It’s hard to believe, but the holiday sales season will be here very soon. I’m sure your preparations are underway to ensure a successful closure to 2007.
But, it’s important for retailers to look ahead toward next year. While 2008 seems far away, it will sneak up on everyone just like the holidays. Retailers need to have a game plan in all facets of their business when the calendar flips to Jan. 1.
The same goes for DECOR editors. We have some exciting things going on at DECOR. We recently completed our 2008 editorial calendar, which announces the general story themes we plan to explore in the magazine. The editorial calendar will be available online in just a few weeks.
Plus, we have some other changes to the magazine. At this point, I’m not able to share many details, but you’ll like what you read when you receive your January 2008 issue.
Putting together an editorial calendar is a multi-faceted process. We solicit feedback from many sources. One of the outlets is our annual readership survey, which offers insight into how readers rate articles, departments, columns, themes, etc. We also receive feedback from readers at trade shows, phone calls and e-mail. Plus, we consult our contributing editors and editorial advisory board. Finally, DECOR editors and staff also share their thoughts and ideas.
It’s a fascinating process, and it takes considerable time to take all of the ideas and create an editorial calendar that appeals to a diverse readership. It’s a serious responsibility, but when the process is complete, I can’t wait to get started on the upcoming issues in 2008.
In the meantime, please enjoy the upcoming issue of DECOR Magazine and the new content on the Web site. My next report will be on the Atlanta show.
The DECOR Web site features Web-exclusive content. Just click the links below to view the following:
More Web-exclusive content is available on the DECOR Web site right now! Plus, you can view all of the content available in the August issue of DECOR.
Oops! Now What?
Mistakes Are Inevitable. How You Make Amends, However, Can Win-Or Lose-A Customer
You’ve taken your precautions: No ink pens, food or drinks are allowed in the shop; art is stored out of harm’s way whenever possible; all work surfaces are kept clean. But like the first dent in a brand new car, a mistake with a customer’s artwork is bound to happen.
A mistake, believe it or not, does not have to cost you the costumer. In the situation is handled correctly, it can serve as a means to show just how far you’ll go to make it right. As a result, you can win not only the customer’s respect, but also his or her referrals and future business.
Take these five tips and put them in a safe place. You’ll never know when you’ll need them:
- Act and react: OK, so the damage is done. But before you call to tell the customer about the damage, first find out how it can be fixed. Armed with this information, you can then call the customer. Explanations and apologies are a lot easier for a customer to hear when accompanied by a plan for reparation. Be ready with a sincere apology, a smile, and most importantly a generous solution.
- Ask questions: The questions you ask when filling the order may serve you well if the unthinkable happens. Knowing the item’s age, origin and connection to the customer can help you know, if it is damaged, what course of action to follow. Otherwise, you may find yourself going on a wild goose chase for an item that the customer has 10 copies of at home, for example.
- Be reasonable with your promises and keep them: No retailer likes an unprofitable job, but once a promise is made to make X or Y changes, keeping it, even if difficult, is a boost to your business’s reputation.
- Double-check price estimates: To avoid underestimating or making an error on the price of a large framing order, double-check the numbers. But if a mistake is made, customers, when approached diplomatically, might be willing to split the difference.
- Know (and accept) your limitations: Even with loads of framing courses behind you, be aware of what you can and can’t do. If you aren’t absolutely sure how to proceed with a project, ask someone who does know. It’s too nerve-wracking to trust luck, or even divine intervention.
Participate in this month’s Question of the Month on the DECOR Web site. This month’s question:
“How would you rate your online marketing efforts this year so far?”
The October 2007 issue of DECOR will feature…
- DECOR Top 100 Art & Framing Retailers Award winners
- DECOR Expo Fall post-show recap
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