Podcast Episode 5: Why AMAZING Customer Service is massively connected to your success as an Etsy sellerSep 02, 2021
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Today I want to chat with you about one of my very favorite subjects--- CUSTOMER SERVICE.
I know! It doesn’t necessarily sound super sexy, but once you’ve learned as I have – that it’s directly connected to your success as an Etsy seller – you may be singing a different tune!
I personally believe that when you open a business and you represent your product (not to mention the Etsy platform), you should stand behind it with excellence. I think we should take pride in our shops and the opportunity that Etsy gives us—and take amazing care of our shoppers and customers. We should be a culture of gratitude and service!
And I’ve personally noticed a bit of a negative shift in the Etsy seller culture in the different online forums this past year and I thought it might be interesting and helpful here to address it a bit. It could be the fact that there are soooo many new shops on the scene or a symptom of our over-arching culture in 2021.
But I’ve noticed this kind of attitude of exasperation with customers and dare I say it--- some selfishness and entitlement on the part of some business owners. I’m not saying everyone, of course, or even a majority! But I think our greater culture being in so much turmoil is having a cascading effect on us all and it’s showing up in some attitudes towards our customers.
Quick sidenote here--- I totally appreciate that there are some seriously difficult customers out there. I’ve had them myself. Although to be honest--- for me they are RARE and I think it’s mainly because of my customer service strategy. I give a lot of thought to the vibe that my whole shop gives off and the experience someone has when they DM with me-- so it sets the tone for the transaction. I have a goal of being proactive instead of reactive.
But back to the point—the mini-culture that’s developed where sellers and buyers are kind of at war is really sad to me. I want to gather around a different message and attitude. I think we have a responsibility as sellers to represent the whole community well, you know what I mean? Like—I take great care of my customers not just for my sake but also so they’ll have a wonderful experience on Etsy and hopefully come back to buy from YOU too. I think it’s part of giving back to and being a good steward of the Etsy platform. So that’s the basis for my philosophy.
And maybe today we have an opportunity to reframe our perspective.
Some of this starts with my mindset.
I generally approach life with an intent and attitude to be the light wherever I go. I don’t do this perfectly—but I like to compliment someone when I notice something that stands out about them, or be extra kind to a server who’s having a bad day. I smile at everyone I see—just to spread some joy. I want to go into every environment and leave it better than I found it by bringing kindness and positive energy. For me—my business on Etsy is no different. With that goal in mind, you can expect my podcast and my website to be a place of honor.
So I’m eager to help you! I’m excited to share what I’ve learned and maybe even spark even more passion in you to take great care of our wonderful Etsy customers.
First of all—let’s talk about the algorithm.
Why does customer service massively and directly affect your sales? It comes down to the Etsy algorithm which is the equation that the platform uses to determine what listings or shops a shopper sees when they search for something. It’s very largely impacted by having the right keywords of course—that’s the initial layer, but from there, Etsy will FIRST show customers the products or shops that they are most likely to have a good experience with. And they determine that by how many (and how recently) the product or shop got a great review. It also looks at how frequently the shop makes sales, how often customers go back to the same shop for repeat sales, and also how many “favorites” a listing has. And there are other factors--- the algorithm is super smart and intricate and changes often with trends and shopper behaviors. But it’s just good to know as a seller that making your customers happy enough to give you a great review or come back again will directly impact your sales.
For all my newbies out there--- don’t worry! If you’re just getting started and don’t have any sales yet, that’s ok. For your beginning customer service strategy, focus on branding, your shop story, the feel of your listing descriptions, and providing, quick, helpful and friendly responses when shoppers DM you. Beyond that for the beginning, I’d suggest focusing most of your time on figuring out the best keywords for your niche and making sure you have the best pictures you can on your listings.
Ok—so I have an upset customer story for you!
I once had a customer who received a piece from me that was damaged in the mail—and she didn’t message me or anything, just left a bad review talking about how terribly it was packaged and it arrived broken, and so on. So I sent her a message that was filled with reassurance and empathy—you know—phrases like, “oh my goodness, I am so sorry” and “that must have been so disappointing to open.” (Just like I’d respond to a friend who was telling me they ordered something precious, waited for it, and it arrived broken.)
And then I told her I will absolutely make it right for her. I’ll gladly ship her a new one or give her a full refund. I told her that our boxes are specially engineered for our pieces and out of thousands of shipments, very few had ever broken—but I just hate when it happens and wish it hadn’t happened to her. I wanted her to know that we had a good track record with shipping and I had confidence that I could send her a replacement and expected it to arrive without incident.
Her response was so telling! She was so shocked that I met her with humility and empathy and cared about making it right. She felt like she needed to come at me guns a-blazing to protect herself and hopefully get some help because in this day and age customer service is so lacking. I think there’s a lesson for Etsy sellers here!
Isn’t this true? A lot of times we feel like we won’t be taken care of, so I try to create confidence throughout the whole sales process.
The result was – I sent her a new piece that she loved. It arrived safely. And she updated her review and it has become one of the most valuable reviews in my shop—even though it still says her first piece arrived broken—she then explained that I bent over backwards to take care of her. And her story gives so much confidence and trust to other shoppers looking at my shop.
I have had this kind of thing happen multiple times—where a problem could have resulted in a terrible review. But responding with empathy and reassurance gained me the best reviews in my shop.
That being said---- I want to talk about 4 practical ways that amazing customer service is actually directly connected to getting more sales on Etsy.
- The “tone” of your shop in your welcome message can make or break trust with a shopper. This is the spot right at the top of your shop where you can put a little announcement.
- How quickly you respond to inquiries will build confidence with the shopper and hopefully beat out the competition. I’m not saying be a slave to it! LOL! Just know that a quick response can win the deal and make balanced decisions about when to respond.
- The “tone” or the level of friendliness and helpfulness you use to respond to inquiries will directly impact a shopper’s desire to buy from you.
- The way you handle complaints or concerns will determine the most impactful reviews you can receive --- not to mention create returning customers.
If you know this area is not a strength for you--- in terms of what to say and how to say it. I have a course that would help. It’s my Customer Service Templates product that comes with a mini course explaining my complete customer service strategy AND it comes with over 20 templates of my personal responses I send to customers in different situations—including some of the hardest ones. I have them all set up so you can plug them in to your own Etsy snippets and just personalize them to use in your shop. I’ll go ahead and link that product in the show notes. If you often find yourself wondering how to word things, this should help.
That’s what I have for you today friend! I hope this was super helpful and lit a new fire in you to love on your customers! There’s bad news everywhere and people being unkind. We’re all fighting a personal battle. So let’s be a light--- when shoppers come to Etsy, let’s make it a safe and friendly place of excellence.
I so appreciate you and I believe in your work! Thanks for choosing to be with me today!
Want to get more sales on Etsy? You may be underestimating the value of offering spectacular customer service. In my 6+ years of experience--- I’ve learned that great customer service is DIRECTLY connected with my sales.
**“How to Sell Your Stuff on Etsy” is not affiliated with or endorsed by Etsy.com.
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