well, after yesterday's post i got a lot of feedback and a few asked me to share about another issue in SL... customers!!!! this is mostly for those who have businesses but it can be applied to a lot of other areas in life.
there are a lot of varying views on the importance of customers and how to treat them, what to let them get "away" with, etc. my view is pretty strong and i've followed it since day one.
"a customer is a person who of ALL the choices they have in SL, have chosen to spend their often LIMITED lindens in YOUR store." got it?
they do NOT have to buy your things.
you are NOT their only resource.
they have MANY choices.
they can LIVE without your item. (even if they think they can't)
there are many who do what you do better.
they have MANY choices.
they do NOT owe you anything, not even respect.
YOU are providing THEM something.
you don't have to like them and they don't have to like you.
they have MANY choices!
you can act how you want even if they don't like it.
NO ONE can make YOU do anything.
ok so now that i've listed what i believe are a few absolutes... let's get down to how i see customer service.
from when i first joined SL i realized there were many choices, i even put a coupon in EACH item saying 'thank you for your purchase, i know you have many choices' i was thankful someone would part with 499L on a dress i made. like thrilled.
so ok, people don't get things, people don't like things, people want to return things, people write to ask you what hair is on your ad, and some people even want you to pick their hair and skin to go with their item the got from you. it can be overwhelming at times.
ok for the most part i don't have nightmare customers. i never have. maybe one or two who were very angry about something, and i "think" in every case (unless they changed their minds) their issues were resolved to their satifaction, and then some.
i've had people yell, demand, insult, etc. and i do NOT get upset. i don't mute, ban or eject. i don't feel slighted. i don't get in a huff. i don't complain about them to everyone and do the "woe is me" designer thing.
well a few reasons.
1. if someone is upset, they are going to act upset. it has nothing to do with me. they are upset and most likely venting. so let them vent, get it out of their system, let them type away w/o defending or demanding they "speak to you with respect"... i mean really, they are upset so just let them cool off.
2. they may feel totally justified in their rant, and actually they may have every right to be upset... so why get all upset yourself?
3. it's NOT that big of a deal. what is a big deal is how YOU handle it.
4. if you realize their value as a person and customer, how YOU choose to respond will be the key.
5. ACT do NOT react to an angry customer. (the difference is "action" is what you do independent of their behavior. "reaction" is what you do cuz "they made you do it!)
ok so... what am i trying to say.
realize that when someone is upset, they WANT to let you know. so let them know you know and you are comitted to doing everything you can to make it right. let them know early on 'i care about this issue and want you to know that i will do all i can to make sure you are VERY happy'. believe me this stops MOST people immediately. like WAIT, she WANTS to HELP ME? and i just called her a *&$#$#$*#( @#(*#(&$#*!!! wow!
personally i replace, resend, trans or no trans items and i usually throw in a few free things. my goal is TO KEEP THE CUSTOMER AND TURN THEIR NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE INTO A POSITIVE ONE.
i am often really appalled by some merchants who think their customers owe them all this respect and to speak to them like they are god's gift to the design world. news flash YOU'RE NOT!! neither am i, we're just parts of a greater community. not one of us is so AMAZING we should be treated like we're some sort of deity. save that for your role playing, hahaha.
if you WIN over an angry customer, in my experience you have a customer for life. if you LOSE one, they will make DAMN sure they tell EVERYONE they know. and again. YOU are not their only choice.
i personally LOVE to win over an angry person. i'm sorta weird that way. i try to see why they are so upset. and i love when we can resolve it.
again i don't get too many angry people maybe due to the fact i try to defuse it at the beginning by letting them know i am committed to making them happy.
do people take advantage of this? maybe. often? nope. usually i have people saying, "oh not this is too much, this will be fine".
when you really think of it, no one can "disrespect you" really. not unless you take angry people's words as some sort of huge offense. angry people yell. don't let it surprise you. i wish i had the maturity to always handle myself with composure when i am angry, but alas, i don't.
i have banned ONE person. i was happy to do it after many warnings. why? he was annoying MY customers over and over and i felt NO guilt, and it was the easiest time i hit "ban this avatar". of course he yelled at me but that is ONE thing i won't tolerate is hurting my customers. i value them and each time they step in my shop, i am thankful. i know there are about a bazillion infinity other places they could be shopping at.
that for me keeps things in perspective.
hope this bit of info helps.
p.s. excuse any typos. i just typed this very fast :)