Maybe your packaging is polished and wonderful – it has all the bells and whistles and you feel proud to stick a shipping label on it, but the 5 star at-a-boy’s (or girl)’s aren’t rolling in quite as fast as you would like.
Here are 8 ways to AMPLIFY the experience you are giving your customer.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as well as a few examples of how I have tackled some of these issues so I make sure my customers are over-the-moon happy with their purchase and experience.
- Does your product show technical mastery and craftsmanship?
- Are there ways you could improve your product to be more aesthetically pleasing, more functional or more cost effective?
Note from Jason: I see it pretty frequently and you probably do, too. . . when you’re looking in someone’s Etsy shop, you see that one product that is substandard as compared to all the other products for sale in the shop. As business owners, we tend to focus on the 99 awesome products in your shop, but when your customer sees the 1 that is mediocre – they remember the mediocre product more heavily than we do. If you have a product in your shop that is substandard compared to the rest – delete the listing now. Not sure if you have one? Ask a friend to tell you what the worst product in your shop is and see what they say.
- Does your photography and description display your product as accurately as possible?
- Does your photography show scale, color, purpose, options (if it is customizable), and clarity?
Note from Jason: I’m glad that Megan mentioned clarity here. Pictures ultimately provide clarity of expectations to the customer. It’s very hard to over clarify with pictures – show it all! No surprises for the customer . . . that includes every product angle.
- Does your product arrive safely in the same condition it was sent?
- Does the packaging show attention to detail?
- Does that packaging show off your brand or logo so that it is memorable?
Note from Jason: In our Amazon Prime world of fast delivery, products waiting on our doorsteps when we arrive at home, and the thrill of “opening something” at the end of a long day. Does your packaging add hype to our new cultural mindset of “yippee a package”?
- Are your policies clear about shipping and production times?
- Do they protect you as a seller from possible issues that may arise?
- Do your policies mention what should happen when a customer isn’t happy with their purchase?
- Are your customers told to contact you with concerns before they leave a negative review?
- Does your customer know that your product was made BY a person, FOR a person?
- Do you answer any questions or concerns promptly?
- Do you include a hand written note?
- Do you wrap your product so that it feels special and customized to the person opening it?
Note from Jason: We are going to continue seeing the trend of 1 on 1 transactional relationships for years to come. You likely can’t overplay this distinctive with your customer.
- Do you add any extras, freebies, or incentives that entice your customer to purchase more?
- Do you ship your product before the date promised?
- Do you offer any services to help your customer through the ordering process?
Note from Jason: I was recently taking a vacation in Florida with my family. We stopped at a sea shell shop to buy some sea shells. With every purchase they included a handful of pretty small shells in the bag. It’s called goodwill. It’s the little thing that completely removes the slight element of buyer’s remorse. It tells the customer. . . Hey, you won this time! You not only bought a great product, but the owner even gave me something else on top of it. . . I really am an awesome customer and know how to buy things online well!
- Is the customer getting your product within the time frame promised?
- Is the customer getting the exact item that is shown in your photo or a very, very comparable replica?
Point of Contact
- Do you encourage your customer to respond in some way?
- Do you ask them to…
- Send a photo?
- Follow you on social media?
- Sign up for a newsletter?
- Tell you how they used the product?
Take the time to evaluate your own customer service:
Pick one area of weakness that you want to improve upon this week. Let us know what it is in the comments below and we’ll give you a virtual fist-bump to get you started!
Need more encouragement? I love the feedback I have personally received from being a Thrive member. Not only does Jason give a lot of attention to and passion to helping Thrivers, but the community alone is invaluable. Surrounding yourself with like-minded passionate makers is key to running a successful business on Etsy. I’m so thankful that Thrive and Etsy-Preneurship has been a go-to resource for ideas on ways to improve my sales and business.
Final Thoughts from Jason:
I view all of these questions as the process of defining operational standards for a business surrounding the bigger goal of “good customer service”. These things will eventually become “institutionalized” into your business so much so that they will eventually run on autopilot.
Autopilot customer service is great and frees your mind to think about other things. I’ve found that after every few months of operating with “autopilot” awesome customer service, that it is beneficial to sit back and look for way to tweak your service levels again.
Evaluate the “why” behind every customer service action you take. Is it making a difference individually or cumulatively that you desire? Remember, small things by themselves might not show a visible result, but many small elements of excellence spread across a period of time through your interactions with a customer accumulate in a positive experience for your customer.
Megan’s attention to detail shows in the customer service she provides through her business. I see this level of professionalism from the way she answers emails, to the way she ask questions in the Etsy-preneurship Thrive group, and even in her product descriptions. Small things in your business do matter. Regards, Jason Malinak CPA of Etsy-preneurship
Megan is a farm girl, pastor’s wife, art teacher turned stay-at-home mom to 3 littles, and Queen of Felt Ball Land (the happiest place on earth.) She helps women create Pinterest-worthy nurseries, playrooms, parties, and mantles with her 100% handmade wool felt ball garlands she sells from her Etsy shop, Sheep Farm Felt.