For me, good customer service is an absolute must. I might love your product, but if you treat me badly I probably won’t be back. Likewise, even if there is a problem with an order, if you have a quality product, treat me well and quickly resolve any issues, you can bet I’ll be back again.
As we’re taught from the time we’re little kids “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. I strongly believe this and want all my customers to know they are important to me. I will do all I can to see they walk away from their Beads-N-Style shopping experience with a smile on their face.
Here are the 5 things I do to ensure that smile is there each and every time:
Prompt Replies to Etsy Convos/Emails/Phone Calls
Any messages from customers that I receive via Etsy convos, emails, or phone calls I respond to promptly. For me that means within 2-4 hours. There are two exceptions to this rule… 1) messages received overnight may not be answered in 2-4 hours, but are answered first thing when I set down at my desk the next morning and, 2) those received over the weekend may not always be answered within 2-4 hours depending on where I am at the time they are received. It is rare, but if I don’t respond at all over the weekend, it will always be answered first thing Monday morning.
Return & Exchange Policy
I have created a return and exchange policy for each of my online selling venues and review it from time to time to be sure it is still relevant, it is clear, and that it is fair to the customer.
At the same time, I realize that any policy is not going to be the best for every single situation that will arise. I follow my policy but am willing to make adjustments when those rare situations arise.
I always ship as soon as is possible. Most of my orders ship same day and the rest will usually ship the next day. Orders placed after 4:00pm on Friday will ship on Monday.
For those rare situations where this is just not possible, I have set my shipping policies to state that I ship in 1-3 business days. This way if I’m running behind for some reason, I still meet my shipping policy. For the majority that ship same or next day, I have a pleasantly surprised customer when the package arrives earlier than expected.
I don’t use pretty ribbons and wrapping paper to ship my jewelry in — I’ve chosen to save money there so the cost of the product can be a bit lower for the customer.
However, I know that it is important that the packaging be neat, the item be protected and that there is contact/shop information included in the packaging.
This is what you will get in a package from Beads-N-Style:
- Packaging that is neat – I take care to keep invoices, envelopes and jewelry bags neat and unbent. I also take time to carefully place all items in the envelope rather than placing haphazardly in the envelope.
- Ample protection for the jewelry being shipped – I use shipping envelopes that are lined with bubble wrap that protects the jewelry from rough handling as it moves through the postal process. Each item purchased is individually sealed in a clear plastic bag with a ziploc closure.
- Information about the item purchased – each package contains information about the benefits of wearing magnetic jewelry and cleaning information for the jewelry. I also enclose a hard copy of the sales invoice.
- Contact Information – I include my company logo and contact information on the information card and I include a business card with that same information (it is also important these all have a consistent look and feel). For me, that contact information includes the company name, email address, toll free phone number, mailing address, and both my Etsy shop and my website. The next time I order business cards, I will also include my blog URL.
Learn from Complaints
As much as I would like to live in my own little perfect world and believe there will never be any complaints about my jewelry, I know that is just not going to happen. There will be complaints that I need to listen to and complaints that are specific to a particular customer.
When I do receive a complaint, I try to listen/read that complaint carefully and slowly to be sure I understand. This alleviates any misunderstandings in my reply and, in those cases where I customer has been rude or is very upset, it ensures I don’t respond based on hurt feelings or anger. I know I need to leave my emotions completely out of the response.
If a complaint comes in more than once, I listen even more closely and think about whether or not I should make a change. For example, when I first began selling my jewelry I received several complaints about the bracelets breaking at the clasp. It wasn’t the majority of the time, but it was more than once. This caused me to re-evaluate how I am securing the bracelet at the clasp. I made a change and I no longer receive that complaint.
Customer service is a big deal and it pays to closely watch this part of running any business.
What customer service practices are the most important to you?