‘Tis the Season: Tips for Great Customer Service

With the holiday season ramping up, it’s imperative for small businesses to beef up their customer service.  Customers will remember how well they were treated and sometimes going that extra step could mean a repeat sale down the road.

Here are some great customer service tips to utilize this season

  • Respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner.  I try to respond to all Etsy conversations and emails by the end of that business day.  If I’m tied up with something I send them a quick response letting them I’ll get back to them within “xx” amount of time.  For me, having a smartphone makes this much easier — I get email notifications to my phone instead of sitting down at the computer every hour or so to check email.
  • Keep your listings current.  Make sure your clients can see exactly which options you have on hand (fabric, colors, etc.).
  • Notify buyers of your current lead times.  This can easily be included in your item listing, your shop policies or your shop announcement.  KEEP THIS CURRENT!  Often times people are buying items for a specific event; if you say the item will ship within 7-10 business days, make sure it does.
  • Acknowledge each order.  Sometimes this just means a quick email/convo saying you received the order.  This way the buyer knows it went through correctly.
  • Send a Thank You note with your shipment.  I bought 100 postcards and envelopes from Vistaprint to use.  They have a very basic design: my trademark black floral scroll (from my header) and a simple “Thank You” on the front of the card; the back is blank for a short, hand written note.  My cost came out to be about $0.15 per card, envelope included.
  • Include a packing slip.  If for some reason your package is damaged and comes open, the courier used has a better chance of putting the package back together.
  • Make your packaging look fantastic.  For ideas on how to implement this, read my post, “Pretty Packages“.
  • Spend the money and put a tracking number on all packages.  If you use Paypal to print shipping labels it only costs $0.19 if using First Class Mail, it’s free when shipping via Priority Mail.
  • Let the client know when their package ships.  Send them the tracking number so they can watch their package and know when to expect it.  If the sale was paid for through Paypal, and you print the shipping label directly from the transaction, the buyer will be notified via email automatically.

In doing these little gestures, hopefully every buyer can feel how much their order is appreciated.

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