Friday, June 24, 2016

The Customer is ALWAYS Right

I visited a new grocery store today. I know. Not a real grabber of an opening, eh? That's because I'm still suffering the effects of hypothermia. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a misnomer. It ought to be called Jotunheim Market (you know, the land of the frost giants from Norse mythology). Yes, it seriously is that cold. My lips are blue and I haven't even eaten a raspberry icee.

So I did what any self-respecting consumer suffering from frostbite would do . . . I complained. In a nice way, of course. First I asked a clerk about it, one who wore 3 layers, the top one fleece-lined (not even kidding). She said it's always freezing in there but she couldn't get a straight answer as to why, and that she's seen customers leave because of the temperature . . . which was great info but not helpful.

I bypassed her and went straight to the manager. I merely asked why it was so cold. Wow. You'd think I'd asked why his mama was fat and his father was a hamster. The dude was uber self-defensive, explaining every which way why he would not turn down the temp. Apparently on 90 degree days it gets roasty-toasty in there. Fine. I concede that point, but the high today was only 74. And in fact in Minnesota, we don't get a whole slew of days that are over 90.

But the point isn't really the temperature. The bigger issue is that I -- the consumer -- didn't get listened to because he was too busy defending himself. As a result, here I am letting the world at large know to avoid Fresh Thyme in my neck of the woods and that I'll never shop there again.

What in the world does this have to do with the publishing world? Ahh. Great question, Kemosabe.

You, the writer, are the store manager. The reader is the consumer. The critiquer is the consumer. The reviewer is the consumer. Practically the entire world is your consumer. Here is your duty to the consumer . . .

Listen. Just listen. Put down your dukes, lower those hackles, and don't go all defensive when someone offers you critical feedback. A reader, critique buddy, reviewer or editor are all entitled to their opinion, and more often than not, that opinion will have a nugget of truth in it that you can spit shine into a sparkly diamond.

Like take that manager for instance . . . he could've simply acknowledged the frigidity of the temperature and thanked me for bringing it to his attention. 'Nuff said. I would've walked away feeling like I'd been heard and would probably shop there again another day. The manager could've then thought over what I'd said and later on perhaps brainstormed on ways to keep the temps more even keel.

Do that with a rugged review or stinging comments. Thank the person for their valid opinion then think about it later, after you've cooled down. Brainstorm on ways you could change things up. You'll likely have a better product for the effort.

And a way happier customer.

But there's something you can do to make yourself happy right now. Enter the pre-release giveaway of a signed copy of THE COURAGEOUS BRIDES COLLECTION. No parka necessary and there's no hint of frostbite danger.

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1 comments:

chappydebbie said...

Wow, great analogy. So, you never found out why it's so cold in there? I don't blame you for never going back....way too rude.

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