Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

excellent customer service is the number one way to ensure happy customers, repeat business and a profitable business.  as small business owners, we’re lucky to be able to make all the customer service decisions ourselves! it’s solely up to us how we want to deal with certain situations and what kind of relationships we want to build with our clients.  how lucky we are!  today, i’ll share my 5 suggestions on how to be a customer service whiz.

dreaming

1. think like the customer. reflect on you own buying experiences.  what made them wonderful, or maybe less than desirable?  after you’ve decided what other businesses have done that make you feel really happy and satisfied (or the opposite), visit your shop like a customer.  can you switch the roleplay?  how does browsing your shop make you feel?  do you feel welcome, at ease, and satisfied with the information provided?  if not, make sure to edit the necessary areas.

forest.

2. provide thorough information. your shop welcome, item descriptions and policies page are the perfect place to provide your shoppers with all relevant info.  make sure to outline exactly what the customer can expect in the policies section (shipping info, payment methods accepted, return policy etc.).  in your item descriptions, give them more info than the bare minimum. things you can add to the essentials (i.e. dimensions, weight etc) are the feel of it, the texture, what inspired you and ideas of how they might use the item.  get creative and make sure that the shopper has fun reading your descriptions.  the best rule of thumb, is try to answer as many potential questions as you can, right in your shop.

BIG SMOKE

3. go the extra mile.  adding little ‘extras’ to your buyer’s shopping experience goes further than you might expect.  treat them with special care and show them that you’ve thought things through.  special packaging will let them know you took the extra time to make their ‘opening’ experience special, and adding a little freebie and thank you note will send them over the top.  if you make shopping with your business fun, you can bet they’ll spread the word, and likely be back!

grunge typewriter

4. communication. having a conversation with each buyer will help their shopping experience become personable.  be prompt in replying to convos and help each customer feel like you have all the time in the world to dedicate to them.  make sure to send an immediate thank you for items purchased and include all relevant info, especially the estimated ship date.  checking in with them after they should have recieved the item will let them know that you truly care and that you’re there for them.  also, be careful to maintain an upbeat, friendly tone no matter what you’re discussing with your buyer, it will make all the difference!

the playing bird original drawing

5. learn to appreciate a complaint. occasionally, you may get a complaint or two.  now’s your opportunity to really excel at providing excellent customer service!  remember, to always use positive language and go the extra mile to ensure they have a happy experience.  you may end up losing a buck or two or maybe the entire sale, but statistics show a dissatisfied consumer will share their lament with 8-10 people and some will push that number to twenty.  the good news is 8 out of 10 customers will shop again with a business if their complaint is resolved in their favor relatively quickly (stats from how stuff works).  to me, that’s worth considering doing everything you can to send them away with a positive experience.  after it’s resolved, take what you can from the complaint as a positive learning experience, and move on!

do you have any customer service tips?  share in the comment section!


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5 comments

comments

  • Thanks for sharing some great tips, Bonnie. :)

    I have a question… I don’t take the time to send people an immediate thank-you convo with shipping info, because (a) I use feedback as my tool for letting customers know I’ve seen their order, (b) I don’t have estimated shipping dates, I just do it within the 5 biz days as stated in my Policies, and usually much quicker than 5 days…. and (c) it annoys me to have a million “thanks, shipping tuesday!” convos in my inbox, so I don’t feel like using my time to write a convo that might annoy someone else.

    What do you think? Should I get over it, and write the thank-you anyway? When I ship, they get a Paypal email with the tracking info/customs number, so they know I’ve seen it and shipped it. If it’s going to be closer to that 5 days until it ships, I usually send a convo/email letting them know when my shipping day is, and that they’ll receive an email from Paypal.

    Should I put that information in my shop announcement/item listings… OR should I buck up and send those little convos?

    … in your honest opinion. :) Thanks! I appreciate your POV! XO, Anna

  • Thanks for this article. There were a few tips in there that I hadn’t thought about. :)

  • hi anna! thank you for bringing a different perspective to the table! here are my thoughts:

    first, do you leave immediate feedback? if so, that does allow them to see you’ve seen the order, but your transaction isn’t complete yet. so, though the chances are rare, you might like to leave different feedback after the entire transaction is complete?

    my general feeling is that more people like to get officially thanked and acknowledged, than those who get annoyed. you could certainly leave out the follow up, but i still suggest sending a quick thank you. i just noticed the other day that in your etsy settings, you can type a generic thank you to be sent automatically when someone purchases something from you. you could type it here once, and then forget about it! say something like, “Thank you so much for your purchase! It will ship within 5 business days (usually sooner) and you will receive a paypal invoice with a tracking number when it ships. I appreciate your business, please let me know if I can do anything else for you! XO, Anna” that way, it’s no work for you, and it let’s them know you received it and the ship date, in case they didn’t catch that in your policies. what do you think? I just try to make shoppers feel warm and fuzzy. :)

    what does everyone else think?

  • Bonnie, good thinking! I do actually have that auto-message set up, which I forgot about, haha. Here’s what it says:

    Thank you so much for supporting me, my shop, and the handmade community! Please see my shop policies for any questions you may have, and let me know your package arrived safely by leaving me feedback. :) XO, Anna

    So I’ll adjust it to reflect shipping info! Aaaaand perfect. :)

    XO, Anna

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