The end of another month! Wow.
So this morning, with the writer's conference tomorrow, I decide to try on my dress slacks. I've recently lost weight and I have about 10 pairs of slacks in 3 different sizes. I am right in the middle of those sizes right now and I'd actually purchased one new pair of slacks in my new size, plus had an almost new pair in a different color.
Except when I tried them on, they were both too long. Waaaay too long, even with 4 inch heels. So,with one day to go, I started calling around to Alterations places. Now, there's one about four miles away that I've used for years (over 20) and a new one opened up right around the corner from my neighborhood. In the interest of saving time, I called the new one and explained my problem. The lady that answered the phone said (in a stern voice) "One week minimum. No exceptions."
All right, then. So I called the other alteration place. The man that answered the phone doesn't know my voice and I didn't identify myself as a long time customer. I asked him the same question. His response "No problem. Bring them in."
So I rushed over there, tried them on with the heels, and they pinned. I can pick them up at noon tomorrow.
Talk about a lifesaver!
My purpose in mentioning this incident is this - good customer service can earn loyal customers. I will never again try another alteration place and the new one lost a potential long term customer.
What, you may ask, does that have to do with writing? It all boils down to the same, basic principal. How you treat people will color their perception of you for a long, long time. There has recently been an author who had a melt down at a bad review (and it wasn't all that bad, actually) and started calling the reviewer names and telling him to F-off. More than once. Of course the thing went viral and when the reviewer finally stopped allowing comments, there were over 300! Everyone knows this woman's name and I can guarantee, if she ever wants to publish with a traditional publisher, she's going to have to submit under an assumed name.
So remember this - act professionally no matter what. Bad review, editor rejection, author critique. People have long memories and you'd be surprised how many people know each other in this business.