Treat your customer like Royalty! Customer service is the number one most important part of my business. If I make my customer unhappy, I don't make sales, even if I have great product in the store.
Here's another list of ways to make your online store more successful. Earlier this week I started this series with a post titled: HOW TO SELL ON ETSY: http://pinkflamingo61.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-sell-on-etsy.html
1. OBVIOUS! Always be friendly.
2. Be sincere. Don't lie or build something up to make it seem like more than it is. You'll always get caught and how embarrassing that would be.
3. Be prompt.
a. Answer questions promptly. If you don't know the answer, send a convo acknowledging the question , let them know you will search an answer and get back to them. THEN GET BACK TO THEM. By making the reply, they know you received the question and will give you time to find the answer. Doing the research will also let your customer feel valued and reinforce your bond- you may even learn something new along the way!
b. Mail promptly, people want instant gratification; get that package in the mail ASAP! The package shows up fast, excited customer, excited customers leave great feedback and shop with you again.
4. Get to know your customers. People want to be part of the group, remember 4th grade recess! Know their names, what their interests are, if they shopped with you before. Being remembered lets them see you valued them as a person. The whole point of shopping with an independent artist is to be personal. If they just want to line up and be a number they can go to Walmart or Target.
5. Do some homework. When a customer comes to your shop learn something about them. This is where you get a chance to make a connection with them. Visit their shop. Look at their profile. Read it. Look at their feedback. What have they bought in the past? This tells you about their interests. Go to their favorites and see what they like. Now you have a better understanding of the person, a place to spring from. Think like the perfect hostess at a party. She introduces two people with a little blurb, example: John, this is Mary; she's an artist and lives in Philadelphia. Now John has a conversational starting place with Mary and not just Hi, how's the weather.
6. At the time of purchase, send a quick convo or email if you have access to it, letting the buyer know you received their order and will get it out to them. Thank them for the order. Besides being polite, you are once again putting your name in front of them, setting it more firmly into their memory.