In some marketplaces, you can get away with offering subpar customer service as long as the product is good. Etsy is the antithesis of this way of selling. Exemplary customer service is almost a must if you give any importance to repeat customers and seek customer loyalty.
1. Write detailed shop policies.
This section includes shipping, payment options, returns and exchanges, and privacy policies. These guidelines help customers set their expectations about the shop. They also help the seller navigate any concerns that may arise after the transaction is complete such as returns or cancellations. Your policies tell your customers exactly what will happen in certain situations. This way they can make an informed decision when they’re purchasing your product. Besides providing customers information about your shop, Etsy’s search algorithm also gives preference to shops that have completed the policies section.
2. Personalize the unpacking experience for customers.
Etsy is all about customized and personal touches. In general, customers always appreciate it when the packaging is more than just bubble wrap and tape. However, in Etsy, customers always expect more than regular packing materials. A personal note to thank them, a small sample of products related to the ordered items to entice them to shop from the store again (which is a great marketing technique), or even sending a coupon for the next order (another great marketing technique). If you don’t have enough time to write personal notes for every single order, make four or five templates and add a phrase or two that are specific to the product and/or customer.
3. Description, pictures, and product details need to be accurate.
How would you feel if your order finally arrived, you open it up excited to use it, and it turns out to be different than advertised? Disappointed customers are annoyed customers are bad reviews in the making. If this happens, own up to your mistake, and reimburse the customer either by giving a refund or a free exchange with a return label provided. The customer should bear no burden especially if it’s the seller’s fault.
4. Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate.
Etsy gives sellers the opportunity to answer their customers’ questions even before they’re asked. Use the FAQ section to expand on any policies that may lead to follow up questions. You should also add questions that multiple customers have asked. Sometimes customer service happens even without directly interacting with the customer and sometimes the sign of the best customer service is when the customer never needs to contact you.
5. Time is of the essence.
Respond timely to not just questions but even comments; a simple “thank you” can go a long way. If you can do this within an hour, that’s great but the maximum you should wait to reply is twenty-four hours. Buyers will move on to another seller if you delay. Remember, you’re competing against thousands of similar products. If you know that you won’t be able to answer their question within the 24, send them a message that you will respond within “x” number of days. If it’s an international customer, be aware of the time difference and let them know you’ll be offline in “x” number of hours so the customer doesn’t think you’re ignoring them.
Be mindful of the kind of experience you want to create for your customer. If it’s an enjoyable one, perhaps even one without any difficulties, the chances of a repeat order are higher. Try to think about how you would like to be treated if you were the customer and what would impress you. And as always, learn from your mistakes and remember where you succeeded.