Business Tips Part 34: Customer Service

Cast your mind back to when you had that lightbulb moment about running your own craft business and how great it would be to be your own boss, make all the decisions and report to no-one. Have you realised that's not strictly true - you now report to your customers, buyers and possibly the press.

The way to respond to your ne bosses can make or break your business. A quick well thoughts out response can help you make your business, but a short and shoddy response will be a business breaker.

We now live in a consumer society and as such, you and your business will be judged on short customer interactions. These interactions may be telephone calls, emails, in person within your shop, at a craft fair or just passing on the street.

If you feel exhausted from running your business, beware, a tired owner will end up being your worst enemy! No matter how tired or busy you are you cannot avoid emails or dismiss phone calls. If you do, you will give the impression that you either have too much to do and cannot cope, think yourself too important to respond, or are simply incompetent. Be refreshing and surprise people with a response within 24hours or if that is not possible 2 days at most. On the reverse side, responding instantly may give the impression you don't have much else to do - I always wait an hour before responding to someone so I can think about what I want to say in the first instance.

Another potential downfall in business is being too formal. I'm not suggesting you treat your buyers as if they are your best friends (unless of course they are) but a degree of human interconnectivity can go a long way. For example, I would rather be addressed in an email as "Hi Victoria..." rather than "Dear Miss Heath".

There is however a line that cannot be crossed. Never use your daughters dance class as an excuse as to why you have not mailed out a parcel late or that you needed to take your rabbit to the vet. Stay professional at all times but do allow the real you to shine through.

Comine next time on April 12: Taking the Rough with the Smooth

Friday, 9 April 2010 | 0 Comments

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