This one is at the top of the list because in the retail world if you sell long enough, you’re bound to run into a dissatisfied shopper at some point. Sample scenario: a shopper buys something from you, receives it and sends an email requesting a refund. Most sellers have their return policy posted in their “shop policies,” but you may choose to be more accommodating depending on the situation. My goal is to keep the customer happy. It’s up to you if you can afford to take a loss on an item in order to keep a customer smiling. The most important thing to remember when asking questions about what they might not like about the item you’ve made is – don’t get personal! They don’t dislike you. I’ve found some people just imagine things one way in their mind and when they receive it in person they would be let down no matter what. You could offer to make a new item, modify the existing item, or give a refund less shipping. Compromise can be very tricky, but I’ve found when you go the extra mile for a shopper they almost always shop with you again.
Etsy’s feedback system is a wonderful way to make sure you are shopping with a reputable seller. When you have an unhappy shopper on your hands, it can feel like you’re being held hostage by feedback. Here are a few scenarios:
A shopper wants a refund on an item but you’re unable to accommodate them, and they leave you negative feedback. If you try your hardest to make a customer happy but they aren’t willing to meet you in the middle, they may leave you a negative feedback. It’s up to you at this point to decide whether giving them what they want is worth it. That 100% positive feels really important to me as a seller, but I also have to do what’s right for me as a business owner. Even though my heart tells me to stick to my guns, sometimes it helps to swallow your pride and stick to business.
Scenario 2: A shopper purchases an item, and then leaves negative feedback with no communication. Some shoppers don’t understand how a negative feedback can impact your livelihood. Some may not even notice this is public information. If a shopper leaves you a negative or neutral feedback, you may choose to contact them to work it out. Contact the shopper as soon as possible to see if you can remedy the situation and “kiss and make up”. If the customer didn’t ask for a refund, you can offer them one if you’re able. You might choose to throw in an extra item or store credit, or even give them the item free of charge. It’s a tough spot to be in, and you don’t want to get taken for a ride. Weigh your options and proceed with something that works for you and your shop. Without getting too personal, you might explain to the shopper what this negative feedback means to your business. Remind them that while they might not be happy with the item, you are trying to provide them with excellent customer service.
Have you found yourself in any of these situations? If so, how did you handle it? Let me know if you have any worst case scenarios you’d like me to write about next week!