Customer Service Matters

Engaging with your fans is important, but it never matters more than when your fans are upset. Handling complaints or concerns in a timely manner can make all the difference in whether or not someone continues to support your project.

Cancelled shows. Merchandise received that does not match an order. Damaged orders. Questions about your music and tour. These are all things fans are going to have questions about, and they are going to ask you about them across all your channels. Tweets about show information, Facebook messages about incorrect merchandise shipments. It’s all bound to happen in time.

When issues arise, be them large or small, your timeliness and the consumer’s happiness shop be all that matters. Do what you can to make each person heard and understood. Provide whatever guidance you are able and apologize for anything out of your control. Be honest.

A single bad interaction can make or break a person’s faith in a brand. Let me give you an example:

Recently I signed up for a new contact management platform that offered a one week free trial on the condition I first provide my credit card. The process took two minutes to complete.

After trying the platform for five days and encountering issue I could not resolve I decided the platform was not for me. I attempted to cancel my account online before the initial charge went through, but the service required me to submit an email request in writing.

I wrote the email right away and waited.

On the first night nothing came, but I chalked that up to me submitting my request too late.

Breakfast and lunch passed the following day before I realized my message went unreturned. I kept refreshing my inbox that evening, but still – nothing.

Now I have one day left to cancel my membership before an automatic charge will go through and I am at the mercy of the person – or team of people – I emailed.

With three hours to spare, an email appeared.

“Sorry to hear you wish to go. Are you sure you want to cancel your account?”

I couldn’t reply fast enough.

“Yes! Thank you.”

A confirmation followed a few minutes later.

There are several instances in the example above where the brand I was trying to contact could have potentially saved my membership. Had they replied to my initial questions about the service, or even if they inquired about my issues when confirming my cancellation, I might have given their service a second chance. If they had put any effort into making me feel like anything more than another consumer I would have thought of them as something more than another brand looking to make a buck.

The same thing applies to your music and the business you run because of it. Everything, from shows to merchandise, reflects the way people view your music – your brand. If they have issues or concerns that you cannot or choose not to help with they are not likely to care much for the art you create.

Replying to most messages requires less than a minute of your time. Don’t wait. Engage.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.