Business Managers

fashion

A lot of content creators have Customer Service Representatives, which I think is a sweet thing to do especially if a shop is big and you would be really searching for the product that you are looking for. In that case it is a very nice service to have an employee available to help your customers find things, to help out with easy issues and to give information on how to get the best possible service. It is especially nice when a content creator has the time filled that he or she cannot be in world him/herself.

Recently there is a development for hiring so called business managers. Obviously these are persons that have more influence than a simple (ahem) CSR, they may be even able to restart a sim, and do some blogging and manage the update group. Way to go. But they still have no access to inventory, they are still merely representing, not actually managing the business.

What I find totally lame though is content creators that actually refer in their profiles to their business managers, stating that for all matters regarding their business they should contact the business manager. That way they are reducing themselves to content creating entities and inventory givers only, they create a distance between themselves ad their clientele, and honestly… I think it is just plain arrogant. How important can you feel yourself that you shut off the contact with your clients?

Personally, I feel that a content creator who hides behind a business manager (especially when NOT squeezing out new stuff regularly) thinks he or she has better things to do than actually running their business, and so I am less likely to bring my L$ to their shop. They may be thinking they are doing a good job on service.. but for me it just feels the other way around. A big part of my shopping fun is also in the contact with the makers, to hear what drives them, and how they see things. If I am interested in your product, I am interested in you.. not in your business manager.

/rant off

0 thoughts on “Business Managers”

  1. Coming from customer service background and RL company where customer can escalate as far as CEO (although CEO would not of course have time to be in front line) I am a firm believer that the only way to succeed is to be close to your customers. How else are you going to find out what the customer wants? What they like, do not like and what more of they would like to see?
    My whole SL reputation is based on this model – we may employ people to post and be part of the team but Kirk and I are in the centre of customer service for KMADD City and MADesings.
    It is the best way to spread a word of mouth (most of SL business rely on this) if your customers have opportunity to get to know you and speak to you. Although I do not believe in celebrity bullshit (pardon my french) – most customers get the kick out of meeting the actual creators and saying they did to their friends.
    Yet again, if someone assigns the business to their managers perhaps they do have a good reason – however I doubt it – if the product is good customer service to maintain the product should be minimal and every creator should be able to handle it on their own.

    Having managers interacting with customers is one way to lose them as you do not have a control over that interaction.

    The only customer interaction that we have not done ourselves was when we hired a good friend to do 30 customer serveys in SL and send thank you cards to people who have purchased more than one item from us. We have then personally contacted each one of them to thank them and offer them free gift.
    You can imagine the impact that this has had on our buisness since many content creators in SL can not be found in their stores nor spend any time on building the customer relationships especially with loyal customers.

  2. I agree 100%. It irritates the hell out of me! If they’re so busy that they have to have someone take care of things for them…I’m too busy to spend my lindens there. I’ve even wondered if they hide behind an alt as a business manager. Not long ago I was in a well known SL store and questioned the manager about a missing article and she got so defensive with me that I immediately became suspicious that I was talking to the creator.

  3. Grazia, I bsolutely agree with you here. I’m happy to connect and deal with a designer’s customer service rep, as long as it’s someone who has access to for-sale inventory as needed. Some designers prefer to work this way, for instance some who may not speak English fluently, and I think this is fine. I don’t think I’ve run into any “business managers” who didn’t have access to the designer’s inventory. One thing that’s bugged me lately, though, is the proliferation of “marketing reps” who simply want to arrange interviews with style bloggers or present one or more of their (presumably) many clients for review consideration. I can only speak for myself, but I much prefer to deal directly with designers whenever possible, and in general I find that designers, including “big names” (and I won’t drop any here) are happy to work this way as well. Does SL really need to resemble RL so much that everybody has to have an agent or marketing rep? I’m hoping not. I’m guessing that people dealing with designers simply as customers have similar feelings. I’d love to hear the thoughts of others on this too.

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