May 23, 2012

Customer Service is Important

You might not think this post could pertain to publishing, but it does.

I live in a small town. Tiny, really. So, rather than driving an hour and a half to the nearest store that carries whatever it is I need, I end up doing a lot of my shopping online.

Today I tried to set up an online account with a cell phone provider and buy a cell phone (because the nearest store that carries its phones is —you guessed it—an hour and a half away.

But the site's checkout is down.

And customer service's answer to that isn't "Let's do this over the phone." It's "Try again tomorrow or go to one of our stores (an hour and a half away.)"

Being somewhat optimistic, I ask the rep to suggest to his supervisor that the company adds the ability to set up accounts over the phone (it is a phone company, after all). I'm immediately transferred to the supervisor (ah, the power of the word supervisor).

Yay!

A recorded voice comes on. "Your call cannot be completed . . ."

The line goes dead.

Boo!

So how does this pertain to publishing?

I'm opening a small publishing house next year: Starsong Publishing, which will publish sci-fi romance and fantasy romance, two subgenres I particularly love to read. I'm so excited! And so busy doing behind-the-scenes things like drawing up a contract I'd like to sign as an author. Whew, it's a big job.

Back to the point of the post now.

It's important to me to be accessible to my authors, and for their books to be accessible to their readers. Today's negative experience with the cell phone company has underscored for me just how crucial it is not only to have great books, but also to make sure everyone involved, whether author or reader, has a positive experience and doesn't end up grumbling away about it on her blog.

Now I suppose my next challenge will be coming to terms with the fact that you just can't please everyone. But to all of Starsong's future authors and readers: I'm going to do my best.
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