As a crafter and maker, there are several reasons why you may need to decline an order: too busy, no interest, against your personal beliefs, outside of your comfort zone, beyond your skills, and many, many others. First things first (I cannot stress this enough): “No.” is a complete sentence. You do not have to explain yourself to a potential customer that inquires if you can complete an order. However, great customer service is important in small businesses. I’ve written several copy and paste responses that you are welcome to use the next time you encounter an order that you don’t want to complete:
- Hello (name of customer)! Thank you for your interest in (name of business). At this time, I am unable to do custom orders. Feel free to reach out in the future. Thanks, (your name), (name of business)
- Thanks for reaching out to me, I am unable to complete the order you are describing at this time. Maybe you could reach out to (Link to a fellow maker) to complete the order. Have a great day! (your name), (name of business)
- Hello (name of customer), My schedule doesn’t allow me to take this kind of order right now. Thanks for understanding and I hope to work with you in the future. (your name), (name of business)
- Hi (name of customer), Unfortunately, My current order load does not allow me to accept this order. I hope that you will contact me in the future for another order. Thank you, (your name), (name of business)
- Thanks (name of customer) for contacting me! I’d love to work with you, but right now I cannot take on your order. I look forward to working with you at another time. Thanks, (your name), (name of business)
When declining orders from customers, there is something that you never want to mention: That their request is against your beliefs or morals. Everyone has different beliefs, morals, and tastes. In our current litigation happy society, it is best to never state an order is against your beliefs because it opens you up to be sued. Instead, keep it simple and to the point.
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