Don’t cost yourself sales! It’s important to cover your bases when establishing policies for your storefront to prevent losing sales. Creating clear policies eliminates confusion for potential (or return) customers while helping you evaluate the management of your business and how you will handle certain situations.
Today we would like to revisit the basics of creating your store policies by outlining the topics and questions you should address, so let’s get started!
One of the most important topics you should cover in your policies is shipping. Customers want clear expectations of the timing and packaging of the items they purchased. Here are the questions you need to answer to build customer confidence in your shipping practices:
- How long does it take you to ship items once orders are placed?
- Which shipping carriers (USPS, DHL, Fedex, UPS, etc.) do you use?
- Is there a specific service type you use to process shipments (I.e.: First Class, Priority, Flat Rate Shipping, etc.)?
- What is your policy for items that are lost or damaged in transit?
- How are your items packaged?
- Do you provide gift wrapping?
Customers need to know how much risk they are assuming when purchasing from you. Help them understand your position on returns before it becomes an issue by answering the following questions:
- Do you accept returns or have a satisfaction guarantee?
- Is there a limited time frame for when you will accept returns?
- What is your exchange policy?
- If a customer wants to return an item, do you pay for shipping it back to you or is that the customer’s obligation?
If you do custom work, it’s a great idea to outline the process for coordinating the work in your store policies. Here are a few questions you will need to address:
- How should buyers contact you to hire you for a custom job?
- Is there any information that the customer needs to provide (color, shape, size, etc.) in order for you to get started?
- Do you require payment prior to creating custom work or do customers pay once the work has been completed?
- What is the time frame for you to complete and ship custom work?
It’s also wise to answer a few general questions, such as:
- Which forms of payment do you accept?
- Do you charge taxes?
- Are there any special requirements for international orders?
When it comes down to it, your store policies are a reflection of your customer service. We encourage you to use your store policies as an opportunity to “WOW” your customers and to reassure them that buying from you will be a safe and wonderful experience!
Main image courtesy of Morberg.