How Is Your Customer Relations Department?

My No-Excuse Art Biz Bootcamp starts next week. Our focus is on building a foundation for your marketing: identifying your best prospects, organizing your contacts, buffing up your marketing materials, and creating a strategic plan.

Critical to all of your marketing is how you treat people.

How do you make people feel special? How do you stay in touch with them?

How do you show people you care?

Trying to keep up good customer relations at my recent workshop in Nashville.

Trying to keep up good customer relations at my recent workshop in Nashville.

Let’s look at three aspects of maintaining good customer relationships: recency, frequency, and attentiveness. You will see that they are interconnected.

Recency

Whether or not someone buys from you has a lot to do with the last time they heard from you.

In marketing terms, it’s called top-of-mind awareness. When someone is looking for art, are you the person that comes to mind?

If someone on your list hasn’t heard from you in months or longer, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll be their go-to artist. They’ve crossed paths with too many other artists in the interim.

Frequency

Closely related to recency is frequency. But don’t think that frequency means sending daily messages.

Frequency means that you stay in touch regularly and within the parameters of what you promised your list.

But something else is at play here: Frequency based on the lifecycle of your customer/collector/prospect.

People are most excited to hear from you when they first sign up or buy from you.
Makes sense, right?

More “touches” – emails, cards, and calls from you – should come at the beginning of the relationship.

Got that? You shouldn’t wait too long to reach out to new contacts in order to help them remember you and to turn them into fans.

Attentiveness

One reason that many people unsubscribe, stop following you, or stop buying from you is they sense indifference. They can’t tell whether or not you care about them.

Ouch!

If you don’t care about the people you’re marketing to – if you only care about making the sale – you will be found out.

People on your list need to know you care about them, so how do you do this?

I want to hear your ideas, and I promise a follow-up post with some thought of my own.

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10 comments to How Is Your Customer Relations Department?

  • I always love your posts Alyson, they are truly helpful! And these are really great tips that bigger organizations use all the time. I used to work in the member services department for a big nonprofit and it’s very much like customer service. In terms of showing your customers that you care about them, you can show them by listening and validating their concerns, their suggestions.
    Two of my most popular pieces of jewelry were ideas made by my customers; if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have made several extra sales.
    for my newsletter I requested birthdays so i could send a special coupon code to them.
    I also ask them if they will send a photo of them wearing the jewelry so I can share with my clients how the jewelry looks on the body. It’s little steps like these that engage your customers and make them a part of the story behind my jewelry.

  • Hi Alyson, I recently put into place my own system for appreciating my fans,followers and collectors. The system is based on a theme of “inspired gratitudes.” I know that I work best with themes, as I can then problem solve/get creative within that theme. This approach is the best for me as it is all around more authentically me (within the considerations of customer relations/marketing, promotion etc.). My newsletter is the main delivery service of my Inspired Gratitudes. I am pretty excited as I can see future collaborations under this theme, and a ton of opportunities to have some fun connecting with collectors and potential collectors.

  • I’ve recently unsubscribed a few newsletters. I find them to be too sales-oriented and not much useful information in the newsletter itself. So I think, one way to show people that you really care about them is to give them the real stuff in your emails, not just a sales pitch.

  • LOVE THIS topic! I try to listen, to be empathetic, and to offer alternative solutions (sometimes I am not the best artist for the job). I also have been lax in following up after the sale and need to get back on that routine – sending a timely thank you, checking in to make certain they remain delighted with their piece, and letting them know how much I appreciate the opportunity to add their project to my portfolio.

  • I so appreciate this topic. I have unsubscribed from several artist newsletters and stopped reading blogs because of this also. I know my customer service could be much better, particularly in regards to email. I’m deluged under all the email. I can’t seem to find a solution that gets the email answered with care and attention that I want my collectors (and possible collectors) to feel, yet doesn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed.

  • I am so looking forward to reading some ideas on how we can create value for our clients – other than trying to sell them our art. My real estate agent does a good job of this, btw. She includes info in her newsletter about events in local parks and similar info. I’m seeking to include that sort of thing in my newsletter/show announcements.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Pat