Friday, September 10, 2010

Tips for Etsy Success: The golden rule

We all know the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. Simple, right? Then why do we not always do this?

Tip No. 6: Customer Service

When it comes to business advice, whether for an etsy shop or any business, customer service is hands down the most important thing that needs to be addressed. Customer service is something that I am extremely passionate about. I not only pride myself in it with my etsy shop, but I am constantly critiquing other businesses that I interact with. There is absolutely no excuse not have exceptional customer service. If you do not offer great customer service or have a record of bad or mediocre service, then you should not be in business. Period.

The good news is that good customer service is completely free. It costs nothing to treat your customers with the utmost respect and honesty. When you run an online business, customer service is a little more difficult than if you have a brick and mortar shop simply because there is little to no face-to-face contact. Everything is online and therefore you need to make what little interactions you have with your customers count.

First, let’s take a look at what good customer service is not.

Receiving an order, making it and shipping it out on time is not providing good customer service. Yes, you fulfilled your business order, but nothing above and beyond was done. The bare minimum is not good customer service and does not make a customer feel special.
So, what are some examples of how good customer service can be carried out on etsy?

1. Acknowledge receipt of a new order. When you receive a new order, send the customer a convo or email message telling them that you received the order and what they can expect from you.

2. When you ship the order, include a personalized, hand written thank you note. If you email a product instead of mailing it, send a thank you convo or email.

3. When something goes wrong, and it will, fess up immediately and do whatever it takes to make it right. I truly believe that when something goes wrong, that is your best opportunity to offer exceptional customer service and gain a repeat customer. Everyone makes mistakes and most people are aware of that. Admit your mistake immediately, even if it is before the customer is aware of it, and do whatever it takes to make it right.

4. When a customer sends you an etsy convo or email, respond as soon as you can. No one likes to feel like they are being ignored. If you are on vacation, taking some time off or do not work on weekends, be upfront about this on your shops homepage so that customers know what to expect.

5. Use courteous and kind words when messaging with customers. Remember that the customer cannot see your face or hear your voice so be cautious when choosing your language. If you are prone to sarcasm (as I am), it is best to avoid that in online chat because it can read like unfriendly language to those who do not know you personally.

6. If a customer requests rush shipping, give them the courtesy of sending the tracking number when the item ships.

7. Think about things that other businesses have done to you that you loved. When possible try to recreate those things for your customers.

8. If someone attacks you with a complaint, do not attack them back. Take a moment, gather your thoughts and empathize with where the customer is coming from before you respond. If you were in their shoes, what would you want done to make it right.

When you offer great customer service, you are not only creating repeat customers but you are almost guaranteeing that you will get new customers via word of mouth. Customer service is free and easy but takes practice and effort. The extra time is well worth it and makes the difference between a mediocre shop and a successful shop.

Here is an etsy article that is a great resource: Top 10 Customer Service Strategies



bethany said...

do you write every customer that orders from you to say that you got their order and when it will ship out? I used to do that, but it was really a lot of work when I started getting a ton of orders. Is there a good way to do that without it taking up a lot of time?

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