Saturday , 2 August 2014
Imagine you’re a customer shopping for the perfect handmade gift for your Mom for Mother’s day. You’ve searched through several shops, & finally narrow your choices down to two.

Before, During, and After a Sale – Great Customer Service

Mad Hatter's Tea Party/Alice in Wonderland SIGNS

Mad Hatter's Tea Party/Alice in Wonderland SIGNS

Imagine you’re a customer shopping for the perfect handmade gift for your Mom for Mother’s day. You’ve searched through several shops, & finally narrow your choices down to two.

The first store has great pictures, a detailed description, & a “buy now” button to make it easy.

The second store has great pictures & a detailed description including their payment, shipping, and return policies. They also include additional items that coordinate with the item you’re interested in, & they too have a “buy now” button to make it easy to purchase.

But, you just can’t seem to decide among the two so you opt for buying both products. It’s for you Mom anyway, & she’s worth it. Once your payment clears with the first shop, you get a message saying “Thank you for your order.” Then you purchase from the second shop, & they send you a message that tells you when your order is expected to ship & that if you have any questions to contact them at their email address.

Which shop sounds more customer friendly to you? Which would you return to?

Many times the subject of customer service is overlooked. We’re all about presenting a great product that people will want to buy, but we forget to make the experience of buying our product simple & easy.

You can never be too specific or too detailed as to what your customer needs to know & do next. Don’t just assume it’s clear on how to buy from you. We as the business owners know exactly what is supposed to happen & what to do because we designed it & we look at it often. It seems obvious to us, but customers don’t always see it that way.

This is important no matter what kind of business you have or what you sell. Maybe you have an online shop where you sell tangible items, maybe you sell online digital items, or you may even have a brick and mortar store. It doesn’t matter. You need to be awesome at customer service because you want your customers to come back for more & to spread the word about you, right?

So the best way to nail customer service is to think of the customers experience before, during, and after their purchase. Think through the process, simplify it, and detail it for them.

Before

Whether you have an online shop or a brick & mortar store, do customers know what you offer in your shop at first glance? Is your brand visible & effective? Is it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for? Do you have things organized & accessible? Are your policies visible?

You want to make your customers feel at home & let them know if they’re in the right place or not. Don’t waste their time. You want them to know that shopping in your shop will be a breeze.

During

So your customer decides you have what they’re looking for & they decide to stick around & shop with you. Again, no matter the kind of shop you have, you need to help your customer with every little detail.

You need to show them your products. Up close, far away, from the front, from the back, at different angles, the details, in its packaging, it being used, etc.

You need to describe the product. What it’s made from, what ways it can be used, it’s size, who it’s for, other items it coordinates with, & so on & so forth.

You should inform customers of how you ship, when you ship, how you package the item, & what to do if they want expedited shipping or insurance. What about returns, refunds, & exchanges…super important!

Is it obvious where the customer needs to go to checkout? Do you include what types of payments you accept?

After

So your customer decided to buy your great product! Their payment clears, & they receive their receipt/invoice. Do you include a message thanking them for their purchase? Do you include one or more ways to get in touch with you if they need to? Do you let them know when they should expect to receive their item? What about including a coupon code for their next purchase?

Again, you can never be too specific or too detailed as to what your customer needs to know & do next. Don’t just assume it’s clear on how to buy from you. This is especially important with online selling. Help your customer to feel comfortable & confident purchasing from you, & they’ll be sure to return bringing friends with them!

Tell me how you provide awesome customer service in your business in the comments below. blog ad1

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23 comments

  1. Thank you for the refresher reminds concerning making your customers happy…

  2. Thank you for the refresher reminder concerning making your customers happy…

  3. You are so welcome Dora!

  4. This is wonderful advice! I see several areas where I should update my descriptions to include my turnaround time and return options. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the article. I do see some areas of improvment that I will begin to work on in my shop.

    Cat

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/barncatstudio

  6. All is in the details.

  7. I have always tried to give good customer service but am getting better thanks to tips and reminders from people like you!

    Thanks!
    Karen

  8. I hope my customer service helps my customers have a very pleasant experience
    shopping with needles1. I try very hard.

  9. Thanks for posting this…I have been revisiting this topic with my business and looking for ways to make my customers’ experience even easier. You made several great points, and showm me a few new ways I could improve things. Thanks!

  10. Great advice! Thanks for this! :)

  11. Is it OK to contact a customer via their emaill to tell them of recently listed items thay might be interested in? Or to tell them about a sale in progress?

    Thanks for your article and reply.

    • I would say no personally & I think if you’re on Etsy, they have rules about not doing that either. Here’s what I’d suggest. Once a customer places an order, you can email {or convo} them, thanking them for the order & letting them know when it will ship. Then go ahead & ask them if they’d like to sign up for your monthly, weekly, bi-monthly {whatever you want} email newsletter to stay up-to-date on new products, sales, & promotions for your shop. Give them a link to your newsletter signup page so they can subscribe.

      Just because they were a past customer doesn’t mean they want an email from you about new shop updates…they need to give you permission first.

      HTH! xo,Meagan

  12. @ Sassy ssssstudio ~ If I have an item that I know a customer will love I contact them. I even send them a link to the item. They are always happy that I did. I also send along a coupon code for them to use. I leave an open coupon code running for repeat customers to use anytime.

    Same with a sale. I will contact customers to advise of a sale or upcoming sale.

    Thanks for the great article.

    I am currently doing all that you have pointed out here and it seems to be working great. ♥

  13. I write a thank you card with each order! I have a girlfriend who will buy stuff just to get the card!

  14. Some great points here! Thanks so much for the tips.

  15. I’ve only sold 11 items so far at my shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/Naturesgiving. Reading these articles, I have lots of work to do to get my shop more customer friendly. Thank you so much for all these helpful tips!

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