Monthly Archives: November 2014

Lessons Learned from Poor Customer Service

This article is inspired by a recent negative customer experience I had.

For Christmas my sister wanted an item that’s sold by a home based business. I was able to contact the seller through Facebook. I placed my order and was told she didn’t have the item in stock anymore and needed a couple of weeks to get another. She also informed me that she was too busy to keep track of orders so I would have to send her a reminder in a couple weeks.

A couple weeks later I messaged her again and she still didn’t have it in stock. One week later I messaged her again, this time she had the item. Great! I tried to arrange a time to meet with her but we couldn’t seem to find a time that worked. I found out that she lives close to my home so I thought it wouldn’t be an issue to pick up my order. Unfortunately, I ended up getting sick and wasn’t able to contact her for a week. When I did message her, she told me that she sold my item and had no more in inventory… Now, here’s the kicker – that item is no longer manufactured!

So, my sister selected another item from her store. Once again we struggled to coordinate pick up. Since she doesn’t live far away I suggested she drop it off to my home at her convenience, to which she replied ” I don’t offer home deliveries.” What?!?!… I am literally her neighbour.

After that I gave up. In the end I didn’t get the product, my sister doesn’t get the gift she wanted and the owner didn’t make a sale. Truly a lose-lose-lose situation.

Hidden within this story of poor customer service are a few valuable business lessons:  

  1. As a business owner it’s your responsibility to keep track of and follow up with potential customers. There is no such thing as being “too busy” when it comes to keeping track of your customers. If you’re too busy to run your business properly you’re going to fail. Instead there should be a system in place to make the job easier or hire help.
  2. It’s the job of the business to deliver on the promises that you make. She decided to sell an item that I thought was on hold for me. Whatever you promise to your customer,  it’s your job to deliver that without excuses. If you promise to email the client show photo’s, make sure you do it. If you promise to email that contact from the network event, do it. If you promise to include some close-up magic, do it. Doing this makes you a man of your word – which is a good personality trait to develop regardless of your occupation.
  3. Be clear in your communication. It turns out that the item wasn’t actually on hold for me like I had thought. This could have easily been resolved by her simply communicating that. In our business that translates to communicating the important details to the client. What type of show you’ll be doing, what your requirements are, what time you’ll be arriving to setup, etc. All of these things are so important that they should be repeated to your clients multiple times throughout the booking process.
  4. Make small concessions and deliver service that is above and beyond. Making an exception to deliver the item would have been a minimal amount of work and would have dramatically changed the course of the customer experience. They call it “work” for reason. That mean’s sometimes you’re going to have to do things that you don’t want to do. I wrote another article on this topic called: That’s Not a Problem – Dealing with Problems at Shows.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own work and forget what customer is experiencing. But as business owners, you should always be thinking “How can I create a positive customer experience?” If you perform at 300 events in a year, you’ll have 300 opportunities to create raving fans. In our business the best way to market our services is by creating happy customers.

Trick Review: Stand Up Monte by Garrett Thomas

For the first time on this blog I’m going to do a trick review. Based on feedback I may write more reviews if people are interested. I’ll only review products that I’ve actually used in performance.

This is a review for Garrett Thomas’ Stand Up Monte. Here’s the promotional text for the product:

In The Hands Wildcard Effect that makes sense to real-world audiences. Garrett Thomas’ Stand Up Monte includes eight or more transpositions or transformations.

Draw them in with an intriguing story about games, gambling, scams, hustlers and cons.Then add the strength of magic that happens in the spectators hands, combined with the visual power of the classic Wildcard effect. This easy to do routine happens All In The Hands, yours and the spectators, No Table Required. Best of all, it automatically resets.Truly Audience Tested. This routine has been used professionally by Garrett for the last 15 years with over 15,000 performances! This effect has been an underground favorite with many of the top working magicians today. All necessary tools provided.

Here’s a clip of me performing the effect:

Read More…

Why Most Magicians Don’t Work and What to Do About It

emythWhen I first decided that I wanted to be a full time magician I knew almost nothing about business. I certainly didn’t have any idea what was going to be involved in operating my own business as a solo entrepreneur. I just knew that I wanted to study and perform magic all day long every single day. But what else did I need to know? How do you turn a passion into a real business? That’s when I began reading and studying everything I could online about business.

Time and time again I came across recommendations for a book called The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. This book was my first introduction into the realities of turning my passion for magic into something that could pay the bills.

Being a full time magician means more than just being technically skilled at magic or being a strong performer. You must also be good at managing your time, that you’re reliable, that you follow up with clients, that you’re good at setting marketing goals and achieving them, and you have a positive mindset and attitude at EVERY show.

Just because you enjoy performing magic doesn’t mean that you’re also going to like performing it as a job. There’s plenty of people who lose their passion once they turn their hobby into a job. It isn’t because they actually lose their passion though – it’s because they end up spending so much time dealing with other tasks that aren’t their passion.

Rather than working on new magic tricks you’ll be spending your time managing your money, scheduling shows, creating marketing strategies, and designing postcards. Spending your days replying to emails is a quick way turn “Living the dream” into “A living nightmare” for many. That shift and that’s exactly what the E-Myth is all about.

Are you prepared to deal with the realities of running your own business? Do you know what you don’t know? Do you know how to get help? Can you push past your own mental barriers to grow your business? Are you prepared to work ON your business rather than just IN it? The book describes not only the common pitfalls for small businesses but also strategies to avoid common mistakes.

If you’re thinking of starting any type of small business I’d suggest you pick up a copy of the E-Myth from Amazon. It’s a quick easy read and it’s less than $20. For me it was one of the greatest books on business I’ve ever read.

If you’ve already read the book or if you are are going to pick it up, let us know in the comments below. As always, don’t forget to ‘like’ and share this article with others!

Dave Attwood Podcast with Leif David

attwoodLast week I was interviewed by Dave Attwood on his podcast radioshow. You can listen to the podcast directly or by visiting Attwood Magic Studio’s website and listening to episode 77.

Here’s a description of the episode:

“This week we were joined by Kelowna magician Leif David. Leif told us about his early start in magic and his mother’s influence in getting his career off the ground. Dave and Angel take a moment to discuss Remembrance Day and taking the time to remember those that served and sacrificed for our country. Thank you all for supporting the show by spreading the word.”

If you enjoyed the show you can keep in touch with future episodes by liking the Dave Attwood facebook page or by downloading the iTunes podcast app and looking up Attwood Magic.

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