Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Scare Away Customers with Your Policies

Do you know you can do- you can terrify your customers with just by using your store policies to get rid of all those annoying customers? They just keep bugging you any with stupid questions. Yes use your store policies, in the policy section and add a few to some items, this should eliminate those last stragglers who might want to buy from you.

A little negativity can go along way but here are some of the best one-liners to make people run

 I am not responsible once the item gets shipped   
 Actually just adding this one. line  might do all the work for you. You just told the customer- I'm not here to make you happy or be helpful, here are the items, not get out.
Be sure to add that  the postal service is unreliable so you are not taking any responsibility if items are late, get broken, or lost. Ifanything happens, it is not your fault so you aren't going to do anything.

 I only ship to Paypal addresses
Good for you, you get the protection that paypal offers sellers in case of a complaint by a buyer. A buyer doesn't give diddley squat that you are protecting yourself from that one customer who claims she didn't receive the item you know was sent.
This can also be used to be sure  customers won't return either.
This customer is thinking this would be a cool Christmas gift to send to her sister across the country. Imagine her joy when it shows up on her own door step, she put her sister's address in Artfire but you shipped it to her. Ok it was on your policy page but maybe she didn't see it or just figure she put in a "Ship to" on Artfire, why wouldn't it go there.

I don't accept returns 
You must inform me in 3 days if you want to return something
Restocking fees
Actually there are a lot of variation here but the point is that right out, you tell the customer, you don't care if they are happy with their product, you want their money and they are out of luck if the item isn't what they thought it would be. The buyer may never have thought of returning it but now the thought  "Is there something wrong that she'd make it so hard, what if I don't like it?" 

I demand payment in 24 hours or I will relist.
I think the majority of people pay right away but stuff happens. You need to make sure you remind customers you mean business; you have your stop watch out and you will relist, a nice cool insider term, if you don't your money.

Only offer store credit as a refund.
Hah, you still have her money. And she'll either spend more or leave a little extra for you. This works really well if you only have a few items or all are similar. Now if buyer has issues, they are stuck.

Be sure the customer know who is boss. You are. Even if there could be a nice way to say something, you are a serious business and will treat them with all the courtesy and kindness of the bitchy teenager at Walmart checkout.

Put restrictions on how an item can be used.
This is obvious for things like patterns and tutorials. Who wants to buy a pattern that they can't use as they want to. But add it to everything - let them know your designs are completely unique and no one better copy them or steal your photos. Not that this thoughtever occurred to anyone but you have to be prepared

You need to guard your every thought and every design. Be like that old fashioned shop keeper who kept a shot gun hanging over the counter. Forget that people often are drawn to small shops for the unique items but  they also like a personal touch if they need help. Let them know you can be as unwavering in your policies as any big store.

Heck if none of this works, you can just not answer any of your email. who needs customer service.

Follow this advice and you'll be sure to keep those pesky customers away.


Kelly Neddo said...

I really appreciated this write up my friend, especially the email - as I may not have taken notice as quickly - there are some REALLY good points in here and I admit I'm guilty of doing some of the things that you explained. I am so appreciative of this - not just because you took the time to write it to us all - because you offered alternative suggestions to help us with what we are doing wrong! I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this and you !

Beadaciously Yours said...

Wow - love the way you pointed these things out. I'm off to look at my policies to see if I am guilty of any of these things. Since I can't remember if I am or not, that tells me right there that I have been neglecting my policy page. Thanks.

Ruth Sandra said...

I think these are all really good points -- but I also think being honest is of great importance -- and being able to afford things is another.

As for "I am not responsible once the item gets shipped" -- for places where you would ship to that you cannot get Insurance for (mostly some overseas locations) and postal delivery is not guaranteed, I still think Honesty is the best policy. The real solution to this is to include Insurance on all sales and shipments in case something happens.

Also - having some kind of Return policy is important. Not accepting Returns at all will really be a discouragement to buyers, but stating some Return policy I think is important.

I have had a lot of sales in different places with Policies clearly stated.

I think it is better to state them -- and be honest.

I honestly can't afford to replace things that get totally lost all the time -- so shipping with Insurance is the only way for me.

Anonymous said...

You're right Ruth policies are very important; I am not saying not to have them. The trick is too right them with a positive tone.

Shipping insurance is a great way to refund customers who don't receive packages. I ship everywhere to, I know the hassles it can cause.