Every so often, but unfortunately not uncommonly enough, I’ll see through my various social networks an independent designer/entrepreneur blasting a large corporation for stealing their designs. The products in question range anywhere from a simple patch to a whole t-shirt, but it’s almost always astoundingly clear that the larger corporation indeed ripped this person off.
I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must feel when you, as a small business owner, have your hard work stolen. You already have to deal with the usual qualms of being small—a somewhat unpredictable source of income, working independently and often without help—and to have your hardest obstacle be something malicious and entirely out of your hands, well, sucks.
So what can you do?
I’ve got a little secret to ensure you always get customers in your shop. Like, no matter what. Yes, that’s right: whether you’re a brick and mortar, or a shop online, I can guarantee you results! And if I’m wrong, I’ll write you a check for $113,500,000,001—exactly a dollar more than Jeff Bezo’s net worth as of this blog post.
You really should get a shop cat. Or dog. I’m okay with a dog.
Dear Valued Customer,
Hi, it’s me. I know, I know—you didn’t think there was an actual person who ran the company Twitter, or answered the Zendesk tickets, or was, you know, a living, breathing human whose job it was to provide customer support. I assure you, there’s quite a few of us!
Valued Customer, I know what it’s like to need assistance online. One time in college I accidentally purchased 100 bottles of biotin from the Vitamin Shoppe website with my mom’s credit card and needed to cancel. With a “please” and “thank you” in hand, I got that to happen, and the customer service rep who helped me with that was wonderful. Being polite only made sense!
So, Valued Customer, why the vulgarity? I’m talking about the tweets where you curse at us and insult us and make fun of other users who are signed up with us. We cordially reply with something along the lines of, “We’re sorry to hear that you’re dissatisfied! Please let us know how we can help,” and then you continue to curse and insult and make fun of. Sometimes you even say things like, “I will curse you all, you bears in a*ses will f**k !!! [sic]” and then I feel like I need to go to synagogue to wash myself of all the crass.
Hey, I get it. Maybe you signed up for an account one day some months or years ago and you don’t remember. You too want to wash yourself of something. But gosh, you should throw in some soap, because all I can help but wonder is if you talk to your mother that way. Or customer service representatives like that outside the Internet.
Here are some other things you should know: we’ve got one guy who’s about 80% responsible for all our Zendesk tickets. He’s a nice dude. The other 20% is me and my boss, who’s also pretty nice. I got her a Christmas present—that’s how nice I think she is! I think I’m pretty nice too.
We all have pretty thick skin, but when you hurl a fudge you or a your product is shelly our way, we share it with each other and have a chuckle, but golly gee, I’ll reframe it as a question: is that how you talk to a customer service rep on the phone, or behind the counter? Do you turn to vulgarity every time something confusing happens, or you need help with something? I ask because I’m worried about you. I ask because I still care and want to help you.
Look, we’re here, no matter what. We’ll deactivate your account for you if you want us to, no matter what. We’ll answer questions, always be cordial, and even share a GIF or joke with you if it works. We do care!
Your friendly customer service rep