You know how business owners always say to treat every customer like gold?
It never fails to surprise me when businesses don’t, especially small, independent ones.
As someone who regularly shops at independent shops (online and in-person), and as someone who does sell on occasion (as in sell my services as a freelancer) and my beloved budgeting tool, no question is stupid and no customer is a waste of my time.
You can pepper me with a billion questions as many times as you want.
I’ll do my best to take the time to answer properly, and help, even if there seems to be no hope of a ‘sale’ happening.
What I’m generating, is the goodwill of how I would act, if you were paying me.
Any question you pose to me, is a valid one, because you’re interested in seeking out information about what I do, and most importantly you’re interested in MY opinion which bodes well for a future contract (or sale).
I’m as attentive as this groundhog. 😛
Otherwise, what’s the point if you hate dealing with people?
Don’t be in business. Don’t sell. Don’t market yourself. Don’t do it.
This is why I can’t understand independent businesses who do the following:
- Don’t reply in a timely manner when someone asks about an item you’re selling
- Don’t give a good response, but something vague and annoying
- Don’t seem to enjoy replying or doing their jobs (why are you doing it then?)
- Or worse… ignore you completely
Being an Etsy shopper who can’t try things on in person, I ask a lot of questions.
I’m probably also really annoying and pushy to busy sellers, but once I find a seller with whom I feel I can do business with, give my money to, and support, I am loyal.
I’ll continually come back to shop if I get the customer service I expect, and I’ll be more than happy to do it because I am interested in your business.
THE best macarons in the world. I talk about them constantly, I am THAT loyal, from this shop:
I’ll even market you for free when I hear friends who are asking about where to buy a certain product.
Otherwise, you can forget it.
I’ll just keep my money in my pocket while you complain to friends, family members, and on forums about how hard it is to be an independent designer who can’t seem to catch a break in this economy.
I don’t need to buy your things. I’ll find someone else. Or live without it.
EVERY customer is a potential customer, and EVERY question is a valid one.