Are your customers excited when they receive your package in the mail?
Do they feel so happy that they're grinning ear to ear and they can't wait to show your work off to their family?
As the maker, we're left with a lot of responsibilities to uphold.
Unfortunately most people selling a handmade product online don't think about that, and it's costing them sales, repeat customers and long-term success.
Most makers understand they're required to craft the product and ship it out as part of the deal.
That's hardly the full story though. It doesn't really end there.
Can I share with you two of my own experiences?
Don't do this to your own customers
Last year for Christmas, I put together a list of 15 of my best customers at my handmade jewelry shop.
These were people that had spent upwards of a couple of thousand dollars on my products!
They deserved a special thank you treat from me, and I eagerly went on to Etsy to look for bakers.
On December 12, I bought a set of delicious looking cake pops for one customer.
On the shop's shipping page, they promised to send out my package 3-5 business days after placing the order, since the cake pops are made fresh to order.
I waited and waited.
After two weeks on December 25, I messaged the shop to ask about my shipment.
They responded two days later (understandingly since it's Christmas time) and said my order would ship on December 29 and apologized for the delay.
Guess when my order of cake pops shipped?
January 12. A whole month after I had placed my order, and I had received no communication about the further shipping delay.
I'm shaking my head as I write this!
I sure hope the cake pops were tasty, because I'm never ordering from this shop again. I can't trust them to communicate with me or keep their promises.
What happens when you don't deliver
I've recently been on the search for a Twitter management tool to replace what I'm currently using (Hootsuite).
I was looking for a particular set of features and found a few options, all of which were pay-to-use.
They came with one week trials so I took them out for test drives.
Evidently, I encountered at least one problem in each product I was testing and naturally looked for a support contact to email (after not finding an answer in the forums or knowledgebase).
After waiting for days, I received absolutely no response from them except for one that replied back to ask what browser I was using; they eventually never got back to me with a solution or a response in the least.
My interest and trust in these products went out the window.
I was ready to throw them my money, but their poor customer service was a major turn off.
It's safe to say that they've lost me as a customer.
What bothers me more is seeing their last updates to social media posted months and years ago.
So why were they still an open shop and accepting credit cards when they were no longer supporting their product?
How do you stand by your products?
Where does your responsibility end for you?
For example, if a customer informs me that they never got their package even though tracking says it was delivered, in most cases I re-send them a new product.
How far do you go to ensure your customers are taken care of? And how far is too far?