The 4 Ups of Recording Studio Customer Service

It is easy to get caught up in talking about gear and technical details, but it is important to remember that first and foremost, recording studios must provide excellent customer service. Many valuable lessons can be gleaned from the best practices of other service industries. For starters, here are the Four Ups to think about to shift your frame of reference to a more service oriented mindset.
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The following Four Ups are for providing good customer service in the recording studio business:

The First Up …Listen Up:

Knowing that you are not reinventing the wheel of customer service allows you to mold the ideas of others into you own special style of providing service for the customers you wish to convert into clients. We all have stories to tell, from the most respected Wall Street advisor to a young person in a red and yellow striped shirt standing on the other side of a counter at a fast food restaurant. Watch, observe and listen to the lives going on around you. Once you become an active participant in your life, it becomes easy to see which actions please people and which ones that don’t. Listen Up, or as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

Second Up …Clean Up:

Smelly people in dirty houses are not artistic. Where perception is reality and only the facts are negotiated, the reality is they are dirty smelly people in what could be nice houses. They are giving little to no consideration for the varied personas who may walk through their door…once. A clean, well-organized house with a well-presenting staff will leave a more favorable impression on the customers and potential customers who walk through the door than their artsy opposite. You went through a lot of effort just to get the customer to your door; don’t you want them dazzled once they walk in? First impressions establish the foundation of your perceived competence level in the customer’s eye.

Third Up …Stand Up:

Stand up for your community. Yes, it is true there is a world outside of you. There are other recording studios, suppliers of the tools we need to practice our trade and other businesses ours benefit from. Stand Up for them.

Not all customers are right for each and every business. A part of good customer service is providing good referrals to your customers. Good referrals come from knowing your competition on a more personal level than “I’ll beat any rate they offer you.” Don’t refer to your competition as “they” or in poor fashion. Poorly painted pictures of one competitor from another usually appear on a field of pretentiousness. It is not a pretty picture at any time for any customer. A well-informed, well-spoken word about your competitor will leave a more long-lasting impression of eloquence about you in your customer’s mind than one spoken with half-truths based on supposition sprinkled with colorful negative connotations.

You really don’t know how you appear to others; how could you? You’re looking out from the inside of you. In order to get a good picture of how you appear, you need to ask others—people who you know are knowledgeable in your trade, its history and the area you practice in. Stand Up: learn to speak well about another.

Speaking of area, Stand Up for the businesses local to yours. Make them a part of your studio family. It may just be our business to us, but to those around you, what you do is exciting. Have menus from the deli up the street ready for your customers when they need food. Tell the deli how the band enjoyed their product; pass along positive comments to your neighboring entrepreneur. Understand the topological landscape you are affecting. Stand Up for it, become part of it. E Pluribus Unum—out of many, one.

The Fourth Up is simple …Shut Up:

Benjamin Franklin is credited with “Well done is better than well said.” This quote needs no explanation.

The Eisenberg Brothers of Future Now provide a model for a Sam Walton-style of “Legendary Customer Service”:

“…Don’t use yourself as a yardstick to measure the needs of others. …Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

If you are so busy telling the world how cool you are without showing it, you need to Shut Up and start providing Legendary Customer Service.

Thank you to the Fraternal Order of Leather Heads FDNY for the original “4 Ups”.