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customer service

Free Printable: A Valentine For Your Customers

CustomerValentine_TotallyDesignWith Valentine’s day right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to send some extra love and appreciation to your customers. And I’m excited to share this customer valentine printable that I put together just for you! The best part about these cards is they have printer-friendly margins, a low ink design, and require minimal trimming and cutting, so they can be reasonably printed and created at home. They’re perfect to include in your orders or send to your most loyal customers with a Valentine coupon code. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day! annewashibio

Anne McOmber – Totally Design

Hi, I’m Anne! I’m a wife and mom with an obsession with modern design, a passion for customer appreciation, and an inherited love for beautiful packaging. I spend my days playing cars, going on walks and helping my fellow business owners create lasting impressions and genuine relationships with their customers. Life is good! Follow Anne on Pinterest and Twitter!

DIY Origami Envelopes

origami_envelopes
Show your wonderful customers that you care by popping a little something extra in their package.  These easy to make origami envelopes are super-cute, versatile and with all sorts of wonderfully patterned paper out there, can be customized to your branding needs.  You can use them to put all sorts of things in them, such as business cards, receipts, stickers, discount cards, extra goodies or simply write a nice thank you on the inside!  They can be left folded over, or you can secure them with twine, tape, wax seals, stickers or anything else you can think of that matches your current branding.
origami_envelopes2
The ones I use are made from an origami set that I got from Omiyage and they’re 6”x6” (folded down they fit a standard size business card perfectly), but you can play around with sizes to fit your needs – just make sure they start out as a perfect square!
So, go on… use the handy free downloadable instructions to make your fabby little origami envelope and start wowing your customers into coming back for more 😉
origami_envelopes_DIY

 

Geribiowashi

Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion

Geri Jewitt is a designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, handmaking eco-friendly invitations + stationery, paper decorations & illustrated art prints in her Paper Boutique as well as helping those who are in need of fresh design!  She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about love, life, design, colour + handmade.

 

5 Reasons to Tell Your Customers Thank You (+ a Giveaway!)

ThankYou_TotallyDesignThe idea of customer appreciation is nothing new, but the more I learn about it and apply it, the more I’m amazed at the influence it has on a handmade business (or any business, for that matter!). And my most favorite part of customer appreciation: everyone wins! When we make our customers feel valued and appreciated our businesses grow and our customers enjoy a positive shopping experience and walk away happy. I love win-win situations! Want to hear how your business (and your customers) can benefit from a simple thank you?

  1. Customer appreciation builds relationships.

The success of a business relies on having customers so building a relationship with them deserves a top spot on your priority list. By letting your customers know that they mean everything to the well-being of your business, you’re building trust and a relationship that is often hard to get any other way.

  1. A hand-signed thank you note makes your packaging memorable.

I’m all about that open-the-box moment your customers experience when your handmade treasure finally arrives, and I’m telling you nothing adds a personal touch more than a thank you card signed by you. Thank you cards are also a perfect way to ensure your name and website are included in your package. I find I’m more likely to hold onto a handwritten note than a standard business card; the same is probably true of your customers.

  1. Appreciating your customers increases repeat business and referrals.

Customers who feel valued and appreciated often become your biggest fans. Yay for fans!!! These wonderful, loyal people are not only interested in following you and participating in your community, they’re quick to spread the word about you and your products. And fans will most certainly go directly back to you for your product, rather than searching for the cheapest, easiest place to get it.

  1. Customer appreciation builds and strengthens a business.

A business full of happy, loyal customers is a thriving one. Even during the rough times, those solid relationships you’ve built with your customers will ensure that your business continues to grow and succeed. Treat your fans like the incredible asset they are, and they’ll stand by you through it all. Keep in mind that to build true, genuine relationships customer appreciation needs to be a part of you and your business – not just something you do to increase sales.

  1. Lastly, and most important of all, your customers deserve it!

Regardless of how or why you tell your customers thank you, the important thing is that you do! I could go on and on about why customer appreciation is critical to a business (it’s one of my passions, what can I say?!) but the bottom line is: success of our shops would never come without our amazing customers. They adore our products and support our passions, and if you ask me, I’d say that deserves a big thank you!

Sincerely from my shop to yours,

Anne

P.S. I’d love to hear your customer appreciation success stories – from a business or customer standpoint. And by sharing your story, you’ll be entered into my giveaway for your very own customized thank you card printable and 100 printed cards. Talk to you soon!

Giveaway Details:

Anne is giving away a customized thank you card printable and 100 printed cards!

Deadline: 

The giveaway will end Sunday, October 27th at 6:00pm PST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and announced on this post on Monday, October 28th.

To enter:

Head on over to Totally Design and take a look around. Then come back here and leave a comment letting us know which design is your favorite and your customer appreciation success stories – from a business or customer standpoint.

Good luck!

