Turn Around Time and Customer Service
The average turn around time with an Etsy seller is 7-14 business days. My average turn around time is 2-7 days. The most pressure I put on my shop is in this department. In today’s time it seems customer service is something so far gone that when people find it they cherish it and want to return for more.
The amazing thing with a hand crafted business is building relationships with your customers and so they want to continue to go to your shop because at this point and all the hard work you have put in, they know you, they know your story. The biggest selling point of a hand crafted business is details. Little Details.
I let customers know immediately after a purchase how much I appreciate their hard earn dollars being spent in my shop and thank them for supporting my dream. As I am making their items I keep in constant contact with them so they know where there order is in the process of creating. Before I ship their item I send them a final thank you again and ask for their approval before shipping to make sure I didn’t miss any thing. (Common times you will miss something small to add or customize and your time is valuable, so these steps help in not only saving you a second shipping fee but also the hard hours that go into creating each piece.)
Lets hit some key points of EXCELLENT customer service.
- Answer promptly to all emails.
- Answer with a smile. Friendly, happy to help, and eager to learn about what your customer needs.
- Most people do not read the descriptions, so if they ask a question, like how many ounces a mug is, answer them instead of referring them to your description.
- Send a package swoon worthy. You want people to brag about you to their friends, to smile when they first open up the package! Make it pretty, get creative and have fun with this step!
- Create positive reviews – Your shop depends on the 5 star reviews. Doing the above will help to ensure you receive these. A lot of people do not leave any reviews, do not take this personally, they are just busy and don’t read the “after review” email Etsy sends out! The simple and sweet emails they send saying Thank you I love it I will occasionally throw on my instagram stories showing people snippets of my work life! (Social Media Marketing.)
Now to the dreary and dreaded….The people you can never please. There out there. You will not make every encounter happy. There will come a time and a place someone will be unsatisfied you chose pink instead of yellow tissue paper. *sarcasm here* They Sting.
Don’t stress about it too much. Don’t curl up in a ball with ice cream and empty your tissue box for it, although being real I may have done this once. JUST ONCE. Even the most successful people receive bad reviews. It all boils down to human nature that we can not please everyone and certain souls just do not jive. DO NOT ANSWER UNTIL THE NEXT DAY….Promptness goes bye bye in a negative situation. Let your self find a solution that you know is your best. Offer to make something new and free to them, Offer a Refund. If these things do not defuse the situation, there is a reply section on the Etsy Reviews for anything under 3 stars you can publicly respond with how you tried to come to a solution and offer excellent customer service. A buyer wants to be ensured if a hiccup happens you are the type of character to stand by your word and fix the problem. With a hand crafted business the customer is always right. By then, you will already think more clearly and your writing will be less affected by your emotions.
Learn. A negative review often reveals imperfections in your shop which you can grow to adapt your products, process, shipping, accordingly for a more efficiently ran shop. Trial and Error my friends! For example, when I first started doing vinyl and hand painted I would make sure to label my description which it was. I made a deer coffee mug for $14.00 out of vinyl and sealed it and shipped it all pretty. I have had several 5 star ratings on this EXACT item, personally I think its cute as a button. Then came….we will call her Jane…..Jane was not happy and short from the beginning. She was buying this as a mediocre fathers day gift because she was mad at her dad and did not want to spend over $15 on him. (This is the story she tells me.) I had a feeling she might not be my picture perfect client. None the less I did my deal and tried to remain positive and light along the way. When review time came 1 star with horrible things to say about the mug. (Al though she sent me an email shortly after thanking me for such an affordable cute gift.) Once I replied attaching our emails she immediately deleted her review. This was my ice cream in a ball night.
You can’t expect everyone to know the heart, blood, sweat, and tears that go into a hand crafted, or at that, any entrepreneur type business. You answer to you. There is no 9 – 5, clock out clock in. It is up to you the amount of your success.
The solution to an imperfect situation is very personal. You have to decide what is right for your business. Do not always feel pressured to cancel and refund the customer though. We can become so scared about the bad review that “teach” the customers it is OK to simply complain and get their money back, even sometimes without returning the product. FREEBIE!!! Who wouldn’t complain just to get the goods free of cost? This does not guarantee a change in the review anyway. First, try to resolve the problem with the customer if possible through the conversations app. Take responsibility where needed.
We will use my son’s school motto to close this out, because really, keep it simple.
Be Kind, Work Hard, Do Your Best.
– Treat people the way you would want to be treated in a business setting. Go above and beyond to make sure each client feels like the King or Queen that she or he is! Know that they work just as hard for their dollar as you do for yours and they are choosing to spend that money with your business!