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Would you rather deal with a person or a company?


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Many merchants here are in real life a single person, a married couple, or in some cases a family or small group of friends working together, but often people choose to present themselves as a corporation...  and when talking to customers behave as though they are a CSR for this company.

It seems to be the default choice for SL businesses.

Lately I have been feeling this style is a little cold.... and perhaps not even what most customers would prefer!

Reality is there are very few actual corporations here (with a few big noticable obvious exceptions) so most of us could just treat this as more friendly person-to-person business. For example instead of presenting myself as "The LOLO Pet Shop" I could just present myself as a designer/artist who loves to make stuff for people to enjoy. It would actually be tricky I think to highlight the person behind the shop, pretending it is a company is just easier to accomplish.

I've thought of this before & not sure how it might be done actually!

I could even see some people avoiding apparent companies & corporations as they want to solidy know they are supporting independents, supporting the small individual. What do you think?

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Just because you present yourself as a 'company' doesn't mean you have to be cold.

I think it is a thin line that you walk along to do this but you can actually be professional and friendly at the same time. I think being chatty and not going straight to the sale helps a lot....:matte-motes-asleep-2:

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I have noticed that individuals give better service. Even if it is someone with a small chop it is usually better.I think because they are trying to make a name for themselves and want to really prove their worth.

YOu take these bigger companies in SL, often times you cannot even get ahold of the creator if you have issues or questions.

 

I will say the above two are not always the case, but kind of a general rule. I have had bad service from "people" but then had good service from some big established places like Depoz or IOP.

 

Given my druthers I would take an individual though.

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Good question! I never thought much about it, other than I buy from a person or company that I believe I can trust.

Reputation, integrity, honesty, good manners ... those are important whether I buy from a big company or small one. Honesty would mean accurately communicating the size of the business and accurately setting my expectations for customer service, as well as accurately representing the products. Big companies can manage 24/7 coverage, the small companies rarely can and I do not expect them too.

When it comes to renting a sizable piece of land or buying an expensive tool, I might be more inclined to go with a larger company, with a longer history, because of the investment, but my transaction history says that I do not always take that into account ... and for the most part, have still been very happy with the purchase.

As a shop owner ... when I chose a name for my shop, I used my initials in the name because I am a sole proprietor ... never thought to represent my store as a corporation. I am one person, not 10 people, and that means it is impossible for me to be instantly available to customers for customer service purposes. I always try to make it clear, in conversations and even in my profile I think, that I will respond to messages the second I am inworld and aware that someone has questions. But it can be even up to a day or two, depending on RL. I completely understand the folks who choose to buy from a larger, more stable and reputable company. LOL, I keep my prices low in recognition of that fact ... I can not provide the same value in customer service that a larger company can.

 

 

 



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Its likely illegal to claim to be a company or corporation if not actually registered with some lawful jursidiction as such.

You can operate as a personal business or general partnership without liscence. But to claim to be a company requires filing on record with a real life governmental body somewhere in the world.

Every 'player of this MMO' that puts 'inc.' after their shop name could technically be hauled before a court - unless they're doing it in a RP sim as part of the RP and not actually conducting business. Likewise to call oneself a company and so forth.

 

As for all the people who call themselves 'we' when really speaking about an 'I' - that's just immature silliness.

Unless there's two or more of you, I'm Lol'ing inside anytime I see someone refer tothemselves as 'we'.

 

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Whether small, big or in-between, I think common courtesy is a what matters.  Treating someone the way you would want to be treated.   Also, im's get capped, so drop them a note card instead.  Also, I came across an item on Marketplace I liked and in the advert of the item, the creator stated she could alter it your liking.  I thought that was cool that she's ready to work with her customers one-on-one to individualize an item. 

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I represent myself as the CEO of Kusom Klassics where we sell cars, make custom cars and run a race track. We have employees dedicated to specific jobs, like sales and rental management. I handle most of the customer service and tech issues. I like to think we offer fantastic customer support. Its one of my pet peaves. If I can't help the person I will get the owner involved. But we prefere they go through me or the person in charge of that department so the owner can work to keep the sim running.

I also help build the cars, do custom paint and handle all the staff issues. But I will drop what I am doing to help a customer.

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it's all RP inworld as far as whoever would be concerned with what someone calls what they do in here..

second life merchants are not subject to local or state or federal income tax..not until they cash out..which is the actual point that it becomes income..what they call themselves after that could possibly be subject to a business license depending on thier location and the laws of the local,the county and the state..

if they are on an external website taking rl money for items in world and giving them items in world  in exchange..thats also a real world business..

second life is pretty much just considered entertainment..

 

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  • Lindens

For me, it really depends on specific interaction style, regardless of person/company. There's also the perception that a "small business" is a lot more down-to-earth and approachable than a "megacorporation". And some SL businesses present themselves as a lot more fun and responsive than others.

What I also appreciate is when a person and company make it clear they're linked, like on the Marketplace where brands are often named differently than their creator, and to complicate matters, with display names, you can change your name.

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Thanks Torley! Love your videos by the way :matte-motes-grin:

Yes, I guess that is what I am thinking to do lately is, just as you say, create more of a link to myself as the designer & not just be another brand name. Not sure how to do it really..... A brand name could just be anything ya know & I want to highlight what we do is all designs myself & partner make, just the two of us together.... & create a more heartful connection with people.

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