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don’t know says, “Trust me!?” Of course, customer service certainly affords plenty of opportunities to take action that earns trust. (Again, just to drive the point home: You shouldn’t be running ads saying, “We have great customer service!”) But trust is earned — or diminished — with almost every action. The way you sign up a student for your lesson program — and the quality of the teacher that student gets — can be the start of a lifelong connection. I always point out that the student/teacher relationship in the lesson studio is usually the first one-on-one a child has with a non-familial adult. It’s huge, and it’s why a lot of our early students now bring their kids to us. Trust may also be built when you can’t do something — a complex repair, a franchise you don’t have or an instrument you don’t teach — and you point your customer to a resource that will take care of their needs nonetheless. Oldschool wisdom was that you never let a customer go to a competitor. I really believe that it’s sometimes the best thing you can do, because you prove that you will put your customer’s needs first. Plus, if you send them to someone who treats them well, you’re a hero. Yet if the other store stumbles, the customer may appreciate you even more. That’s certainly better than overreaching and losing trust when something goes wrong. Let me stress, though, that trust isn’t some emotional switch that gets flipped. It’s a building built one brick at a time. The customers that trust your store are part of the intangible asset we call “goodwill” when we value a business. That’s because that asset takes prolonged effort to develop, so a business with high trust can out-value one with a lot of inventory and other tangible assets. Without the trust, the tangibles gather dust. Finally, our challenge isn’t

to earn consumer trust. That is our job, something that should be cooked into our DNA, and we should be building trust with every customer that walks in the door. No, the challenge is to make consumers aware that we are a source for those things they

searched for on the internet. If they are disenchanted with their online experience, they will be looking. We have to show up on their radar. If we do, they will come. And if we earn their trust, we won’t have to worry about the internet so much.

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Profile for Music & Sound Retailer

Music & Sound Retailer August 2019, Vol 36 No 8  

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Music & Sound Retailer August 2019, Vol 36 No 8  

In the August issue of the Music & Sound Retailer, we review the Summer NAMM Show, take an in-depth look at the DJ/lighting market, reveal M...