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21 Century Customer... Perpetual Replacement Of Pottery


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#21 Stephen

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 11:50 AM

Well I would just giver her another one for half off. Bet it means a few more sales and some good publicity with her in-circle. Seems worth it. Yeah the barb was uncalled for but I bet ya she was just grasping for something to hang her request on and not trying to piss you off. she told you the kid broke it so she has made it clear that you are under no obligation to do anything.  

 

Just note the expense under targeted marketing.



#22 clay lover

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 12:12 PM

I expect her 'in circle' is not much better at accepting personal responsibility than she is.  I would think it a good thing that she and they shop elsewhere. 

 

Do you tell her she was buying child proof pottery?  

 

I didn't think so.



#23 Chris Campbell

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 03:55 PM

I expect her 'in circle' is not much better at accepting personal responsibility than she is.  I would think it a good thing that she and they shop elsewhere. 
 
Do you tell her she was buying child proof pottery?  
 
I didn't think so.


I think child proof pottery is called plastic. : - )

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#24 GEP

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 07:28 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. And some laughs :-)

I don't plan to reply to her email. But if she seeks me out at the same show again and brings this up, I'm going to start with Chris's suggestion "Pottery is breakable by nature, and should be handled with care."

I was thinking of adding the following "This sounds like a good opportunity to teach your child that everyone makes mistakes, and it's ok. If you take responsibility for them, nobody will hold it against you."

If she acknowledges her accountability, then I'll offer her a discount on a new pot. Or if she gets offended and leaves in a huff, oh well.
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#25 Diesel Clay

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:35 PM

I wouldn't suggest offering any sort of parenting advice in a customer service encounter. It's like trying to put out a fire with kerosene.

If it was me in the situation, I'd offer her a discount on the purchase of a new one. (Four year olds like to play with stuff they're not supposed to. Mommies know this). No freebies.
I'd offer to wrap her purchase in bubble wrap, if she felt strongly about it, but you could point out that paper is far more recyclable and environmentally friendly as a packing material. You of course, (ahem) have a personal policy of doing your best for the environment. (Insert disarming smile here )

Passive aggression is best dealt with by taking the words said literally, and utterly disregarding anything implied. You're actually very hard to argue with when you're honouring everything that's being said out loud.
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#26 GEP

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:47 PM

I wouldn't suggest offering any sort of parenting advice in a customer service encounter. It's like trying to put out a fire with kerosene.


This is a good point. Thanks. I'll leave that part out.
Mea Rhee
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#27 Benzine

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:09 AM

While I wouldn't honestly suggest it, you' d have every right to offer the same tone right back. "In the future, I'd suggest putting breakable things, you don't want your child touching, somewhere they can't reach them...."

Just like them, you are not implying it is their fault, but are definitely implying it is their fault. The only difference is, you'd be right.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#28 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 10:11 AM

I have replaced items that were broken by accident ... A couple times before the person even left the show ...
BUT
These people all said it was their fault and offered to pay. Nobody tried to put the blame on me.
That is key here for me.

Chris Campbell
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#29 Stephen

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 11:12 AM

You guys all make good points but I guess I just see it as an opportunity to avoid a lost customer, even an unreasonable lost customer that hit a nerve. Hand made pottery sells at a premium and a customer that buys hand made pottery for other people is golden as they are the ones that would seem to constantly come back for more.

 

Now did the lady really think the pottery should have been in bubble wrap (it really is not an absurd thought) or was she just taking a shot? It seems to be a little beside the point now that she has made it an issue. Now it just goes one way or the other, If she gets a significant discount she likely will remain a future buyer and if not she likely will not be back.

 

I'd want her back, unreasonable attitude and all. You can always survive without a lousy customer or two, or three, but whatever they don't spend is money you don't get for a few bucks of clay, glaze and a LOT of labor (yours) and this is a small enough market as it is. At the end of the year a few hundred bucks more is one hell of a night out, or an electric bill, or... 

 

Unless I thought I was just being scammed I would cave without even thinking too much about it.



#30 Mudslinger Ceramics

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:13 PM

Mmmmmm...... with my production work I do replace either free or 50% or something I organise because I can make enough in volume over time to offset the loss but the gallery works are one-off pieces and they can sell that child to pay me if needs be.....!

 

Irene


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'Don't worry about your originality. You couldn't get rid of it even if you wanted to.

It will stick with you and show up for better or for worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.'

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