Hey there! Today let’s talk about something we all dread: handling an upset customer. As an Etsy seller, you’re bound to encounter a situation where a customer is unhappy with their purchase or experience. Customer complaints can be stressful, but with the right approach, you can turn a potentially negative situation into a 5-star review.
Thinking Ahead to Your Review
Your customer reviews play a crucial role on Etsy. Quite often customers use reviews to determine whether they want to do business with a seller. Also, your average rating is used to determine if you can become a Star Seller (must have at least 4.8 average). So, handling an upset customer in a professional and empathetic manner is super important, even if it means you incur a loss.
Stay Calm and Professional
The first step in handling an upset customer is to stay calm and professional. Keeping a level head and avoiding a defensive attitude can go a long way in resolving the issue. Instead, take a deep breath and approach the situation with a positive attitude. If you must, let the message sit for an hour or two, but remember to reply within 24 hours to maintain your Star Seller status.
Listen To Your Customer
Next, take the time to truly understand the customer’s concerns. Pay attention to their frustrations and try to put yourself in their shoes. Acknowledge their complaints and show that you value their opinion. It may be tempting to jump in and defend yourself, but this is not recommended.
Offer a Solution
Once you understand their side of the story, it’s time to offer a solution. Instead of jumping in to defend yourself or to tell them they’re wrong, think of it as an opportunity to win them over. You’re running a business and you need to consider the damage a disgruntled customer can do to that business.
The goal is to find a resolution that satisfies the customer and leaves them feeling valued. For example, if the customer received a damaged item, you can offer to send a replacement or issue a refund. If the customer just didn’t like the item, put aside the fact that you don’t accept returns and offer a return anyway. Yes, this will cost you, but remember, the cost of doing business sometimes requires making sacrifices for the future.
Check With Your Print-On-Demand Provider
If the customer received a damaged item or the print job was bad, it’s worth checking with your print-on-demand provider to see if they will cover the cost of the replacement or issue a refund. They may require a photo of the damage or bad print job, so be sure to ask your customer to provide one.
If your print-on-demand provider doesn’t offer you a refund or replacement, don’t fret. Just accept that there are costs to being in business and you are building a business that is beyond this one sale.
Follow Up After a Few Days
And last but not least, follow up with your customer after a few days or when they receive their exchange. Make sure they are satisfied with the resolution. This is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your customer and show them that you care about their experience. If they are happy with the outcome, don’t hesitate to ask for a positive review.
At the end of the day, it’s your business and you must take responsibility for the situation, even if it wasn’t your fault. If you handle all customer complaints with this attitude from the start, it will diffuse the situation and show your customer that you are committed to making things right.
In conclusion, handling an upset customer can be a challenge, but with a little patience and understanding, and the right approach, it can also be an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your customers. So next time you receive an unhappy email, remember to remain professional, listen to their concerns, provide a solution, follow up, and most importantly, take responsibility.
Status of Our Print-On-Demand Business
Mid-month I went forward with the niching down of our shop. We now sell products for just one sport. I’ve also started updating all our mock-up photos and shop banner to show a model that looks more like our customer. The shop looks much cleaner and focused.
Last week my daughter posted one of our new designs in a group for that sport on Facebook. We got a lot of traffic and favorites from the post and one sale (the group has 47k members). Still moving slowly but feel much more optimistic about the future of the shop.
Here are our numbers as of today, January 31, 2023.
Active listings: 61 (I deactivated all listings that did not fit our niche)
Sales to date: 4
Total revenue: $120.57
Total Etsy fees: $55.74
Total Etsy ad fees: $62.28
Total Printify Cost of Goods: $80.13
Gross Profit/Loss: <$77.58>
Mock ups: $78.40
Keyword tools: $31.95
Net Profit/Loss: <$187.93>
Until next time~