This will be a quick one to chew on over the weekend. I had an experience with a service today that completely let me down. I asked for a small refund due to unsatisfactory services. They simply stated that their policy is no refunds.
We in the arts tend to use this statement as well. No refunds. However, if someone truly is dissatisfied, and there is proof that the service provided was less than satisfactory, shouldn’t we be issuing refunds? I am not speaking about the subjective opinions of whether or not someone liked your art. I am speaking about the customer service that surrounds your art, the experiences that surround your art. If someone is treated rudely or does not receive their services in the fashion they deserve, a refund is one way to apologize and let them know you want to make it up to them.
Well deserved refunds can actually help with audience development. It shows that you are listening to your audience members and that you care to give them the best service possible. Again, I am only speaking in terms of these special circumstances when you know that you have actually messed up or when your organization fails to deliver what is promised. It takes a big person to fess up to their mistakes, and in being that person, your audience will appreciate that you are on their side. They will also see that you stand behind delivering good service.
Let me put it this way – it is the difference between gaining your audience members’ trust or losing audience members for good. These little choices in our lives can make a big impact, especially when it comes to audience development.
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Audience Development Specialists
“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
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