A 5 star rating can feel almost as good as a sale. It’s like a virtual fist bump – helping to build credibility and trust with future customers.
I went from a 12% (approximately 1 in 10 customers) feedback rating to 27% (about 1 in 4) and here’s how…
An Epiphany in the Bathroom…
“My husband surprised me with an evening away from our three young children (insert Hallelujah Chorus), and he booked us a room in a 3 star hotel. It wasn’t anything too fancy or expensive, but it was nice enough to seem like a treat.
In addition to the added bonus of there being no Cheerios or Legos to step on, I felt like I was staying at a 5 star resort as soon as I went into the bathroom.
The glass cups were lined up nicely with paper caps on the tops (as they should be),
the sink, bath, wastebasket, and toilet were all clean (as they should be),
the towels and washcloths were neatly stacked (as they should be).
So what was the big deal?”
The end of the toilet paper was folded!
This may not seem like a grand gesture to you, but to me, it was that last 10 seconds of cleaning that the housekeeper took that said to me,
“I’m doing this for you. I’m going above and beyond to make sure your experience in the bathroom is a pleasant one.”
Who knew toilet paper could say so much, right?
That one trip to the restroom gave me three AHA! moments for my Etsy business…
If you want a 5 star review, you have to give your customers a 5 star experience
I believe a review has less to do with the product itself, and more about the experience you give your customer from the click of their mouse to the time your product is in their hands.
Little details can make a huge difference leaving a customer feeling valued and appreciated. If they are satisfied, they are more likely to reward you with a positive review, and more importantly- their repeat business.
To give a customer a 5 star experience, you have to go above and beyond what your customer expects.
“Formula for success: under promise and over deliver.” -Thomas J Peters
Whether it is getting the product to them before the deadline promised, sending them a little something extra, or giving them amazing packaging, leaving them unexpectedly happy will certainly give you a better chance of them leaving a good review.
Note from Jason: Promise adequately and over deliver. I like to set expectations at a level where customers will be satisfied with what I say will be what they experience. Then the little something that puts them over the top is the icing on the cake. If you promise your cake is great, when a customer finds out it comes with icing on top (or the side if that’s your thing) – you’ve not only maintained a level of trust with your customer – you’ve built upon it.
The last 10 seconds you spend with your product impacts the first 10 seconds your customer experiences your product.
I was currently wrapping my packages haphazardly in tissue paper, throwing the receipt in, and calling it done.
However, if I was going to make my customer feel appreciated, I wanted to show forth a bit more effort. I used what I call the “Toilet Paper Model” as a guideline with these criteria:
I came up with a simple and effective system of spending 8¢ and less than 10 seconds to make my products look FANTASTIC, and leave my customers with the warm fuzzies when they open up their package.
And drum roll please…..here’s my solution!
Step 1: Design & Print Your Own Stickers
I love the way that hand stamping looks. Not only does it have perfect little imperfections, it shows forth effort rather than printing from the computer or purchasing pre-made stickers. They will also save you a lot of money over time!
Vistaprint offers an easy tool for designing your own personal stamp. You can upload a logo, add text, or start with a template. They offer coupon codes fairly regularly, so when you can get 40% or 50% off, go and snag one!
I got mine for $17.99 (regularly $30.) It says it will print over 50,000 times. I’ve probably used it over 2,000 times at this point and haven’t had it skip a beat yet. (I’m going to say it’s less than 1¢ a stamp because it will pay for itself over time.)
I purchased my craft stickers from Amazon for $14.99 for 500 of them. (Approximately 3¢ a sticker)
Note from Jason: Amazon offers a lot of different sizes, so you can find a sticker size that fits the size of your product and packaging.
Step 2: Wrap in Tissue Paper
Tissue paper can be purchased at a Dollar Store for about 5¢ a sheet. When wrapping, think, “Toilet Paper Model” and take your time to make it look polished and professional.
Note from Jason: You might also consider wrapping it in colored tissue paper that matches the branding colors of your business. I’m a big proponent of having a set color palette for your business. I have a sheet of paper with all the RGB codes of my color always at the ready in my office for when I create branded materials. Colored paper will be more expensive, but it might boost brand recognition higher in that subliminal world of the mind.
Step 3: Place Sticker On
And give yourself a high-five and a cookie…because self-affirmation is important, and Oreos are delicious.
Note from Jason: I’ve always admired Megan’s packaging of her product and how cohesive she brands her products from first view to delivery. When you leave very few opportunities for bad feedback, you are less likely to receive it.
The Importance of Polished Packaging
- It says to your customer, “You are worth the trouble.”
- It builds anticipation as the customer unwraps their order.
- It says to the customer, “What is inside has value.”
- It is unexpected. Anytime you can wow your customer with something over-the-top is a good thing!
- It creates a person-to-person interaction. (This was done for a person, by a person.)
- It makes a good first impression.
- It gives you an opportunity to put your logo and brand in front of your customer’s eyes.
- It gives customers the idea that they can purchase another for a gift for someone. (You can save them the time and hassle of wrapping it. Or better yet, they can send someone your product directly as a gift).
How do you try and maximize those first 10 seconds for your Etsy shop?
We’d love to hear about the customer experience that you create with their first 10 seconds with your product. Let us know what your customers experience in the first 10 seconds and we’ll give you a virtual high-five to encourage your efforts! Or let us know of a new technique you might want to try in your shop.
Need more direction for your business? 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’ve seen that many Etsy sellers will revamp their branding, packaging, etc every 3 or so years. Brands require a refresh every once in a while. For a small business owner that is running the entire show, a brand refresh is a major undertaking . . . that is why you don’t want to do it every year.
If you have just recently started out with your business, a rebranding project might make more sense because you hadn’t taken into all of the considerations of what really constitutes a brand.
Buy packaging materials in bulk in the early days, but not so much bulk that it accounts for your next 2000+ sales. You are likely to want to modify some of your packaging at a future date. Save the thousands of bulk purchase quantities for once you have at least 200 sales under your belt. I’ve seen an Etsy seller that bought thousands of bottles with only a handful of sales and was already sick of them by sales 100.
I want to thank Megan for being a generous Thrive Member to the community and for her willingness to help others and share her experiences and expertise…I think my wife has eyes on her felt ball garlands for our Christmas tree! 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.