Customer service is always going to be important, regardless of what type of business you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling widgets, a service, or entertainment – you are always going to interact with customers in one way or another if you are looking to make a profit.
Something that seems to escape most independent filmmakers is that the “good vibe” from seeing their project or scene is not the only way that you can make your customer’s experience the best it can possibly be.
Remember – a happy customer is a good customer, who returns again and again to see not only what else you have to offer, but actually make your store a bookmark on his computer, and make repeat purchases.
Linda Busto mentions this in her blog “Get Elastic”, under the heading Email Signup: Customer Experience FAIL. She mentions, with clear picture examples, the difference between giving the customer 110% so that he is enticed to return, and just squeaking by with the bare minimum requirements, which inevitably will just be another spam email that gets deleted, with no chance of return business until the merchant has something specific that the customer is looking for.
Look for ways to not only entice the browsing customer to click on whatever link you have for them. If they make a purchase, figure out how to offer them a discount on a future purchase. When you send them their purchase, think about how you’re sending it to them – is it in a plain padded envelope, or are you making sure that you have enclosed a thank-you card (with a coupon for a discount towards a future purchase) inside? That can be the difference between a one-time buyer and a repeat customer.
I know tangible things (coupons and thank-you cards) might not seem possible in the world of online, but there are ways around this as well. Every time you make a purchase, you get a notification in your email Inbox as to who make that purchase. Learn how to decipher that information, and see if you can send your customer a thank-you email, and you can definitely make sure that the customer doesn’t feel like just a number. Alert him/her of new and/or upcoming scenes, DVDs, products, etc. You see where I’m going with this.
The Golden Rule applies here just as it does anywhere else, and I’m sure that everyone has made some sort of purchase in one way or another over the years, and most people have made an online purchase. Think about what the merchant did to get you to make that purchase, and if they did anything after your purchase to make sure that you were valued? Try to apply those tactics to your own customers, make sure that the “good vibe” lasts longer than the time it takes to view your scene, and you’ll see that you’ll have more repeat customers than before.