How to deal with complaints as a jeweller
Dealing with complaints can be hard, especially when you are the designer/maker, as well as a small business. Read on to find out our tips on how to manage this rare, although tricky side to running your business…
Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and give yourself a bit of time before answering (not always possible if the customer is standing in front of us I know!). If we answer a complaint from a defensive place in can just make the customer more irritated. Remember, it isn’t personal and being able to deal with the issue efficiently is important for the perception of your business.
acknowledge the problem
Think about times when you’ve had a complaint. You just want it to be dealt with and you don’t want to be dismissed. Give the customer the courtesy of your attention, listen hard to what they have to say. Acknowledging how they feel does not necessarily mean agreeing with them! You can say ‘I can see why you found that frustrating’.
If you take the time to listen before you offer a solution this will help with resolving the issue and with ensuring you don’t have to deal with the same problem again.
Find a solution
It can be tough to find a good solution. Remember that you don’t want anyone making negative comments about you or your business publicly so sometimes you need to offer a solution that isn’t great for your business e.g. giving a full refund or replacement item. Luckily, we have found, these situations are very rare, so you shouldn’t find yourself dealing with complaints often.
When dealing with complaints sometimes we end at the resolution with the customer. However, it is a good idea to evaluate whether you need to make some changes to your business to ensure that you never have the same issue again. This can save you from the same complaint in the future.
Check the descriptions of your pieces include all the detail a customer needs to make an informed choice - size, material, length etc.
Check the photographs of your pieces represent your jewellery well
Check your terms and conditions of sale are clear
Are you being realistic about the amount of time you need to make and post the item? Do you need to adjust this?
Have you wear-tested your jewellery to check that it is durable?
Should you look at using a different delivery company or a more expensive delivery option?
ensure you are covered
We hope you are never in a position to need to use it but do ensure you have the insurance you need to cover your business. If you are selling your jewellery you need to insure against any damage the piece could make to clothing etc. If you are selling at craft markets or teaching jewellery making you will need insurance for this.
It is statistically unlikely that you’ll ever have to use it but it is important that you have the cover for your business and your peace of mind.
We all do our best in our businesses. I know it’s hard not to take it personally when there are complaints but deal with the issue at hand, use the customer’s comments as market research, make improvements where you can to ensure the same thing can’t happen again and then move on.
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