Country Music & Customer Service
October 19, 2011
One of the most exciting – and gratifying – elements of country music is the accessibility of the artists. Nearly every artist, brand new or established, has the ability to connect with their fans almost on a one to one basis. They do this through very active fan clubs, meet and greets at concerts, and by being “real” people every time they have contact with their fans. They are also using social networking for even a more one on one connection with the people who support them. Facebook and Twitter are a must for any act who wants to stay connected to the pulse of their fanbase.
This is customer service maxed out. A lot of attention is paid to the fans, their “customers.” They know this translates into music downloads, merchandise sales, and word of mouth support which is a real momentum builder in terms of their careers.
Also, exclusive to the country genre is the CMA Festival, which was formerly called Fan Fair. This is a weeklong event in Nashville which includes daily concerts by most of the country artists, and certainly the superstars, and also a meet & greet for most artists. Superstars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift have been known to stay for hours upon hours to get through the tremendous line of fans and personally acknowledge each one with a photo or autograph. No other format has anything close to this personal experience between artist and fan.
What can we take away from this super service? We should make a concerted effort to connect with our listeners. Every connection should be special in some way…a bit of special information, a word of thanks for listening, and sometimes just listening to how they are feeling about our product – either positive or negative. And…most importantly, when something is truly not right, going over the top to address and correct the problem, and maybe swallowing pride in the process if necessary.
Country 102.5 uses social networking regularly. All of our air personalities and most staff use Facebook and Twitter daily to communicate with our fan base, just like the artists do.
The station also collects many special, personal items which we have autographed during local concerts so we can utilize a stash of selected auction and raffle items for charity requests and donations across the region. We do our best to accommodate each request as they come in, again, touching one person at a time.
In the world of country music, both in the music industry and the country radio industry, there is extreme loyalty. With that loyalty comes a deeper relationship that should be cultivated and respected. Understanding and capitalizing on that relationship and loyalty is a key to success with country artists and their fans, and country radio and its fans!
No question the golden rule applies. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!
Ginny Rogers is making Greater Media great in her role as Assistant Program Director/Music Director for WKLB in Boston.