I recently have started working with a great jazz musician who has become a new client. The other day we were discussing how to get his group into some more sought after clubs to perform. We were talking about how to make contact with club owners. My client said, “I am finding the owners of the clubs I have contacted want me to come in and see them. I find myself dropping off my press kit and then being asked to come back and talk to them, even though all the information they want from me when I do, is right on my website. I don’t get what’s going on here. This is a lot of work.”
Musicians, actors, artists, and everyone else connected to the arts, need to learn good old fashioned customer service.
Club owners don’t want musicians to play in their clubs who are not going to come early, play sober and draw in an audience. Unfortunately, because most artists lack business training, smart club owners realize the only way to make sure unknown musical performing groups will act accordingly is by testing their ability to follow up and provide them with good customer service before they even consider booking them.
Why, as artists, we think that our talent should speak for itself remains a mystery. Think about it logically:
As consumers, when we go to eat at a restaurant, we never like it when the waiter never comes to take our order, or worse does and never comes with our food. We call that bad service and usually don’t go back- no matter how many “stars” are behind the restaurants name. After all, that is why we are going to the restaurant in the first place- to have someone else wait on us and serve us a meal.
When we order products on-line, like I recently did from Rugs USA, and they tell you the rug will be here in 3-5 days and 3 weeks later, and 2 phone calls riddled with unmet promises have passed and you still don’t have your rug, do you think you are going to ever order from them again? Do you think you might even tell all your friends that they too should not order from them ever? Well, I just did and I think likely you would too.
Rugs USA boasts to be a top internet retailer and that they will match anyone else’s price. Do you think I care about how great they are when they cannot meet my needs?
If you want the gigs, the order, the opportunity, then learn how to deliver great customer service to your clients they way they want it. Trust me, I know if you do, those gigs, orders and opportunities- the ones you really want- will eventually come.
And when they do, your talent will then help you keep those gigs coming.