Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Answer The Bloody Question

This is a bit of simple advice for anyone who has ever sold or ever plans on selling handmade goods or anything else really. Answer all your messages, emails, convos, whatever. Seriously, you need to do this in a timely manner unless you like to drive people away. Recently I sent a message to a seller because I really wanted to buy something from them and I simply wanted to know if they could make it in a different color. Several days later, I still haven't gotten a response and trust me this is not a good thing. I don't care if the answer to me question is yes or no or something in between, I just want an answer, it's important to me. I don't expect to get a response immediately or even the next day, but I do expect one. It has been so long now that even if I were to get a positive response, I wouldn't buy the item even though I really love it.

I accept that people have lives as well as unexpected events that take them away from the computer. The problem is that I often see these unresponsive people in the forums, listing new items and generally around online. If you have time to do all of that you have time to answer a simple question. You may think it's not a big deal to ignore one message, but I imagine that if you're ignoring one, you're ignoring more and while I'm not the sort to name names, other certainly might and really they should. If you got awful customer service from a major company, you would have no problem sharing that information with others, so really why should it be any different with a etsy or other handmade store.

I'm starting to think that this is turning into a tirade and I really didn't mean it to be one. I simply wanted to remind people to answer question, to generally communicate with others in a way you would want to be communicated with. I know I try to answer all my messages even if the questions are redundant or the questioner keeps asking questions that make me want to pull my hair out. I even answer the occasional,'how do you do that?' question. Of course I don't mean you should always give them the answer they want, but a polite, 'sorry, that's my secret' will suffice. The point is, you never know who is a potential customer and you should treat everyone as if they plan on spending hundreds of dollars with you.

Alright, that's all out of my system now. I'm on the last row of my custom order collar and I managed to list a bunch of stuff yesterday. I've got a few more pieces to list today and then I'm going into supply and demand mode. I'll just be remaking items that sell and custom orders so I don't overtax myself during the holiday season. All those crazy project ideas I've got swirling around will have to wait until after the holidays when the dust has finally settled.


Unknown said...

Sometimes it feels good to vent *smiles* I agree with everything you said. I am sure that I have missed a convo or two in my years on Etsy, but it was never intentional.

Hope you ended up finding what you wanted in the color you wanted and/or a seller more convo friendly that will do it for you.

Have a wonderful week!


. c h o k l i t . said...

I had the same experience last week - asked a seller if they might be able to do a custom order and didn't even get a nod back, not even a "got your message, no time to respond now..."

Aside from being bad customer service, it's just plain rude.

*climbs down off soapbox*

. c h o k l i t . said...

Although I imagine if you had an insanely busy shop, you wouldn't be able to keep up... so I suppose I shouldn't judge too harshly.

*climbs down off slightly smaller soapbox*

Marilee Rockley said...

Your post has alerted me to a possible "worst case scenario" - I guess I should train someone in my family on how to put my shop into "vacation mode" for me, in case I was suddenly hospitalized or something...you just never know!