Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Views on Customer Service

I had a meeting up in Seattle recently -- it was one of those meetings you really don't know what is going on until you get there.  About the hardest part of the meeting was being so darn close to Fusion Beads and not being able to stop by because the traffic was about to get horrendous on a Friday afternoon.  Sigh.

But the discussion I had with the two people who asked me to come up was fun, engaging and quite interesting.  They were trying to get to the heart of what worked on e-commerce for small business owners.  I did not try to be "smart" but rather answered honestly about myriad of topics.

They asked how I got started -- which personally, I love that story.  It's the story of being sick and staying with my mother who lives near Shipwreck Beads and spending a small fortune to get her "something to keep the kids occupied" while I recovered.  Then there's the selling to a kiosk on the military installation nearby -- and doing commission work for the owner while I was in college after 6 years in the Army.

That discussion always morphs into my best friend from high school telling me to give Etsy a try -- which I did, half-heartedly, while stationed in Fort Hood with my hubby and unemployed for most of that jaunt.   Then the move up here to Seattle -- and losing that job after the budget battle of 2011.  I got a sale about a year into unemployment (while in surgery) and another sale shortly after -- which sort of started me on this road to "prove to myself" that I could do this.

We discussed everything -- my views on how to be noticed on Etsy, the changes that happen every year just as christmas season is starting (now seriously, I do not have a problem with changes -- but why institute something EVERY single year just as Christmas shopping is about to pick up?  What is wrong with like March instead?).

In the end -- they asked me about customer service, and where I came up with my policies.

"I honestly got my ideas on customer service, returns, and shipping from you.  I ordered a Kindle one year for myself for Mother's Day while my husband was deployed.  My son promptly broke it and I called customer support.  Their answer:  We are sending you a new one, just send us the old one back in the box you get."

And that --that moment -- is where I started forming my customer service policies, from that experience with Amazon.  Sure, I have to pay for Prime so that I get free shipping -- but that's where my free domestic First Class USPS shipping policy comes from.  My return policy too -- I have lived in Amazon country for the better part of my adult life and just love the return policy, and love the satisfaction policy.  So I molded my shop around how I personally, as a shopper, loved being treated the way I always was at Amazon.  I wish I had the staff to have my customers able to call me like I can call Amazon (you know click a button and they call you within 3 minutes or something?).

But, until that day, all I can be is available if there is a problem -- or if there isn't.  Or if someone wants something tailored a little -- or a lot.

I try to be available right away -- but sometimes, it's just not feasible because I am just one person. With three kids.  And a husband.  And a house that never seems to get vacuumed enough. And, where is my cleaning fairy?  Is she on strike again?  So unfair.

Amethyst Teardrops in 14k Gold Filled


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