Oct 18, 2012

Business: Being friendly 101

I shop online a lot, I'm guessing you do too - it's the way the world has turned.  I have high standards for the customer service for both of my businesses - Monkey Toes and Sugar Loco.  Granted the customer service is different with both, considering they are both completely different, but I like to think I treat every person the same way.

I know there are a lot of small businesses who read this blog, so I am here to put my teacher cap on and make a note about something that has been bothering me about other small businesses.  I hope that this gets you more sales, and more happy customers that want to share the word about your awesome business. 

Knowing that each sale you bring in came from an individual person (like you), making a decision to shop at YOUR store, buy YOUR product after probably clicking through Google to find the best deal, product, whatever...Why wouldn't you treat those people like gold?  You get one shot to get their initial order, but that one shot could turn into a ton more orders and that customer spreading the word about how friendly and helpful you are.

A simple example here from my recent purchase at Etsy...
It's not rude by any means.  It's just, blah...almost like this person didn't care about my sale.  Hmmmmm.  I'll be honest, I didn't spend a ton of money at her shop, I didn't need to.  But you just never know when an order could turn into several more orders or talk about her shop with my friends who would then turn to order.  I personally handle each and every website order that crosses my path.  I've seen "regulars" order Monkey Toes again and again.  Could they go to Amazon or another website to purchase them? YES! do they?  NO!  I like to think it's because I treat every customer like gold.

I try to think of things in terms of, if this person was standing right in front of me, what would I say?  Would I first off thank them for their order? (YES) Would I maybe say more than 4 words? (YES).  Now I know emailing is quite impersonal and different from speaking with someone directly, but how could you spruce up your wording to make it seem like you really care that your customer came to YOUR shop, to purchase YOUR goods and spend their MONEY?  How would you want to be treated?

On another note, if you're having trouble with a customer, NEVER let them see it.  NEVER bash that customer online, be it Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Be polite, concerned, and take care of the problem in a professional manner. If it was your fault admit it.  If it was their fault, don't point a finger, breathe and then figure out how it can be fixed.  Step away from the email for a bit to cool down and come back to it.  Most likely you and the customer will have another perspective you hadn't thought of while you were fuming.

How do you set your shop apart from others?  I'd love to hear your ideas!


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