* The winner of the giveaway is Val Bobias!!! I will get in touch shortly with the details, Val! Thank you to all who entered. Be on the look out for an email from me sharing a exclusive deal for you from Totally Design! 

annewashibio

Anne McOmber – Totally Design

Hi, I’m Anne! I’m a wife and mom with an obsession with modern design, a passion for customer appreciation, and an inherited love for beautiful packaging. I spend my days playing cars, going on walks and helping my fellow business owners create lasting impressions and genuine relationships with their customers. Life is good!

Follow Anne on Pinterest and Twitter!

A Thank You Your Clients Will Remember

thank-you-set

One surefire way to make a difference in your creative business customer service is to say Thank You in a way that your customer or clients will remember.  It’s such a little thing and yet, how many times in your shopping experience to feel special and that your patronage means something?  When you strictly have an online shop or presence, it’s even more crucial to stand out from the crowd and turn that single sale into a repeat customer – with a simple thank you.

We’re super busy creating and doing the books and tackling social media that a handwritten note on your customer’s receipt is all you can do right now, but believe me, a little more personalized way to say thank you is with an actual card that’s sealed in an envelope and has a personal handwritten note by you.

You may not have the moolah just now to get those beautiful sumptuous letterpress cards you saw on Etsy or some custom thank you notes or cards created for you or even some standard ones, as they don’t really go with your biz.

Well, here are some free ones you can use until then!

They’re a standard A2 size (5.5″ wide x 4.25″ high), in both a flat or folded card.  It’s a simple design in black & white so they should go with anything, but if you want a more personalized look, try printing them out on simliar coloured scrapbook cardstock to your brand or for a simple, rustic & handmade look, try kraft cardstock.

I’ve also included a matching envelope liner in both a flat and pointed flap and again, try different coloured envelopes or kraft envelopes to play around with style.

I hope you find these useful and let us know in the comments if you find that it makes a difference in your customer service feedback!

Geribiowashi

Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion

Geri Jewitt is a designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, handmaking eco-friendly invitations + stationery, paper decorations & illustrated art prints in her Paper Boutique as well as helping those who are in need of fresh design!  She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about love, life, design, colour + handmade.

 

Giving Good Customer Service

del-cool-markets-bi-rite-saimage courtesy of Bi-Rite

We have all had both terrible and wonderful customer service experiences. We might not remember the details of the situation but we certainly remember how it made us feel and we associate that feeling with that brand, service, etc. So why do so many businesses give bad customer service?

For us with smaller business, interactions with customers are easier to control. Good, personable service is why many people prefer to work with us over larger companies. So with competition from these larger company’s lower prices and 24 hr service, it is even more important for us to provide friendly, knowledgeable service with accountability.

If you have employees working the front end of your company creating a strict guideline of how you want your business represented and how to deal with issues is incredibly important. One of my favorite small businesses here in San Francisco is Bi-Rite Market where I can get carefully selected produce and meats from the best local farmers. They have amazing product and due to this their prices are rightfully a little higher. The original shop is small and on an exceptionally hip and busy block in the Mission. But everyone in that shop knows the product they are selling. Everyone wants to help you find what you are looking for to so you can get in and out of the store quickly and efficiently. They have one person orchestrating the long line at the register, passing out tasters of yummy food from the deli. The efficiency and friendliness of the Bi-Rite far outweighs the small anxiety I get from looking into their busy doors. They don’t have to put so much effort into making this a wonderful experience to be successful. Something tells me people would still rush through their doors. But they care and so I keep going back. Happily.

If you are like me, you prefer to go to restaurants and shops with a friendly but not intrusive vibe. I prefer someone to let me know that they are there if I need them in subtle ways. Eye contact from my server, efficient service and knowledge about the menu when asked is all I want. Other people are different so service should be able to see this and act appropriately. The same goes for shops or vendors at art/craft shows. Showing up for the guest with a smile and a hello could be all that is needed. If I like the product but find the service indifferent, I will go someplace else. I have guided many a client in preparation for art shows and my one word of advice is to try and say hello or give a confident smile to everyone who approaches you. Remember that it is not only about your work. You are creating a feeling or an emotion to share with whomever you interact. You want people to want to buy from you.

Some of my friends and I still joke about a shop here in San Francisco filled with wonderful things but with a very, unfriendly owner. We could walk in and she would never raise her head from her laptop to say hello. I would stop in when I was trying to waste time before an appointment or to get out of the rain or wind. We knew we could go in and not ever buy anything because the owner didn’t even know we were there. That is precisely why we went there. Not to buy any of their awesome products but to not be seen. That was years ago and we still talk about the shop. It has been a guideline about how we don’t want to run our business.

Friendliness, efficiency and knowledge can go a long way. If you haven’t already, create your own guideline for customer service.

shellybiowashi

 Shelly Kerry — Creating Space, Mindful Living

Shelly Kerry is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.

Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.

You can now find Creating Space on Facebook.