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Selling handmade products can be a challenge when potential customers can go to big box retailers and buy similar items. For example, Hobby Lobby has many lettered canvas and “looks like wood” home decor items, Walmart sells tumblers with generic screen printed sayings, and on a recent trip to Michaels I saw many products that almost look handmade!
Customers that seek out handmade items know that they are often paying more than they would in store for an item. There is something special about buying a handmade or handcrafted product directly from the seller – and buyers will happily pay more. As a buyer, I know that the person creating the item paid special attention when creating it, they may have created it especially for me (custom made or personalized products), and the maker (hopefully) is doing something they love doing each and every day. In this short and simple post, I’m asking you as sellers to ask yourself what you do for your customers to make them feel special – or valued in business language.
For me personally, I enclose a handwritten note on colorful cardstock – nothing fancy just a sentence or two thanking the buyer for the purchase and telling them that I enjoyed creating the product. In this modern day world where everyone is on the verge of being overly connected with technology, handwritten notes are few and far between. It is my hope that it brightens my buyer’s day to give them a quick thank you note addressed to them. I’ve had a great experience with this, and several of my Etsy feedbacks have mentioned my handwritten note.
As another example, I like to use chalk paint in many of my projects. I am a loyal customer to The Painted Purple Lady, a supplier of chalk paint and supplies. If you are wondering why, it’s simple – I feel valued as a customer because of the extra touches their team does to orders. Each correspondence from the company and my shipping label come addressed to “The Fabulous Christine Schinagl” and my boxes are decorated in permanent marker with sayings like “Keep on Painting” or “The Painted Purple Lady Thanks You”. It’s small details and great customer service that keep me going back to this company.
One last example, then I will let you go brainstorm how you can make your customers feel valued. The craft vinyl companies. There are several companies in the vinyl world that go out of their way to make a lasting impression on customers. I’ve seen everything from riddles and jokes written on the package to free sample supplies or extra inches of vinyl on your order. Each of these small gestures lets customers know that this company values your business and wants you to return.
As you brainstorm what ways you can make your customers feel valued, remember that special touches don’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Your ultimate goal is to make your customer know that you appreciate their business and make them return. Whether you follow my lead and use a handwritten note or come up with something completely different, I can’t wait to hear your ideas on how you make your customers feel value.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.