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.
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