Sales have been slow since the holidays. Been spending some time thinking about how to reclaim my market. So much has changed since 2007 and I have not really changed with it. I depend way too much on what worked 5 years ago.
The key to effective customer service is to focus on the person buying from the shop, not be dependent on shop policies created for the convenience of the owner, creator, shipper, etc. Customers want the experience to be easy, quick and simple.¹ They should be able to look at our pictures and make a decision to purchase or not. Details in titles, descriptions and policies must reinforce that decision, not complicate it. By removing obstacles, we improve the customer experience.
Shop policies should only exist to cover us in liability situations, not be a document that a customer is required to read to understand how to make a purchase. Of course that sounds backwards, but the reality is we only have two seconds before a potential customer decides to move forward into our sites, or move on to the next.² Every time a customer has to make a decision, we risk losing that customer.
Of course the platform we are selling on either reinforces the ease or adds to the complications. Etsy has made some huge strides in this area, most recently with updates for coupon codes. But there are still some challenges. And now that I finally have a website, blog, Facebook, et al, the opportunity for inconsistency increases. To help me better understand my strengths and weakness, I am going to create a Customer Experience Map identifying touch-points. A touch-point is simply each place the customer interacts with my shop. Analyzing these points helps me understand how it all works for the good of my shop, or against it. This process is not much different than the classic SWOT. Big business spends millions on consultations. It should only take me an afternoon. I hope.
¹ Delighting Customers Isn’t What You Think viewed 2/27/13
² You Only Have Two Seconds to Make the Sale viewed 2/27/13