For the last couple weeks, I have opened up the floor to you as readers and asked you to talk about the good and the bad at the varied FLGS’ around the blogsphere. I wanted to get a real grasp on what you value and what irks you off, so that I don’t miss the mark when talking about what’s important for a FLGS.
I noticed something pretty striking in the comments for both articles. I noticed that the negative comments, complaints and criticisms outnumbered the positive comments and praise by a margin of 2 to 1. Apparently, you guys have been burned.
That says something really important to me as a business owner. That tells me that while I may do a large number of things right, my customers don’t notice or remember those nearly as much as they remember the things I do wrong.
You guys know what you want, and you have very long memories. Each one of that shared about a horror story or problem area knew exactly what, where, when, how and who made that experience bad. You know why it was bad for you- and maybe even know why it happened the way it did. Most of you relayed that you have quit going to your local store over the incidents in question. In short, you guys are a walking firing squad, just one bad visit to the local dice slinger’s spot away from dropping me (the general me, a FLGS) as your source for goodies over the internet.
Knowing that my customer base actively remembers and relates bad experiences in a disproportionately higher rate than positive ones puts an onus on me to get it right the first time- and let me tell you, that’s a lot of pressure. Scary pressure.
I’m not complaining; I love what I do. However, the knowledge that I’m essentially constantly interviewing for my job as your hobby provider can get downright terrifying. In addition, each of you is different, and knowing how to give each of you at least a touch of what you like is a balancing act that can be hard to manage.
From families to old timers, to college kids to the young professional; the hardcore hobbyist to the dyed in the wool roleplayer, the Magic players and the board gamers- finding a place for everyone is a challenge. It’s one I willingly take on, and even enjoy. Finding a place for everyone is going to involve some balance, and some choices that the customer might not like.
I might decide that there just isn’t a place for X game or crowd. It might be temporary, or it might be permanent. I might hire someone that knows a little about a lot, instead of a lot about a little. I might get new snacks that you don’t like, or I might change the bathroom towels to save on costs. You never know what it is that a customer might find upsetting, and you have to keep trying to improve.
I’ll be talking about improvements nxt week- specifically; terrain, and what has worked and what hasn’t. Hope to see you then…