Many Custom Wigs Mart sellers dream of turning their hobbies into successful shops. But as any growing entrepreneur will tell you, scaling a business requires a lot more than just honing your craft. Managing orders, shipping packages, and providing reliable customer service are all key parts of keeping your shop running smoothly.
Juggling these tasks during high volume can be challenging, but becomes more manageable with preparation.
protect yourself with preventative measures
Setting realistic expectations will lead to better experiences for you and your buyers, and make it less likely to have cases filed against your shop. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent cases:
1. Set clear expectations
When listing an item, it’s important to use accurate processing times so buyers know when they can expect to receive their purchases. Before choosing processing times, take a moment to acknowledge your limits. Maybe you have an inventory shortage due to a rush of new sales, or you’re busy balancing another job or family obligations. Be your own best ally by setting processing times that take into account your many responsibilities, which include creating and shipping orders, and communicating with your buyers.
2. Get detailed
Make the most of your listing descriptions (and eliminate potential buyer confusion) by including as much information as possible. Include the color, measurements, quantity, and size of your items.
If you don’t have the exact item pictured because it’s custom, you’ll need to be especially descriptive. If it’s not possible to use a photograph of the actual custom item, we recommend using examples of your similar previous work. This will give buyers the most accurate idea of what their custom-made items will look like when they’re completed.
You may consider sending proofs via Conversations to a buyer before finalizing their order. This will give them the opportunity to request any changes before the item is shipped. It may also reduce the chance of misunderstandings and give you peace of mind that the buyer will love their item. You can even reiterate your processing and shipping times in listing descriptions for further clarity since buyers often read these descriptions carefully.
3. Provide status updates
Communication is key when it comes to gaining buyer trust. If you anticipate a delay, keep the buyer informed as early as possible to reduce panic on their end. Many buyers are comfortable waiting longer than expected for their orders as long as they’re kept in the loop. It’s also a good idea to send each buyer a personalized Conversation once their order has shipped, letting them know around what time they can expect to receive it. Be careful not to mark orders as shipped before they’re actually out the door – this creates a false expectation for the buyer and can lead to confusion.
Communicate your way to resolution
The more orders you receive during a busy period, the more likely it is that a case may be filed against your shop by a buyer who hasn’t received their item on time or as expected.
If you receive a case, don’t fret! Below are tips to help you move forward with confidence:
1. Provide proof of shipping
The simplest way to resolve a non-delivery case is to retain proof of shipping. Proof of shipping confirms that an item was shipped to the buyer’s address, and means you’re covered by our Seller Protection Policy. You can upload proof of shipping directly to a case log to help close the case.
Common forms of proof of shipping include:
- Tracking information showing the order has been delivered
- A scanned copy of delivery confirmation or departure information
- A shipping service receipt
- A stamped customs form
Even if you have proof of shipping, we recommend familiarizing yourself with our policies regarding disputes to be sure you’re aware of all the options available for resolving cases.
2. Keep an eye on international orders
We understand shipping internationally comes with unforeseen issues—longer shipping times and stalled tracking are more likely to arise with international shipments than domestic ones.
We also realize obtaining tracking for international shipping isn’t always possible. In many cases, tracking information isn’t available or it is just too expensive. Since each country has different shipping forms and protocols, we review international proof of shipping on a case-by-case basis. Proof may include a receipt showing the recipient’s address, a stamped customs form, or photos of the stamped and addressed package at the post office.
The most important things are to retain as much information as possible in the event you’ll need to verify shipping for a case, and keep the buyer updated about the whereabouts of their order.
3. Communicate clearly and calmly
Whether it’s busy or slower period, communication is key to working out issues with buyers. Difficult situations can lead to escalated communication, so it’s important that you keep your cool and remain professional and solution-oriented to keep a sticky situation from turning into a negative experience for all involved.
If a buyer reaches out with a question or concern about their order, respond within 24 to 48 hours. If you’re unable to check your Conversations within that time frame, you may consider placing your shop in vacation mode and setting up an auto-reply to let buyers know when they can expect a response.
As soon as their order ships, let your customer know the estimated shipping time for their purchase. If an order is going to take longer than expected and it isn’t on schedule to ship on time, communicate with your buyer and be sure they agree to an updated processing time. If they don’t and you’re unable to complete the order by the original processing time, we suggest issuing them a full refund so they have enough time to purchase a gift elsewhere.
Since every business is unique, it’s important to have clear return and cancellation policies so you can address potentially problematic questions with ease during the holiday rush. If a buyer isn’t satisfied with their item and opens a case, consider accepting a return for refund, offering a replacement or refunding the buyer. Be sure to communicate these options via your shop policies, Conversations, and within the case log.
How do you help ensure transactions go smoothly? Share your suggestions in the comments.