Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dealing with Troublesome Buyers

My second order with my new store has of course hit a snag. My printer has decided it no longer wishes to work properly. Thankfully my customer doesn't need these until March, so I can wait until pay day to buy a new printer. It makes me wonder if any order is ever easy. There's always something...shipping goes wrong, item goes missing, etc., etc. Then there's the wonder if the customer is happy. When that glowing feedback rolls in all that fear is thrown out the window and success has been had.

But when running a business you have all kinds of troublesome people. Some people are just plain impossible to please, others expect way more for their money than what they're getting is worth, and some only exist to complain. It's so nice to get a decent customer. I have this problem much, much more on eBay. I really wonder why that is. Are eBay buyers more rude than Etsy? I'm inclined to say yes. I think their personalities are different. Etsians are on Etsy for a reason: to find unique things, not a bargain. So when something is slightly wrong on eBay, the customer flips out because they didn't get the great deal they thought they were getting. They may be right, they may be wrong, but either way they want things done their way. So I guess my point is, you can't please everyone, but all you can do is your best.

On Etsy, people are usually pretty reasonable. Note the "usually" in that sentence. There are always exceptions to that statement. And when you find that unreasonable person, all you can do is damage control. Stop trying to make yourself sound "right" and try to keep the buyer under control. Keep the lines of communication wide open, and stay calm. Before sending conversations think carefully about what you've it snotty at all? Does your attitude reflect professionalism? Think about a time when you were on the other side -- the disgruntled buyer. What did the seller or store do right and wrong? Follow that experience and learn from it. Respond as if the buyer isn't steaming mad, never retaliate. If you have to think twice about what you've written, you probably shouldn't send it.

Just remember that all you can do is your best. If you have done your best, you have no reason to feel defeated or down when something goes wrong. Just keep a cool head and take advantage of the fact that you are not dealing with people on the phone or in person -- you have time to compose your messages and edit them before sending. You're not likely to let something slip while typing like you would in person, such as a condescending tone or bad attitude.

If you're ever unsure of what to do, you can do several things. One, contact Etsy. You may or may not get a prompt response, so do not rely on this too heavily unless the issue has escalated past your ability to handle it. Next you can go to the forums and post under Site Help, just be sure to state your situation hypothetically or else your post will be considered "calling out" and your post will be closed. Third, you can go into Etsy chat (under the Communication tab on Etsy) and get some live advice. Lastly (and this can always be your first option!) talk with friends and family. Find out what they think you should do. Get several opinions before making a decision on something you're unsure of.

Lastly, don't get too worked up over troublesome customers. They are few and far between for the most part and you have to focus on the good transactions. That is what will make your business grow!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post and I couldn't agree with you more.

    "You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time."

    Have a good weekend!