When it comes to running a businesses, or TRYING to run a business anyway, one is generally seeking a profit. To make money. To put food on the table. To, basically, come out ahead. Sometimes, being the nice guy/gal can get in the way of that. This is lesson I am learning first hand. Allow me to explain….All of us who run small businesses, whether it be at a local Brick & Mortar store, or an online shop, want to offer the BEST customer service possible. We want the people who buy from us to be ultimately happy with their purchases, as well as with their experience. We hope that they will share with the world how wonderful our store is. Good customer service is an essential ingredient to building a loyal customer base, and can result in spreading the word to bring in new customers. It can, however, go too far sometimes.
Case in point. I’ve had a couple of packages get lost in the mail. Not lost, necessarily, but sent to the wrong address. They were sent to the wrong address because the customers who ordered from me accidentally gave me their old addresses, and because they matched up on PayPal and Etsy, I sent it dutifully. A couple weeks later I get a convo from the customers asking, “Where is my package?” When I double-check the address they say, “Oops.” Wanting to be the all-satisfactory-customer-service-seller, I offer to remake the item and sell it at a discount of half the price -or- if they are willing to wait a couple of weeks in case their package is returned to me, I will resend to their new address at no extra shipping charge to them. Either way, I’m going to lose money on the deal.
From now on, I send a copy of the buyer’s address in their “Thank you for your purchase!” convo right after a sale, that way, if they have changed addresses, they will hopefully alert me of the change before the item is shipped the next day.I could easily have continued to lose a lot of money if I kept doing what I was doing when these buyers made such errors. Not exactly the best way to make money. Even though it’s hard for those of us who strive to be “nice,” it’s OKAY to ask for additional shipping charges if a customer had their package sent to the wrong address, or to leave them out of the shipping charges if they want to send the item back for a refund. You may get the item back, but you don’t want to be out of the cost it took you to ship it. (Unless the item is broken or an other such circumstance, in which case a complete full refund would be the only acceptable thing to do.) Basically, customers EXPECT such additional charges, and they won’t completely turn away from you simply trying to adequately run your business.