Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women from around the world as they link hands and tell you a little bit about their lives in craft.
Do look up the answers from the rest of this band of crafters (links to your left).
If they haven't all posted yet, remember we all live in different time zones and check again later...
This month:Customer Service
Customer service is about law, of course, but, to me, it is also about the choice you make when selling handmade, about what someone buying handmade from the the maker has a right to expect.
If you enjoy it that people appreciate your handmade work, you have to keep up the personal side of the relationship. It's not a question of what the law says. It's a question of what you get into whan you decide you are an independent artist / designer / crafter...
The most enjoyable, satisfactory sales I have made online were custom-made. It feels so great having someone trust you with their special wish. It makes me feel "important" in a way no serious job does.
To be quite blunt, in my experience, custom is absolutely not profitable (because profit lies in series). But it still is what I have enjoyed most as a crafter.
The other important aspect of cutomer services is returns.
That is never pleasant, but it is crucial to trust-building.
I am lucky that I have only had a couple in the past few years, and, if I remember well, only one was about an online sale, surprisingly enough. But what strikes me is how incredibly grateful customers for whom I have mended a piece have been. In most cases there was a flaw and of course I was bound by law to mend their purchases (or give a refund, never their choice in my experience), but that didn't seem to be how they took it. They seemed surprised and pleased.
I have also been very lucky so far, I know from the forums on various sites, that I have never had to deal with someone patently dishonest.
Obviously, they are around, as are the dishonest sellers, but I still believe they are a small minority and the vast majority are lovely people who do us the great honour of appreciating our efforts and giving us good money for them, and so they deserve our best efforts throughout.