Customer Service is Key

customer serviceI worked my entire outside-the-home career in customer service, from entry level all the way up, and I still believe in the slogan, “the customer is always right.” Don’t get me wrong, there will always be “those” customers that push your buttons BUT, for the most part, I believe most customers are willing to try to let you work things out. I think there are certain things a customer looks for, that will put you at the top of their “recommended” list, and below are my top 3 picks.

  • Return phone calls and emails….in a timely manner (I say within 24 hours is best.) We’re all busy, and I sometimes struggle with this too. I put off the emails that will take more than a minute to answer, but sometimes they get forgotten about. The ones I answer within 12-24 hours almost always thank me for the quick response. It makes a big difference, especially because customer service seems to be a dying art these days.
  • Offer to help your customers – If you’re a pattern designer, please, PLEASE offer to help your customers! Almost half the emails I get are from people looking for help with patterns from other designers, because the designer won’t get back to them!! This makes me sad. If you’re taking others people’s money, I believe it’s your duty to help them figure out how to make the pattern work.
  • Offer a refund – Many may not agree with me, but I’m going to stand by this. I get about half a dozen emails a year with people telling me they purchased my pattern and then realized it wasn’t a finished item. I even get some saying they just want a refund because they couldn’t figure it out (even when I give ratings on them.) I could say, “Sorry, you already received your download” but instead I choose to refund them. Why? Because I believe people genuinely make mistakes. Do I ever get someone who’s not being honest? Probably, but I’m willing to take that chance. If you’re selling finished items, and you have a difficult customer who isn’t happy, you can always offer to remake the item. If they still aren’t happy, I would still offer a refund. You may hesitate on this, but that may be all it takes to make the customer happy and get you a glowing referral.

Remember, bad word spreads fast than any referrals, or glowing reviews. And it spreads even faster now that we have social media. I’m a firm believer that a little extra goes a long way.






1 thought on “Customer Service is Key”

  • Kristine, ALL of my work outside the home has been in customer service in one form or another. And I completely agree with all you have stated above. It all comes down to how you would want to be treated if you were in their place. Customer service is just another word for Kindness, and I think we would all like to have some kindness shown to us. A kindness shown can make a friend/customer for life, but a bad word or referral can spread like wild fire and you will never put it out, even if you change your ways. Kindness is the best answer…stand by what you make or create as a designer, you will be happy you did.

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