It's called good old-fashioned 'customer service' which is often hard to come by in today's frantic, impersonal world. And although sometimes we run around trying to do everything possible for the customer it doesn't always end in a sale. Occasionally, however, our customers respond with glowing praise via email or phone and it makes all the effort worthwhile.
We invest time in talking to people and listening to what they want. It doesn't always pay off in the short term but if you do it day-in and day-out your hard work will eventually bring rewards. Last week, for instance, and by sheer coincidence, I had two separate people come into the gallery within an hour of each other who had been to our stand at Holsworthy Show some three months ago in August! One of them wants to commission a painting and the other bought several pieces. You just never know.
Even when things go wrong (and it's rare, thankfully) we try and respond positively and with courtesy. A couple of years ago, when we first started shipping online orders, we had a courier break something. It could have turned ugly but without hesitation we compensated the customer and made arrangements for replacement. The customer was delighted. So much so that she was glowing with praise and ordered again from us. It 's not so much what goes wrong as how you deal with it and I would like to think we always have the customer at heart.
People seem so unused to good customer service these days they often look at you with suspicion. We get quite a few people in from London and other big cities. Sometimes, if you say good morning to them they think you are going to mug them! No need to worry, I don't carry a knife and I am not going to back you in a corner and force you to buy art!
So, if you have had enough of surly shop assistants, second-rate Chinese goods, online nightmares where you can't speak to anyone or just "do ya wan' fries wiv 'at?"... then maybe it would make a nice change to buy some quality handmade goods with just a little personal service, wouldn't it?
Well, "I'm free!"