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Online customer behaviour

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:52 pm
by frances
Do customers suspend normal behaviour codes when buying online?

I am trialling a fabric-selling webssite. And I am somewhat perturbed at some of the customer behaviour I have seen so far, and I have not been open a month yet. You all have more experience than I do - is this to be expected, and how do you deal with it?

* One customer has not got back to me to agree the postage - but I know why this is
* One customer has not got back to me after I gave the price of the fabrics
* One customer cancelled the order after I had cut and packaged up the fabric
* One customer told me that they could get the fabric cheaper at a wholesaler - well yes
* One customer decided not to have a fabric because it was not pure wool (at that price!) even though the website said that it was not 100% wool
* One customer said that they did not want the fabric because it was not what they were looking for (fair enough and I said thanks for letting me know)
* two customers were looking for fabrics that I do not have (but it was worth asking 'cos you never know)

Am I particularly unlucky, or is this normal customer behaviour?

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:24 pm
by lucy the tudor
Fairly normal, apart from the already cut fabric one, I don't sell fabric but maybe you could ask for payment in advance of cutting?

Some people ask for detailed provenance for items on sale, or a range of eras they may be suitable for, or other things>Then when you have spent ages writing long and informative replies they don't bother to write back.

MORE of them are absolutely lovely and write to say how much they like what you have made, and really encourage you and remind you why you are doing this instead of selling to faceless people.

Occasionally I take ages to get back to someone about something because my head is elsewhere or I have thought I have already answered them- swings and roundabouts maybe?

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:36 pm
by Shadowcat
I have to say you are meeting normal behaviour but all at once! I regularly get inquiries for quotes on costumes, and the customer never comes back, or says that he/she has found something cheaper or that they like better. This applies to museums/art galleries,/professional bodies as well as individuals. It is especially annoying when you have put in some hours and researched pictures/colours/fabric etc.


Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:49 pm
by Handbag
lucy the tudor wrote: Occasionally I take ages to get back to someone about something because my head is elsewhere or I have thought I have already answered them- swings and roundabouts maybe?
that is just like me. i always seem to have loads of things going on at the same time
like now for instance im
Buying fabric from frances -(i hope ive not caused you any problems - ive emailed you today)
buying a hurdy gurdy
buying the hubby armour
re-writing our companys clothing guide booklets
doing a NVQ level 3 at work - with most of the work being done at home
and a whole lot of making repairing and planning for the new season whilst trying to sort out my overdue honeymoon and sorting my work out as ive got Jury duty coming up for 2 weeks. its been a busy year so far!!

so from a customer point of view it is often just that an email or pm goes un-noticed due to other of lifes factors.

i think its important to stipulate your 'demands' so to speak before any commitment is made which may avoid problems like the cut fabric problem.

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:15 pm
by frances
Oh, right!!

I have already learned to ask for a cheque and wait until it clears before sending out parcels. Got stung a long time ago on that one - lost some fabric and some jewellery I made as a rush job for a client who was going to a well-known place in Suffolk to re-enact Elizabethan. Never did get the money nor the postage - at high rate due to the speed needed.

So no more rush jobs have ever been sent out.

Oh forgot, and another one who wanted some braids - I sent emails with 14 different samples, early as they were not needed for three months. Only then to be told that the person's client suddenly wanted a rush job so they did a different trimming altogether. But the customer did not bother to let me know the pics were not longer needed. And since I do not have transport at the moment, it had taken me well over half a day to get to the store by two long walks, two buses in each direction, sort out likely braids, travel home and make 4 emails with attachments.

So come on then, why do you still do it. Don't you get all frustrated like I am feeling at the moment?