to respond quickly to refund requests, regardless of your refund policy to avoid cardholders from making a dispute with their bank.
- How Race Roster handles chargebacks:
When a chargeback is filed, the cardholder’s bank will investigate the charge and determine if the original charge is valid, or if the chargeback will be granted. As a service to organizers, Race Roster responds to the bank on behalf of organizers and aims to provide appropriate evidence to support the original transaction. We strive to win 100% of disputes to protect organizers from lost revenue. However, organizers are ultimately responsible for covering losses from chargebacks. If Race Roster is unsuccessful in resolving a dispute, the event will be invoiced for the amount required to cover the chargeback and applicable fees imposed on Race Roster by the bank.
Other registration companies in our space are implementing an automated process to build up a chargeback reserve of 20% for every event, in order to mitigate the financial impact of participants processing chargebacks on their credit cards. At this time, Race Roster is not implementing this process. However, we are monitoring cancellations and chargebacks in real-time and will reach out directly to any event experiencing higher levels of chargeback activity to discuss risk mitigation strategies. If chargeback activity for a specific event surpasses 10% of expected event revenue, a reserve strategy may be implemented.
Once again, we highly encourage you to work with your local government agencies and health authorities on recommended actions surrounding public safety for your event.
Race Roster is closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 is having on our industry and is dedicated to acting in the best interest of our organizers, participants, partners, and employees. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Race Roster management team