The Customer Service of the Self Published
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Teddy Roosevelt.
Avoid Blasting the Reader to Buy on Social Media
As I mentioned in my previous post, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and this is important to keep this in mind every time we use social media. When presenting your books to the world, don’t blast them with “buy my book”. At first you might get a few takers, but soon the call to buy will become annoying. After a little while longer, people will start blocking your posts, finally even your friends will ignore you. So what do you do instead?
As I discussed in my last post, our customer service has to begin by getting to know the people that we meet on social media. This is especially true for those of us who are fiction writers. Nonfiction writers have the advantage of being able to join groups and forums based on the subject matter. Because I am a gardening nonfiction writer, I can go on gardening, sustainability and even prepper sites and offer advice. In addition, I write online content. In August I will have some of this online content included in a print magazine called Garden and Greenhouse.
Front End Customer Service
Fiction writers have to take a different tactic. Most groups or forums that cater to novel writers tend to be populated by other writers. Not the audience we should be catering to, so what do we do? Primarily, we begin by getting to know people when they ask me what I do, I let them know that I write novels as well as gardening books. I have a link to my website on my social media sites as well. If they want to know more about my books, the information is available on my website.
Many people don’t see this as customer service, but it is actually a customer service that you can do on the front end. I Offer free e-books for subscriptions to my newsletter. Another, I have been thinking about doing is to offer my first book in my Locket Saga series as an introduction to the series. Others used this tactic with great success. The idea is that if the first book in a series is free and readers like what they are reading, they will buy the next book to find out what happens. The important thing is, These have been very successful ways of offering customer service on the front end to potential customers. The idea is to keep in contact with readers of previous books so that they can enjoy more of your work as you produce it.
Customer Service of a Doomed Company
About a year ago I needed to get a home phone because my cell service wouldn’t work where I lived. I had called the only phone company that serviced the area—Century Link. I spent two hours, most of them on hold trying to get service. When the day came that the service be turned on, I waited an entire afternoon. I had to drive twelve miles into town so that I could call on my cell phone and again I burned up over an hour on hold because the company did not have enough human beings available to take my calls. Even then all they offered were excuses on why no one showed up to help me. Rather than making me a priority because of their error, they put me at the bottom of the list again. I had to wait several more days and until the last couple hours of that day to get my phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if that company’s poor customer service will be their demise, although I am certain that they will use more advanced technology as their excuse.
Give Personal Service
Because I am a small business owner, I can do things that huge companies cannot do, especially huge publishing companies. One of them is in offering people who want to read my books get my books when they have difficulty making that possible. One older woman who I talked to online had read all my books on kindle but wanted to get the my Locket Saga books for her daughter. At first I just gave her a link so that she could send for the books herself, however, it didn’t work out that way. I think agreed to help her get the books for her daughter by doing whatever I needed to do.
In another case, a book was lost in the mail. Rather than throwing up my hands and saying that I didn’t know what to do, I shouldered the cost of replacing the book for the person who bought it.
Having control over customer service is one of the things that I like about being an Indie author. I am not dependent on the publishing company to make things right with my readers. To quote Harry S. Truman, “the buck stops here.”
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has published a nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.
Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback
.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .
I’m a huge believer in customer service, something of a lost art in today’s world.
And it is one thing that could make all the difference in someone buying you (or my) book over others.