5 Tips for Mas bands who cannot afford PR advisors

It's a recession.  People are feeling it.  Business are feeling it.  Mas bands too! With the harsh financial times, maybe some bands had to let go of their expensive PR advisers and are now confused as to how they should treat actual and prospective customers. Well have no fear, Trinidad Carnivals is here!  I am offering my services free of charge and providing these mas bands with some tips to help improve their customer service. Here we go:
  • Tip #1:  Respond to your emails and calls in a timely fashion.  People spend their hard earned money to buy your product.  Poor customer service will send them to your competitor.
    • it's a bad sign when readers are emailing me for information because you won't respond to them.  A girl from England emailed me because a certain large band did not get back to her about group registration for approximately 20 people.  After many failed attempts she ended up registering her crew in another band.  That's a whole lot of money you just lost.  This crew was willing to pay extra money for the VVIP experience.  That is REAL MONEY in another band's pocket when all you needed to do was answer her messages!
  • Tip #2:  Don't ignore masqueraders once they have registered.
    • Deposits are non-refundable so if you treat registered masqueraders badly they will still likely play in your band for Trinidad Carnival 2012.  No one wants to lose their deposit.  But remember that Carnival comes every year.  Maybe you won't get their money for Trinidad Carnival 2013, 2014, 2015.  So please respond to your masqueraders even after they have paid their deposits.
  • Tip #3:  If you make a mistake, own up to it.
    • Things happen.  Mistakes are made.  Apologize and then let us know what will be done next year to avoid the problem.  Don't pretend that it didn't happen.  And if people are complaining don't just close your Facebook wall.  That's in bad form.
  • Tip #4:  Don't make promises you cannot keep.
    • If you know that some people are not welcome in your band then says so.  If the band is only open to "Friends and Family" then say so.  Don't waste people's time, please.  You risk tainting your brand. And even worse, everyone will remember this episode for anything else you may touch in the future.
  • Tip #5:  Recognize the power of bloggers.
    • People are turning more and more to blogs for their information.  For Carnival news, blogs often outrank other sources as a means of keeping up to date.  Think Trinidad Carnival Diary which is the QUEEN of all carnival blogs.  Why do you think YUMA invited a few online personalities to their launch where they were given special access?  YUMA recognizes the power of the blogger and social media.  That's why they have over 16,000 fans.  This is just their second year and they sold out in a flash.  A lot of that has to do with their use of social media to market and build buzz.  Learn from YUMA.  Don't ignore the bloggers...
Leave a comment if you have a tip you would like to share!