Monday, June 2, 2008

The Perils of Not Using Your Business Email

A large number of sellers of handmade and handcrafted products use a hosting service to host their store. These are great places to have for many merchants. Particularly if you are just starting out, lack the skills to build and manage your own web site or can’t afford to have this done. Some hosting locations are better than others depending on the services and costs involved. The one you choose of course will be based on your own specific needs.

One of the first things you should remember is that you should never use a store’s hosting site’s communication system to conduct business with your customers. After the first initial contact, all communications with a customer should be done using your own business email. If a customer isn’t willing to provide you their email address, there isn’t much you can do about it. Not everyone feel like this but any customer who isn’t willing to provide us with their email at the initial sale isn’t a customer we really want to do business with in the future. It just leaves the entire sale process open for problems if you can’t communicate with a customer. I always ask myself, “are we being scammed” and that feeling doesn’t go away until the money is in the bank. These types of customers are also the type that usually cause you problems in one form or another.

I could recount numerous instances of where a sale has gone down the tubes when relying on a hosting sites communication system. Many in house systems only allow you to contact a buyer a few times. This seriously hinders you ability to provide really good customer service. You should be making contact with all customers, to thank them for the order to confirm the information you have received, when you ship your item, sometimes a follow-up about the current shipping status if the item being shipped is thru UPS or any other site where the shipping time is more than 3 days, a quick note upon the delivery to make sure that the item was received properly and that the customer is satisfied.

Doing this on many hosting sites is considered Spam. But doing this Is just good customer service.

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