My Etsy shop has been on vacation while I was planning the wedding, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been active on Etsy. As I’ve noted here, I purchased a lot of items for the wedding through Etsy. Most of those items arrived without issue, but of course there are always some hitches. This lead me to experience the best and the worst of customer service. I wanted to share those experiences with you and also discuss how to handle customer complaints. I’m going to start with the ugly and end on the amazing, because well it’s always better to send on a positive note.
I bought bow ties and suspenders for the little duders to wear in the wedding. I made the purchase on April 28th after discussing with Amanda if the item could be delivered before my June 20th wedding. Amanda agreed that it could be done. Now I understand that things happen in your personal life that may slow down the operation, but I had no communication until I received the auto reply to my conversation. When she did reply, I asked again if the June 20th date was possible, and she never said it wasn’t. She indicated that she had plenty of help and orders would be going out soon. I reached out again the week of the wedding to see if it had shipped, and I got no response. Luckily for me, I had already assessed that I could buy a similar item on amazon with our Prime account and get it here in plenty of time for the wedding, but no one wants to deal with that kind of stress at that moment. Also another thing Amanda did was go into way too much detail with me about what was going on in her life currently with the previous email. I merely needed to know whether or not to find another supplier.
On the other hand there was Pearl and she was fabulous. I ordered a present for my mom’s Mother of the Bride bag a little late in the game. I ordered it on a rush. I emailed Pearl when I realized the item had not shipped and would not arrive when I originally expected. Pearl explained what had been going on with her and gave a solution to the problem. I replied to her asking if she could ship it overnight. I offered to pay for the overnight shipping since I was asking for it versus her offering it, but she merely said she’d do it. The item arrived on time and without issue, and my mom loved it.
When you’ve got an Etsy shop that you are running, you have to give great customer service. The store holds your name and reputation. You’re not a huge conglomeration that can take a few hits from complaining customers. In the first situation, I wanted Amanda to either ship the item of tell me it wasn’t possible. All I needed was her to ensure that the item would arrive before my wedding day or to issue a refund. I would have gone elsewhere to make the purchase as I ultimately did anyway. What’s the best way to handle Etsy customer service?
1. Keep in touch with your buyers
These people have sought out your store and ordered so you should let them know if anything is running behind schedule. Most people will be understanding if you are ahead of the game. They understand and they want your best product.
2. Answer their questions in a timely manner.
When they send you a question about their purchase, you should respond within 24 hours. You also must respond with an answer that is clear. If you don’t understand the question the ask for clarification.
3. Resolve the issue.
Always come up with a resolution to the issue. The resolution may be that you have to issue a refund for the product. We all have to issue refunds sometimes for many reasons. Sometimes it’s the person thought they were ordering something else or sometimes bad things happen in shipping. It’s better to make the customer happy in most instances than to deal with the fallout from the angry customer. I’m not a believer in the customer is always right, but I am a believer in finding a solution that works best for both you and the customer.