Everyone hates bad customer service. Being put on hold, sending unreturned emails, and constantly feeling like a statistic makes the whole process feel robotic. Because this junk dominates brand interactions, any positive customer service experience feels like gold, to the point where you immediately love the company, and usually tell a friend about your great experience.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, is famous for constantly prioritizing customer service. With free shipping, free returns, and genuine reps, they have built an incredibly loyal customer-base.
“If we get the interaction right, customers will remember that, and tell their friends and family about it. We don’t have scripts or measure call times to get customers off the phone. We don’t up-sell. We just try to provide a human connection and deliver the best service possible. We tell our customer service reps to just do what they think is right. – Tony Hsieh
Artists should try their best to keep this humanity engrained in every fan interaction they encounter. This is especially important for developing artists, because they are at a point where building fan loyalty is critical. Very few artists have access to a multi-million dollar marketing budget, but they all (ALL!) have access to more communication and connection tools than ever before.
Twitter feeds and Facebook Timelines are today’s customer service platforms. When someone writes on your wall or tweets to you, you are sitting on a gold mine. In that moment, you have a rare opportunity to directly connect with someone on a human level, and lock them in as a supporter. It takes 10 seconds to respond to a Facebook or Twitter message – there’s no excuse for a new artist not to.
It’s your choice whether to be human or unresponsive, but, with the viral nature of the internet, I would recommend going with human.