A Little Customer Service

I love the Internet. It’s given me the chance to do amazing things. One of those has been the chance to sell my art and craftwork through various venues including Ebay and Etsy.

Ebay is huge and can be very complex, expensive and downright confusing but I have to say the two times I had minor technical issues I was able to get live help and email help within 20 minutes and 1 day respectively. On both occasions the help was correct and pleasant.

About two years ago, I created my first Etsy account after having watched the site for about 18 months. In the first 6 months we operated the Claychicks shop I had to ask for admin help twice, both as a result of site generated bugs. Both emails were directed to their general support email as there is no live help and the forums, even at the time, were a coin toss. One email went unanswered. I figured out the solution on my own in two days or so as I’m fairly technical.

The second email, a simple bug related to my outdated software setup, received an incorrect reply (this is my industry, hello, I was not merely guessing when I mentioned what my issues were). Worse, the reply was dismissive and rude. While I’m aware that written communications don’t pass tone of voice on well… this was dismissive. Our shop went on hiatus for most of a year.

When we came back to the shop, I answered a call in the forums for help with bug fixes. Support had asked for users with a specific issue to send them info either via the thread or email. So I did this – it’s my industry and I appreciate any customer who takes the time to let me know something is wrong instead of just walking away.

That email also received a reply. It was – in addition to being poorly written – rude. There was no ‘Thanks for your feedback’. There was a snippy remark (I kid you not) about how I had provided more complex info than requested and it was not helpful.

No other communication I have had with Etsy ever produced a result – no item or shop I flagged was ever removed or changed when I looked back.

Have I sold well on Etsy? Yes. The price is right and there are some amazing artisans there. But the service is very poor.

This week, in an effort to look into other venues (I’ve looked into many – like Etsy, once upon a time), I joined Artfire. The site is in Beta and it’s a bit of a mess right now. That’s fine – I’m pretty tech savvy.

I had a minor issue with the form controls not working correctly during my signup process. I was able to complete my signup despite that. But I did take the time to write a bug report.

I received a sort of form email from the CS quickly – it explained they were swamped but would look into my issue ASAP. This morning (half a day after I signed up), I received a personal reply from CS saying they had corrected my issue (and they had, I checked) and that they had passed on my bug to Engineering. It was concise, polite and it was honest.

What a nice change.

2 comments

  1. Elaine says:

    oh.. I will do both. No eggs in one basket. I’ve had good sales on Etsy – it would just be so much more pleasant if they were moderately pleasant to deal with!

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