I've been invited to participate in the National Arts Marketing Project Blog Salon about marketing the arts, in advance of this year's conference in November. As I'll be leading a roundtable discussion there on Customer Service in the Small Shop Arts Organization, I thought I'd write about how to keep audiences coming back for more.
This post is just some thoughts and ideas about the topic, things to remember, or spark questions.
-power of a name. How often are you greeting patrons by name, before they tell you what it is?
-good service makes the whole event. Crappy service can mar good art.
-building relationships takes time.
-ask questions, then write down the answers so you can follow up next time.
-share information with staff, up and down.
-how are you hugging your customers? Once marketing gets them in the door, what actions are you taking to make them raving fans?
-do you have a customer service mission? Not a list of rules, but a mindset about how customers are valued?
-does everyone in your org have a passion for people? This is critical, from box office staff to development to artists.
-you don't need to have expensive technology to build customer databases. All you need is the wherewithal.
-can you name your top 5 patrons? How about 5%?
-are you following up with patrons when they don't show up for a while? "R u ok?"
-share information. Sure, there may be things that an informal patron doesn't need to know, but sharing little things can have a big impact.
-asking for feedback, then actually listening to it and trying to implement.