opinion

Porn Customer Service and The Golden Rule

Kelly Shibari

Customer service is always going to be important, regardless of what type of business you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling widgets, a service, or viewable entertainment — you are always going to interact with customers in one way or another if you are looking to make a profit. What applies to mainstream marketing still applies in porn and adult novelty marketing.

Something that seems to escape most independent filmmakers (and that includes adult content providers as well) is that the “good vibe” from seeing their project or scene is not the only way that you can make your customer’s experience the best it can possibly be. In the case of porn, just making your customer masturbate to orgasm isn’t the only way you can create an experience that is going to get them — yes —coming back for more.

A happy customer is a good customer who returns again and again to see not only what else you have to offer, but actually make your store a bookmark on his computer, subscribe to your feed and make repeat purchases.

Remember: A happy customer is a good customer who returns again and again to see not only what else you have to offer, but actually make your store a bookmark on his computer, subscribe to your feed and make repeat purchases.

There’s a clear difference between giving the customer 110 percent so that he is enticed to return, and just squeaking by with the bare minimum requirements, which inevitably will just be another spam email that gets deleted, with no chance of return business until the merchant has something specific that the customer is looking for — or even worse, just assuming that your content is so absolutely amazing that it, by itself, will get the customer coming back for more. Trust me — in a world where there are more and more homemade porn “stars” pouring out of the woodwork and online, no one’s content is singularly so amazing that customers won’t look elsewhere for similar or better versions.

Look for ways to not only entice the browsing customer to click on whatever link you have for them on your site, but to further the experience. If they make a purchase, figure out how to offer them a discount on a future purchase. When you send them their purchase, think about how you’re sending it to them — is it in a plain padded envelope, or are you making sure that you have enclosed a thankyou card (with a coupon for a discount towards a future purchase) inside? That can be the difference between a one-time buyer and a repeat customer.

I know that the tangible things (coupons and thank you cards) might not seem possible in the world of VOD or clips, but there are ways around this as well. Every time you make a purchase, you get a notification in your email inbox as to who make that purchase. Learn how to decipher that information, and see if you can send your customer a thank you email. Obviously you can’t offer them a discount on their next VOD or clips purchase, but you can definitely make sure that the customer doesn’t feel like just a number. Invite him/her to your site, your Yahoo Group, your fan site…see if you can put his email on your own private mailing list so you can alert him/her of new and/or upcoming scenes, DVD, products, etc. Inform him that live cam sessions are available. You see where I’m going with this.

Is it a bit too grassroots for larger companies to incorporate? I don’t think so. We’re talking about marketing in the era of online branding — and making sure that the customer walks away with a great experience that extends beyond watching a scene means their comments will entice another potential customer. Mainstream companies use sites such as Yelp, comments in eBay, etc. — the same can be used for websites via comments on review sites and on message boards for DVD sales.

Can this be tedious? Sometimes. The public doesn’t realize what goes into creating a DVD or website, so sometimes they can get a bit too needy and feel as though they can dictate how you should run your site, what girls you should be shooting, and so on. How you react to those requests is important too, even if it means explaining to the ardent fan exactly why you aren’t interested in shooting a particular model without bruising anyone (including the fan and the model)’s ego.

The Golden Rule applies here just as it does anywhere else, and I’m sure that everyone has made some sort of purchase in one way or another over the years, and most people have made an online purchase. Think about what the merchant did to get you to make that purchase, and if they did anything after your purchase to make sure that you were valued? Try to apply those tactics to your own customers, making sure that the “good vibe” lasts longer than the time it takes to view your scene.

You’ll see that you’ll have more repeat customers than before.

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