Keep Your Customers In the Loop

Customer service is the cornerstone of a successful business, and communication is perhaps the most important aspect of customer service. Sometimes a breakdown in communication can cost you a customer.

My real-life story:
A few weeks ago, my in-laws were in town for a weekend visit. We decided to treat ourselves to lunch at a very nice local steakhouse. Good food with people we love . . . what more can you ask for?

After placing our order, we began talking and catching up since our last visit together.

JuliaRosienFlickr And we waited.

And waited.

No food, no waitress, just 5 hungry stomachs.

And the most frustrating part of it all? The waitress did not stop by our table to give us a status update. She could have said, “I’m so sorry, folks, but there’s been a mix-up in the kitchen. Your food will be delayed for a little bit.”

In fact, she avoided our table completely. She buzzed around her other tables, happily serving them drinks and talking with them, but it was almost as if she was afraid to check in with us.

If she had just stopped by and told us what was going on, we would have been much more patient and understanding. Was our food good when it finally did arrive? Yes, but our experience left an unpleasant “taste” in our mouths about that restaurant.

The application for online sellers:
Your customers might not be hungry, but they probably are eager to receive their online purchases. Make an extra effort to keep your customers “in the loop” and informed about shipping dates and/or custom orders.

They will appreciate it, and they might even become a repeat customer, simply because you communicated effectively with them.

SignatureWeb

photo by Julia Rosien

  • That is such good advice! It only takes a couple seconds to send off a message to them that you got their order, when you will ship, and a heartfelt thanks! Customers don’t forget good service.
    Smiles, Karen
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  • This is so much more true for online purchases. Even though your waitress didn’t stop by, you knew she was there and if you had to, you could flag her down (or trip her) to get her attention. ;) Online you never know who you’re dealing with, where they are, or if your order even got through.
    I typically send orders out the day I get them and communicate at the time I ship, but if I can’t get an order out in 48 hours, I send a note introducing myself and an estimated ship day. From those who respond, it’s always a big THANKS and sigh of relief that I’m a real person and on top of things.
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  • Sarah

    I completely agree. I’m relatively new to etsy, I think I’ve only clocked over my 7th purchase. But from memory only one or two actually communicated with me to tell me that my item was sent.
    As a customer purchasing online, there’s always a sense of nervousness about ‘have they recieved my order?’, ‘what’s happened to it?’, ‘when will it be here?’
    I was only just talking about this with a friend the other day and we both agree, you remember the ones that don’t communicate, but more so, you remember the ones that do.
    It’s just coustesy!
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  • soooo very very true!!!
    Did you leave a tip or not??
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