Shopping local and buying from small business owners feels ten times better than buying something from Amazon. I can actually see where my money goes and feel good about it. Reality is, we live in an Amazon world. Everything gets delivered within a day, or if you live in an Amazon now city, within a few hours.
If you purchase from a small business, realize you’re dealing with a human, not a drone. These are people with families and a staff of one ( maybe two) people running their business. You aren’t entitled to a package being delivered within two days of placing your order.
You are however, entitled to a timely response. You don’t want your customers to feel like their emails are going into abyss. Let them know you are thankful for their order and try to respond to all inquiries in a timely manner.
A few things you can do to avoid bad customer experiences:
Set expectations up front – Facebook, Instagram, and most outlets where you advertise and sell your products, provide an option to set response time windows.
Send automated responses – When a customer places an order, make sure you have an automated email letting them know you’ve received their order. If you can, include their order details and an estimated ship date.
Follow Up – If the order is delayed for some reason or you’re out of a certain product, let the customer know as soon as possible.
Stay Passionate – Finally, don’t forget why you started! You have a passion for something and are choosing to share it with the world. Let your passion keep fuelling your fire to provide good customer service.
Please keep choosing to shop local and support small businesses. Even if you have one bad experience, remember we’re all human. If you live in Saskatchewan, you should check out Jim’s Bread & Buns, a home based bakery in Milestone. Jim bakes to order and delivers to Regina twice a week. He makes everything himself and offers many varieties of breads, buns, cinnamon buns and cakes. His Maple Butter Cinnamon buns with raisins are ridiculously good and so HUGE – he’s extremely generous!