A common fear among Etsy sellers is receiving negative feedback. I see it brought up often in threads and groups I follow. That dreaded 3, 2 or even 1 star rating that most likely came out of a misunderstanding that you weren’t given the chance to amend. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Will it ruin your business’s reputation? Will it scare potential customers away?
I want to tell you a story.
Back in August, I went on vacation. My shop was closed for 19 days. Being a small business owner, putting your online shop into “vacation mode” can be scary in itself. What if you lose potential customers? What if there’s a customer issue that you can’t be immediately available to help with? What if you lose your SEO ranking? Common concerns. I felt all of these things the day I put my shops into vacation mode to enjoy a family trip to Italy.
The morning I put my shop in vacation mode I took my dog to the doggy camp she would be staying at while I was gone. If you follow me on Instagram, you know my dog is extremely important to me. She is a very anxious little girl and I could see worry in her face as I dropped her off FOR NINETEEN DAYS. I felt awful and admittedly shed some tears as I headed back to my car. I was using my phone to map out my drive home when I saw an Etsy conversation come through. Despite being on vacation mode, the conversations can still be received.
I, of course, immediately looked at the e-mail and found a complaint from a buyer about an order not being received. When I clicked on her order to investigate the situation I saw that she had already left me feedback. A one-star rating.
Of course, I refunded her, and apologized for the issue (an incorrect shipping address was supplied, mind you). But I sat stewing over that feedback. Here I was, crying over my dog, about to get on a plane to fucking Italy and now I had this nagging in the back of my mind.
“Should I publicly respond to her feedback?” “Why didn’t she give me a chance to amend the situation?” “Ok, I’m not going to respond.” “She was a repeat customer! She should know customer service is important to me!” “Maybe I should respond, so other people will know I care.” “Will someone see that feedback and be scared away from my shop?”
I can tell you I probably thought about that feedback every single day while I was in Italy.
When I came home from our trip, I sat down at my computer to make a final decision on how to handle this. When I went to look again at the negative feedback, I had to scroll through six pages of feedback that I received while I was on vacation. Six pages of 5 star reviews. That’s really when I realized it. That 1 negative star rating DOES NOT MATTER. I have enough positive feedback that speaks for itself. Why is it that the negativity always screams louder and effects us so much more than all the positives we hear?
What I’m telling you is, bad feedback is not going to make your shop go all dooms day if you have an otherwise exceptional reputation. What’s more, the likelihood that a potential customer is going to see that feedback and shy away from buying from you is super slim. And sometimes, there are just customers who are hard to please, no matter what you do. Here, I apologized, I issued the refund, what else could I do? Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that you did your best.
If you’re afraid to put your shop in vacation-mode because shit will hit the fan while you’re gone, well I’m here to tell you that it just might. But I’m also here to say that life goes on. And so does business! So take a damn trip because you deserve it.
What are your thoughts? Has this ever happened to you? How did you handle the situation?