Making Customers Happy: How to Give Great Customer Service

As the owner of an arts/crafts based business, it can be very easy to focus so much on the products you are creating that you may feel you don’t have time to learn how to give great customer service  The truth is, you cannot afford not to put time and effort into making customers happy. 

Whether you are selling online, or at local craft fairs, you should make sure you understand how to give great customer service, as well as what your customers really want from you.

They want to hear back from you!
When someone contacts you via your website or whether they call you, it is very important to get back to them within a reasonable time frame.  Every business is different, but from Monday through Friday, you should be contacting your customers back within one day.  If you get a call late Friday, it is acceptable to get back to them on Monday, but make sure to get back to them.

If there is a problem, they want you to fix it
Having sales policies can protect you in the case of a problem, but the fact is, fixing problems is an essential part of learning how to give great customer service. If you have a no-returns policy and an unhappy customer, you may want to think of other waystof making customers happy. The sad reality is that an unhappy customer often will spread the word to others, and could end up hurting your business.  While it is not necessary to bend your rules for the sake of making customers happy, try to be sympathetic to their situation and try to make right whatever you can. And don't forget to note all of your policies on the "Store Policies" page of your IndieMade site so your customer knows what to expect if something goes wrong.

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Be clear about your shipping dates
When you sell online, people will ask you all the time when they can expect to receive their packages.  Most handmade artists make products when ordered, and if this is the case with your products, make sure you specify that on your product page, perhaps by stating “Item will ship within seven to 10 business days after order is placed.”  This way, your customer will know when to expect your package and you will not end up with unmet expectations from a customer who orders something, expecting it to ship within a day or two.

They want to feel special
Let’s face it, most people who are shopping with you appreciate the arts and enjoy supporting a handmade artisan as opposed to buying mass-produced items.  One of the reasons that people enjoy shopping with handmade artists is that they like the personal touch that comes when dealing directly with an artist.  You can enhance your buyers' experience by going the extra mile toward making customers happy.  You might include a handwritten note, an  extra item, well-thought-out packaging, or complimentary gift wrap.  These extra touches often will help customers remember you and come back to shop again in the future.

A professional attitude
Finally, as a handmade artist, it is perfectly acceptable that you will not run your business like a big corporation.  That being said, it is imperative that you do run your business with a professional attitude.  Make sure that even if you are creating your products on the kitchen table, you are not presenting yourself in a way that makes people feel more like they are dealing with their kid sister than a business.  Having a professional attitude includes all the above recommendations, but also includes the way you think about your business and yourself. 

Knowing what customers want from you is the first step toward learning how to give great customer service.  Every order you receive is a new opportunity for making customers happy, and having a professional outlook and great customer service skills will help you grow your business into a successful venture. 

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