by Tracy Johnson
Radio stations need listeners and fans. That’s obvious. The larger the fan base, the better. And if those fans are raving, passionate, loyal fanatics, stations can become virtually bulletproof from dramatic rating fluctuations. But there’s a problem. Many personalities don’t act like fans matter. Just being nice wins fans.
Just being nice isn’t hard. But it does take time and discipline. And more than a little patience.
Air personalities: When is the last time you went the extra mile to connect with a listener? Maybe it was a caller with a question. Or someone at an event that wanted to chat about the show. Or a listener interested in winning a prize, but she didn’t understand how the contest works.
Everyone is busy. There are a million things to do. And those fans take up far more time than is convenient. That’s why they are rush off the telephone when they call. Or worse, the phone is not answered at all.
At appearances, we shake hands without establishing eye contact. Well, we shook hands when we could. But there will come a time we can do it again.
Doesn’t it make sense to interact and win fans at every opportunity?
Disneyland is known as the Happiest Place on Earth. It is more than a positioning statement or marketing claim. The commitment to customer service is ingrained in every employee from their first day of training.
A family was celebrating their child’s birthday with a character breakfast at one of the Disney resorts. But the family was late and missed their reservation. All later seatings were full. It wasn’t Disney’s fault, and they had a business to run.
So there they were, sitting outside of the breakfast. Looking sad. But Disney didn’t ignore them. An employee noticed.
She asked what was wrong, then sprang into action.
Not only did they get in for breakfast, but they were treated to a front-row table. And the birthday boy’s favorite character led the entire restaurant in singing Happy Birthday.
You might think this employee was a supervisor. She was a custodian. Her job was sweeping and dusting. But her responsibility was making magic for fans. She knew that serving the audience was the responsibility of every employee.
In the movie A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, Fred Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) shows what it means to nurture individual relationships.
Mr. Rogers changed Lloyd Vogel’s life by taking an interest in his life. Vogel was the New York Times writer played by Matthew Rhys.
In one scene, Rogers tells Lloyd:
You’re the most important person in the world to me because I’m talking to you right now.
Wow. Just being nice turned a skeptical writer into a fan.
Most radio stations and personalities could be much better in these areas. Little things mean a lot in converting casual listeners to fans.
Do everything possible to make a positive impression. Take a minute to engage listeners at every opportunity.
Just being nice to listeners can be a tremendous advantage.
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