Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Build a Following Packaging Customer Service

I am a big internet shopper and I buy a lot of stuff on Etsy. That’s right, Etsy sellers are most often Etsy customers as well. Those who create handmade, support handmade and value things created with care. So when I order a lovely product from another handmade artisan there are a few things I expect. First and foremost, I expect an excellent product made with quality components. I also expect creativity – a one-of-a-kindness – something original and unique.
Paper Gift Tags | $3.50 | bijouxpaperie
Beyond what makes something handmade, I expect great customer service. After all, part of being a handmade artisan should include pleasing your customers. They are, in essence, our lifeline. There are easy ways to make customers happy and keep them coming back. Answering questions and shipping promptly are key. Offering exchanges, returns and reasonable shipping rates are also important.
So if you’re doing all these things and you aren’t building a following or have no repeat customers, what else can you do? It’s simple really…packaging. Something I know sellers think about but some do not pay nearly enough attention to.
Kraft Gift Boxes | $2.50 | olivemanna
Now, I’m not saying you need to gift wrap everything but you have to make it look nice. Pick packaging products that match your sense of style and complement your work. Some folks say that using recycled goods when packaging is a no-no. I say, if your products are, on the whole, made of recycled goods, then go for it. Since you’re selling your ability to make something cool out of what’s basically “trash”, then why not take it the extra distance? A word of caution though: it still needs to look presentable. Perhaps take that love of recycling and find a paperie who also uses recycled materials. Use boxes made of recycled paper. Don’t just tape together a cereal box and wrap it with the Sunday funnies. It may be quirky and fun, but chances are, it could put off a customer. For my jewelry I use 100% recycled Kraft paper boxes. I tie a pretty bow on each package with recycled raffia. For smaller items I have tiny pillow boxes made of recycled Kraft paper (bought on Etsy). It’s clean and simple and maintains the image I try to get across with my branding.
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