With a 15+ year background in retail and running my own art business, I understand the ramifications of poor service and how damaging they can be when someone is dissatisfied. Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to do everything in your power to make it right because this affects your brand.
This week’s blog outlines why dissatisfied patrons can be so damaging to your business and where it can hit you the most.
Negative Transactions: A detractor from your business can do serious brand damage. A detractor not only doesn’t like your company but actively will share their bad experiences with others.
After one poor customer service moment, it will take 12 positive more transactions to negate that one negative moment. The likelihood that you will even have one opportunity to begin to repair a bad sale or poor interaction is unlikely. There is so much competition that the consumer can go to any number of other small businesses or creatives to purchase what they need.
Social Media: The online world makes it very easy for someone to make a statement and it goes viral. Large businesses can be called out and crumble very quickly. Small businesses with dissatisfied customers may likely go to social media too. It’s important to be aware how social media and perception of your business can shatter your hard work in just a post.
Poor business habits can also lead to a lack of social media growth. This means fewer people following, liking, engaging with your content because of your brand reputation.
Word of Mouth: Word of mouth is equally as bad as social media. People trust those around them so if a close family or friend says to stay away from a retail company, service, or organization, you’ve already lost someone before you had a chance to convince them otherwise.
Sales: While we don’t always think of ourselves as sales associates and creative retail enterprises when we sell our artwork we are in the retail business. Building a poor brand reputation will eventually impact our sales
Personality: You as the artist and creator play a very big role in the perspective of your brand. Your approach, tone of voice, ability to listen, and sales approach all factor into how people perceive you and your business. Now, this applies to other creative opportunities too, galleries will have perceptions and decide if they want to exhibit you for example. Once word gets around that you’re difficult to deal with, it’s going to take a long time to turn that around.
The Customer is Right: When you are the customer you think you are right. Well, the customer is not always right…but you need to make it right in their eyes. Meaning if you must break policy or bend rules (that are bendable) to save a customer then bend them so the experience doesn’t end on a bad note. You see this over and over again, that perception is someone’s reality. If they had a bad experience, then they had a bad experience regardless of your perception.