Canadian Music Trade - June/July 2017 - Page 33

lesson room MP: When somebody walks in the store, my objective is to have them feel my vision before they talk to anybody. When staff answer the phone, I want the way they answer the phone to impact the listener. When somebody walks in, I want them to see we’re meticulous in the layout. But one of the things we do is I have a pretty large vinyl collection because I’m from that era, and we have vinyl all over both stores. No matter where you go, the great albums from the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s – well I guess I’d stop at the ‘70s be- cause there are no great albums in the ‘80s [laughs] – so you know, Earth Wind & Fire, James Taylor, James Brown, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and all of those are all over the walls on any floor and in any room. And the only room that doesn’t have a lot of records is the listening room and the focus in the listening room is simple. You’ve got a Beatle wall that is about 15 ft. wide by 12 ft. high and it mimics The Cavern Club that The Beatles played in. The fun part about that is I had art students from the high schools come in and paint logos on the wall. So we had to take the 100 most recognizable names and talk about why they were iconic. So we used it as a class and then when somebody plays the room, they sign the wall, so there is a ritual there… The store has a character and that’s what I mean by “impact.” You’ve got about six seconds to make somebody feel when they come in, and if they don’t feel good, they’re not going to interact with you. So our way is to embrace and educate and service. CMT: What other services do you provide to enhance the customer experience? MP: I was at a home last night because any time we sell a drum set, we deliver it and I do that personally because that’s my instrument of trade. So here we have a 10-year-old boy who has had a lawn business and he’s bought his own kit from us. So at 8 p.m. last night, I take it over to the house and I go through and I take two hours to go through every lug and how it works and how to tune it, what does this, what does that, and his father is standing there with me. He is like, “I cannot believe that you provide this service,” and I said, “We have families that stay with us a long time and the reason they stay with us and do the other programs and buy other instruments for other siblings, or whatever, is simple. It’s service.”… But the parents are very moved by that and the next thing you know, they’re writing you thank you blogs and stuff like that and it helps to clarify the differentiation between you and anybody else who’s doing it… As I said to the dad last night, and he was stupefied at what he had just witnessed, and I said, “Well just remember, if you’d ordered it on the internet, that wouldn’t have happened.” He was like, “Wow, there is a huge difference.” I said, “There is an old-fashioned term for it and it’s called ‘service.’” CMT: What would you say is the gov- erning philosophy for CMC? MP: That’s a great question. The ultimate flag of success is not selling a piece of gear; it’s when you see Michael League [of Snarky Puppy] get his third Grammy and know that he studied guitar at the store. That speaks to the teacher, it speaks to Michael, and it speaks to the fact we could attract a young student like that in the beginning… Ultimately, if you’ve done your job well, you’ve helped the music industry and that’s really what this is about. This is about protecting something that we’ve begun to not be able to differentiate how special it is. So for me, it’s leaving it slightly better than it is today. If it’s slightly better tomorrow because we’ve put this much work into it and you have families – and at this point we have somewhere between 500 and 600 students come into the stores – and you want those families touched because you hope that they can pass that on. You hope that they do something. Michael League, every time you listen to a Snarky Puppy song, it’s expressing something that helps the entire industry. If you go see our guys play locally, you rock camp realize that these are just premium people and we re just so excited to have relation- ships with these phenomenal educators. If I make a 10-year-old kid feel special because I’ve set up a drum set for him last night and he knows the next time he cuts grass that that really did matter, then we’re affecting the outcome and that’s really the governing mission. It is to just make people realize that this whole thing is special and that we can contribute to it or be critical of things around it. We hope that we can get people in touch with that creative opportunity. That’s the big part – that we’re trying to advance creativity and expression. We’re just part of that; we’re just a note in the symphony, but we hope to be the one that makes the ending sound good, right, as opposed to the one that’s played wrong [laughs]. Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Canadian Music Trade. CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 33