At the beginning of the month I celebrated my eleventh anniversary of self employment, and also the first anniversary of my foray into blogs and newsletters. Looking through the articles so far, I realise that they are mainly concerned with my work or my interests, with just one piece about musicians travelling to the USA with bows that have ivory fittings.
This time I want to write something about my customers, you lovely people who keep me working, fed and happy. More specifically, I want to offer a few words on customer service, what it means to me and what I hope you get out of a visit to The Bow Business.
Over the last eleven years I have noticed that the vast majority of my customers fall into two groups. Many of you have shown a long-term loyalty, some of you having been coming to me regularly from the start. On the other hand I have noticed a large group of people who have come just once (at least so far).
There are many reasons why a customer might come just once to the studio, dis-satisfaction being one, but moving to another city or frequent touring, career changes, price differences or competition from other bow makers are other factors.
So although customer loyalty is an indication of satisfaction, it is my hope that others have been satisfied without developing loyalty. And generally, loyalty (or not) is not a conscious decision. Few customers who are happy about their experience with my business stop to consider whether they will come back next time - repeat visits are all down to future factors.
We are often creatures of habit, but only if it is convenient. I fully understand that if your bow needs rehairing but you are the other side of London, you are unlikely to come to me even if you have been to me before.
That said, I would like to offer a reward to you, my existing customers, as a thank you for your support and in the hopes of seeing you again in the next year. To those of you who have read this far, you can have your next rehair for half price if you say - or even sing - the line ‘there’s no business like bow business.’ It’s just a little thank you to you all.
To me, customer service is centred around honesty, providing reliable and quality workmanship and fair advice. I hope I regularly achieve this, and hope that you will let me know either way. Thank you.