Hello again my maker friend! Welcome back to another post on mastering Etsy! This week we are diving even deeper and talking about the most valuable thing in a shop: customer reviews. If you missed it, last week we talked about setting up for Getting Found on Etsy. Ready to start collect more and more customer reviews? Read on.
This resource is a part of a compilation: How to Make Money on Etsy.
As shop owners, we want to make sure we are following all the best practices to get found on the platform. So many articles out there focus on Etsy SEO and taking the best pictures. Which is great! However those tips are basically just focusing on luring customers. Customer service, on the other hand, is all about catching and reeling them in!
Customer service is the number one aspect of business that seals the deal for customers. Think about it, when you shop online, after being lured in, the last thing you check off before adding to cart is scanning the Reviews.
Reviews are SO powerful on Etsy – and any other online selling platform – because only verified customers who purchased your items are allowed to leave a review. This means, potential customers get extra information about the product from past customers. Most often than not, reviews sway potential buyers into buying your product even more than the description itself!
As a search engine, Etsy is also more inclined to boost listings that have positive customer reviews. After all, Etsy is a robot and does not really care about how good your product is. It is also a business! Consequently, Etsy will favor the likelihood of products that will sell because they would get the most profit out of those.
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So how do you get these reviews?
In my experience as a consumer, I only leave reviews in three situations.
1. I am overly impressed and satisfied with the product.
2. The product was poor value. I want to point out that I don’t really write reviews if I am disappointed in the product, after all, that is the risk you run when purchasing online. However, if it has extremely poor value and I was exceptionally mislead, I would leave a review. Again, hardly ever in this case.
3. The seller asks me to share my experience.
Where do you find yourself in these three scenarios? Are you the same with me? Or do you always leave reviews? Maybe you never leave reviews too.
Now look at it through this view, in what scenario would you want the person to leave a review? I really hope you didn’t choose the second one!
Lastly, try to consider which scenario would be the easiest to do. Okay maybe number two would be easy to achieve. But we don’t want that right?
Most likely, you find yourself somewhere between number one and three. Let’s dig into the good stuff and talk about how you can increase the likelihood of getting customer reviews in your Etsy Shop.
Most people are drawn to Etsy for the consumer experience. Etsy is known for local, handmade, small shops that truly care and appreciate every order that comes through.
The consumer experience begins when the package arrives at their home. How are you going to stand out and make that first impression last? For example, when you go to a branded shop like Victoria’s Secret they place your items in a nice paper bag and add tissue paper making it feel like a gift. Now imagine going into the grocery store and buying a bag of chips. They simply put it in a bag or just give it to you and you go on your way. Which experience feels better? The first right?! That little touch goes such a long way!
Here is a post I made about packaging and shipping products that you might find helpful.
Keep in mind you can make a lasting impression just by keeping things clean and thoughtful. You do not need to go over budget just for packaging.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
A big part of any great experience almost always includes a surprise! Surprise your costumers by over delivering or doing something they did not expect.
A great way to do this is to try and beat your own turn around time to get the package to your customer before they expect it. This can easily be done by adjusting your processing times to reflect a reasonable period BUT your personal processing time should be half of what is reflected.
This way customers are still excited about their item, the faster arrival surprises them, and they would lost likely leave a review expressing how fast shipping was.
Add a Personal Touch
Customer service often feels like you are talking to a distant person. Like how many times did you seek customer support and felt unheard? Worst, how many times did you get upset and forget that a real person was behind that call?
Personal touches are such a great and simple way to remind your customers that there is a person behind the brand, a maker who created the product handmade, and a life that is directly impacted by your purchase.
Reminding the customer that you are a small business rather than the BIG platform of ETSY helps form that human connection.
Try adding a short hand written message to your package. This serves as a great surprise too! Messages can be a quick thank you and a heartfelt wish to the consumer. Something like “Abie, thank you so much for supporting my little shop! I hope this package brightens your day” is gold! Personal touches are THE biggest thing that you should be including in your packaging to get those customer reviews.
Reply to Customer Messages as Quick as you can
Believe it or not, Etsy ranks their sellers! Huge news, yeah, I know. There are many many factors that go into seller rankings, some we have little to no control over. Fear not, my friend! One thing that we can 100% do is lessening our response time to customers who reach out. Etsy says they prefer sellers to reply to costumers within 24hrs but never wait for the last minute. You always want to replay as soon as you possibly can.
Not everyone has the time to reply and attend to costumer questions/concerns. I work a full-time job too and totally understand this issue as a seller. This is a real issue and dilemma as small businesses. In my post about Juggling a Creative Business and Full-time Job I talk about little things you can do to increase productivity.
Again, in situations like this, it is helpful to put yourself in the shoes of the customer again. As a customer, I get frustrated when an urgent concern or question is not heard and addressed right away. Response times of all kinds of businesses tends to be a little sporadic and frustrating. However, when a representative get’s back to me, regardless if they solve my problem that time or not, I always feel a little better.
You can do this in your business by turning on notifications for Etsy messages on your phone or watch, and taking a minute to let the customer know you received their message. My typical reply goes something like this:
Abie, thank you so much for reaching out. I see you have a question about (topic) and I want you to know I am happy to help you with that! I am at work right now and will get to you first thing when I get home. Have a great day and I will talk to you soon!
Now keep in mind, this message gets more personal depending on what they reach out to me about. Then I set a reminder so I don’t forget about it later, and I return to my duties. This response helps increase my response rate, ease customer worries, and reminds them I am an actually person behind the shop living a life comparable to theirs.
Another thing I like to do is to send a message to customers who leave personalized notes to me on their purchase order. In my mind, these notes count as a message to me because they are complimenting my work, telling me why they made the purchase, or thanking me in advance for making their order. I love love love these kinds of notes and think they are a really nice surprise for me too.
Handle Sticky Situations with Empathy
Nobody wants to deal with an angry customer but it is an inevitable part of providing customer service. To avoid getting an unfavorable customer review on Etsy you need to master the art of handling customer conflicts with empathy. By now, you probably know what I am about to say next. Imagine yourself as the customer! An angry customer tends to forget the human aspect of customer service, it is our job to help them remember.
Here are steps to address conflicts:
- Begin with acknowledging their feeling state.
- Provide a possible explanation.
- Offer extra support or provide options to resolve the issue.
- Action step
All together, this message might sound something like this:
Hello Abie, I am awfully sorry you are experiencing such delays in delivery especially since you ordered well in time for the holidays. As you may have considered, the holiday season is the busiest for couriers and once items leave me I cannot control any delays. I will further look into this situation and let you know what happens.
In the meanwhile, here is the tracking number for your package (number). Please let me know if the package arrives while I work on resolving this issue.
I then follow up with every action step I have taken in order to solve the concern. This includes sending screenshots of any proof showing I am working on their concern. This is a time consuming process, however, if you are in a position where you cannot afford to eat up the costs before receiving insurance, it is crucial to ease customer frustration by letting them know you are thinking of them.
Do this step to dodge bad reviews and transform them into positive customer reviews.
Are you ready to collect more customer reviews?
Try these strategies out and see how the seller-customer relationship develops for yourself! You can thank me for all the reviews that come your way later. 🙂
Want to learn more ways to grow your Etsy Shop?
Until next time my maker friend!