Guide to Providing Excellent Customer Service on Etsy and eBay

Providing Excellent Customer Service on Esty and eBay

You already know how important providing great customer service is when running a business. But providing great customer service on Etsy, eBay and similar ecommerce platforms is a bit different than providing great customer service when running other types of businesses. You need to really understand the platforms and what customers expect in order to make their shopping experience pleasant and memorable. Here are some tips you can use to provide great customer service on Etsy and eBay.

Providing Excellent Customer Service on Etsy and eBay

Answer Questions Promptly

One of the best parts about shopping on platforms like Etsy and eBay rather than with large corporations is the accessibility of the shop owners. So when customers contact you with questions or concerns, you need to be available to get back to them as quickly as possible. If you wait too long, your customers could just keep browsing for similar shops and buy from someone who does answer their questions in a timely manner. So if possible, set aside a few times throughout the day for you to check your messages and respond to any queries.

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Make Your Policies Clear and Visible

In addition, you can limit people’s need to actually contact you with any questions or concerns by listing your policies or FAQs very clearly where people are likely to find them. You should have a section of your shop dedicated to listing all of your policies. But you can also list things like shipping and returns at the bottom of your item descriptions to make it even easier for shoppers to know what they’re getting into. It’s better to make sure that your customers know exactly what your policies are before they make a purchase than to keep them tucked away in a corner of your store that no one visits in the hopes that customers won’t get scared off by your no-returns policy. If you’re worried about your policies driving customers away, it could be a sign that you need to reevaluate those policies or at least accept that it’s better to have a few customers who are happy with their shopping experience than to have a lot of customers who are unhappy.

Ship Promptly and Carefully

Shipping is a huge part of providing good customer service on eBay and Etsy as well. You need to set up a system for shipping your items so that they get to your customers quickly and in the condition that they were promised. Especially if your items are fragile at all, you’ll need to invest in some packing supplies. And you need to make sure that you get those items out for shipping within the time allotted in your shop policies, but even before that deadline if at all possible. If customers expect to receive their purchase within a week and it gets there in a couple of days, they’re likely to be pretty happy with that part of the experience. But if you fall behind by even a day or two of what you promised, that could ruin the entire experience for them.

Add Something Extra

Shopping on platforms like eBay and Etsy can also be a more personal experience than shopping with more established ecommerce shops. If you answer questions, have clear policies and get your products out on time, you’ve provided adequate customer service that customers are likely to be happy with, but then also forget about promptly. If you want to provide great service that they’ll actually remember and tell their friends about, you need to go beyond that. A great way to do that is to include something extra with their purchase. This can be as simple as a handwritten thank you note, some really unique handmade packaging or even a small special gift to go along with their purchase.

Have a System for Resolving Issues

No matter how great your shop is, there will be issues that arise. Packages will get lost in the mail. Your customers will fail to read your policies. Or any number of other things could occur. When those things happen, it’s important that you try to resolve them in a way that’s fair to your customers as well as your business. You can’t always please everyone, especially when customers make unfair demands. But you should build some wiggle room into your pricing so that you can cover things like purchases that were lost or damaged in the mail. If you take care of those issues quickly and satisfactorily, your customers are more likely to be happy with their shopping experience overall.

Be Social

You can also make your shop stand out by being available for questions, comments and interaction on various social platforms. Customers may prefer reaching out to sellers on Facebook or Twitter rather than eBay or Etsy directly. This doesn’t mean you have to be on every single platform, but choosing at least one or two can make you more accessible and relatable to your target customers.

eBay Photo via Shutterstock

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

7 Reactions
  1. I agree about the promptness. All questions and concerns should always be addressed in a timely manner. That is the first rule of good customer service.

    • Absolutely – no matter what platform you’re working with.

      • I also agree with having a fixed set of rules. This will help you have something to refer to in those cases when your customers have some questions. You don’t need to write it every single time.

  2. Great tips. I include handwritten thank you notes that I enjoy writing and customers do appreciate them.

  3. I think that customer service is all about just being there for your customer and ensuring that they get their money’s worth.

    • I agree. Real good customer service comes out of mere concern for the customer’s welfare. Treat them as you would like to be treated if you were the customer.

  4. Customer service is more than answering questions. It is about being there every step of the way for your customer.

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