This is one of the longer blog articles we've ever written, but to us, it's an extremely important topic.

As Edmonton and Calgary area DJ's, we realize the customer service industry should be driven by positive experiences. If as a business owner, your intention isn't to create that for your client, you simply shouldn't be in the customer service business. The process may not always be smooth — in fact, it can often be difficult, but the objective is the same — leave the client more than satisfied with the job done.

Is the Customer Always Right? 

When things get bumpy "the customer is always right" or "do whatever it takes to make your customer happy" is a phrase that's been tossed around for years. Business owners understand this doesn't mean the customer is in fact always right, but that the phrase represents an ability to problem solve any issues.

We absolutely get it. The impression you leave with your customer is often what brings in new customers. If we don't do more than a good job, we can kiss that referral goodbye. Or worse, we risk seeing our company name somewhere on the internet with a negative review. We're well aware, it takes only two seconds to use a mouse and a few keyboard clicks to tell the world you either enjoyed your experience or you didn't.

Being good at what you do is a great feeling. Making your clients happy is an even better feeling. It's the reason we offer free workshops, detailed forms, consultations and package options that suit our clients' needs. We want to get that experience just right and our company has built its positive reputation on serving our customers with respect, professionalism and care.

But, there comes a time, when to provide the best experience, businesses like ours need their customers to take an active role in the process. If you're the type of client who needs to be poked and prodded, emailed and called repeatedly or shows a lack of interest in the success of your own event, even the most experienced DJ's will be challenged to live up to your expectations.

We all make mistakes, but when both parties are actively involved in the planning process, those mistakes don't happen nearly as often. The result is a better party.

An Example 

Let's create a scenario we should all be able to understand. This actually happened, but we'll leave out and names and specifics, because, at the end of the day we learn from every experience and would never want to have our clients actions publicly discussed or our clients embarrassed.

Suppose Client "A", hires DJ "B". Client "A" had a great deal of time between the initial deposit and meeting of DJ "B" and their event — time enough to be invited to a free workshop held by DJ "B", to properly fill out the detailed forms provided by DJ "B", and time to ask questions of DJ "B", relaying any concerns.

Yet, for some reason, Client "A" RSVP'd to the free workshop but chose not to attend. Client "A" declined to fill out these forms until asked more than three times and Client "A" left blank, areas of the form that were critical for DJ "B" to know. Client "A" even later admitted that they didn't feel as though it was essential to fill out everything.

Who's to blame?

That's a tricky question to answer. On the surface, you may ask, why does Client "A" not do any of the things so clearly created to help them during their planning process? You may also ask, why doesn't DJ "B" just go with the flow? Can't they adjust on the fly, read the crowd or just use their expertise to make it fun for everyone?

In a way, both questions have merit. The problem for DJ "B" is that in a lot of cases, going with the flow can work well and the event is smooth sailing. In this particular case, the party was actually a pretty good one. Other times, a DJ can try their best and without prior direction, it just doesn't meet client expectations. Again, in this case, the client was disappointed.

At the end of the day, DJ "B" can't force Client "A" to put the necessary effort into their own event. Doing so makes DJ "B" appear pushy, strict or demanding. In and industry where the DJ is supposed to be fun and outgoing, the contrast created by putting their foot down before an event begins can make everything awkward. Even if things go well, they are often remembered as being too direct or demanding leading up to the day.

DJ "B" can't also read the minds of each client, their guests and the vision that Client "A" has had since they started planning. DJ "B" will have numerous requests from numerous people, be pulled in different directions, asked to do a variety of jobs and entertain an entire crowd. Therefore, DJ "B" is left with two options.

DJ "B" can either demand Client "A" to do what's required, thus risking angering Client "A" or DJ "B" can hope and pray things go smoothly and the client and their guests are relatively laid back and easy people to satisfy. What if we added a wrinkle? What if Client "A" expected perfection, yet still declined to provide what was needed? It sounds unreasonable, right? Yet, this is something businesses like ours deal with all the time.

The Reality of Today

Most of our clients are great. They understand why we ask for them to get involved and they like that we do. At the same time, more and more clients are unwilling to put in more than just the minimum amount of effort required. They want now, they want easy, they want someone else to do their work for them.

We understand how busy people's lives can get, but it's difficult to understand this no effort mentality considering the money being spent and time being allotted to make the event special. In a society run by technology and solving problems from afar, a lot of people don't want a personal connection.

Here's what we tell our clients. No matter how organized we both are, if you expect perfection, you're going to be let down. If you expect near perfection and aren't willing to do the work we ask our clients to do, you're going to be disappointed in the outcome. If you don't care, we still do; but we can't predict the future of your event. If none of that tells you that being prepared and organized is an important step in planning any event, you should probably hire another company.

Are We a Bunch of Jerks?

Asking our clients to put in a little effort may come across as "jerky". We may sound arrogant, demanding or strict, but I can promise you, it's for the betterment of your event. For us, the forms, workshops and consultations we provide are a result of over 18 years experience in this industry. We've learned, and sometimes the hard way, that this communication is not just necessary, but critical.

We request certain things from our clients because we know even when we're organized, mistakes can still happen. Can you imagine the errors that could take place if we weren't as organized as we are? We also understand every event will include one or more of the below items:

  • People who are drinking and/or intoxicated
  • People who are emotional
  • People who have envisioned this day for years before it happened
  • People who feel they invested a lot of time and money into this particular event
  • Guests who have come a long way to enjoy a night
  • People with varied tastes and no interest in opposing views

Being A DJ Isn't Easy

Rewarding your employees with a fun evening is important. So too, an event like a wedding has so many moving parts, even the best and most experienced businesses can have their hands full trying to navigate through all of these obstacles.

We truly believe that every business to client relationship is a mix of understanding and communication. We are strict in the detail we bring to our staff and we want clients to know, these requirements make your event easier, fun and worry-free.

A good DJ is about much more than just getting on some music or a few requests. It's about working with a crowd, creating emotion, finding a happy medium for everyone and providing what we call an "entertainment experience".

It's Your Event... What do You Want?

At the end of the day, which DJ would you want? One that understands everyone makes mistakes, but you can minimize them simply by being organized? Perhaps that created another 30 minutes worth of work for you. Maybe you even found us demanding when we requested you fill out everything required. We apologize in advance, but we're still going to ask you to do so.

Or, would you prefer a DJ who didn't care and winged it? A DJ who probably played songs you didn't like, didn't know who to go to with questions, missed cues by a couple seconds, mispronounced names and had no idea what was on your agenda that night.

Everyone makes mistakes. We do, you do, venues do and planners do. We truly believe that if everyone realizes mistakes can happen, but they are minimized by being organized, diligent and prepared, we'll take the demanding DJ every time. We can only hope as our customer, you agree.