Wednesday, June 26, 2013

List of 5 tips for good customer service

These past weeks I've had bad experiences with customer services from different companies.  Remember my oven?  Well at the time we bought it we also ordered a range hood (it was also taken away by the previous owners  among the top cabinets in the kitchen...there I said it!) But I don't worry I have plans, future plans I have this idea that I want stainless steel shelves instead of cabinets I've pinned some ideas.  Back to the range hood, it has not been installed yet. Sears and the installers just give us the round around when we try to get an update on the installing date.  You know the usual 'I will call you"  that means you won't hear from them until you call again. Yes, I understand they have procedures and steps but they are taking too long.   This Friday my husband had it and finally called Sears headquarters ah I was listening and was like yes!  let then have it!!  So we were promised that the next Saturday the range hood will finally be installed.

*update on range hood situation after talking to the Sears manager and the installers we've cancelled the whole thing and decided we will take our money somewhere else. 

Another bad experience, ebay...I bought something and did not work properly I immediately contacted the seller and the next day he promised to send a replacement.  Well I waited more than a week and emailed him to let him know I still  didn't have my working item..  Two more days and didn't hear from him and emailed again.  He finally answered and said let me look into that and I will get back to you...I've heard that before! Sure enough I got my replacement two days later.  A working one!  but my disappointment was that he mailed the item only after the second email I sent...what happened there? did I have to remind him to mail the item?

Finally, I ordered some items form China.  I got my order in a timely manner, happy with some and unhappy with others as one order was incomplete.  Ok so I am on a row here or what complaining to sellers?  I contact the seller, he says he's sorry ( at least he apologizes)  he wants to know if I will order again so that he can send the rest of the items.  No I don't want to order again!    I haven't heard from him again, so not sure if he will mail the items or not :/  arrrgh!

These bad experiences make me think both as a customer and as a seller.  As a customer I want to be happy with my order and sure enough I decide where I take my money and as a seller I want my customer to be happy.  Beside having agood product to sell customer service is one of the keys to any successful  business.  I made a list of things that have worked for me as a seller.

1.  Prompt communication, whenever a customer contacts me I answer promptly.  I thank them for their interest in my shop or my items and answer their questions or requests.  Regarding custom items I never make promises I cannot keep, or promise delivery dates that cannot be met, never.  I let them know straight out I cannot help them.  People are weird sometimes and ask for things that humanly cannot be possible.  I had a customer contacted me on a Tuesday needing 350 items by Thursday for her wedding the following Saturday.

1.  Acknowledge purchase,  I thank the customer for their purchase and let them know when I will ship. 

2.  Package sale, I like this step very much!  I package the item with utmost care.  Wrap it in whatever I have handy at the moment.  Be it, wrapping paper, tissue paper, vintage pattern paper, music sheet, Kraft paper, washi tape, yarn, fabric.  Most of the time every package is different.  I get complimented a lot and that  makes me feel good!

3.  Ship item,  Luckily I have two Post Offices in town and two more in my neighbor towns that way I get to plan my daily routine and a visit to the Post Office.  I come back home and send a shipping notification and a tracking number to my customer.

4.  Solve any problems, unfortunately international shipments cannot be tracked.  In the event a package is lost I try to solve the problem fast.  I once had to call the Canadian Post to track a custom order.  We found it and my customer was happy.  Another time another package was lost due to language and telephone barriers I couldn't call the post office which was Sweden.  Another little package was returned to me from Turkey.  I ended up making a refund on both of these sales.  That was ok with me and my customers knew that I did everything I could to solve the problems.

This is how I do it and what has worked for me so far.  I am sure it has saved me a lot of headaches.  I can resume this whole post in one sentence.

The Golden Rule:   
One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. 

 And because I believe that every post needs to have a picture here is Xavi at the tire store.  This takes me back when Xavi didn't go to school and it was just me and him during the morning hours going for a tire rotation or an oil change.


  1. oh my! Amen to that! that is both the the wonder of handmade, and the curse. You want to deal with a human being and know that it was handmade .... but the worry is that you'll be ripped off! it makes for a bad experience for the rest of us that live by your rules Claudia!

    I always try to respond to my buyers within 24 hours of an order to make sure that they know they reached a human at the other end, and I let them know when I'll send the order out. Then I send them yet another note to let them know it is on its way. Isn't that just good manners?


    and for those that have received an order (and money!) how could they not fulfill?

  2. Poor customer service baffles me. These companies will never get repeat business from you! I have always been about the Golden Rule myself. It is so simple. If there is an issue and I resolve it right away, I build trust with the customer. They they continue to be my customer.


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