I began my journey in photography nearly 20 years ago as a thought experiment that…
A customer who purchased a large panoramic canvas a while back contacted me recently asking for help. He was upset because during Hurricane Sandy, which hit us all hard here in the northeast, a leak had developed in his roof and had damaged the print which sat over his fireplace. He told me he enjoyed looking at it everyday, and it made him feel positive and uplifted.
Apparently the water was stained from the chimney, and it had soaked and streaked the print pretty good, and had left streak marks from top to bottom. He also wanted to know if there was anyway to repair it, otherwise he could not afford to buy another at that time.
As I was listening to him, and heard the disappointment in his voice, I knew what I would do instantly and without hesitation. “Don’t worry,” I said, “bring it over to the studio next week, and I’ll make a new one for you.” To say he was both surprised and thankful is an understatement, and I felt good as well.
You see, I believe in treating customers like real people, the same way I like to be treated by people I do business with. And I’m really tired of getting treated like my needs as a customer don’t really matter. So often it seems the only thing that matters is the bottom line. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, we’ve all been there, and felt like there must be a better way.
The bottom line for me is making sure every single person I do business with is 100% happy with the way things turn out. If that means I lose money, I’ve leaned from experience I never really do. People remember when you put their interests first, and for me that’s the only thing that matters. It’s probably the only real reason I’m still doing what I love to do.
This year I made a decision not to do business with others that don’t feel the same way. In this day and age, there are many choices and options, and it’s really easy to go to google and find an alternative. I want to make sure that whether it’s a workshop student, a print customer, or anyone else I work with, they never have to even think about looking for an alternative.
Are you doing the same in your business, or in your life? Read “The Go-Giver” to learn about some great business practices that are too often underutilized.