A guide to customer service for Etsy sellers
Just like any other marketplace, Etsy has its own set of rules and standards to ensure a consistently good buying experience for shoppers. We take a look at how Etsy monitors your customer service, and share some tips for minimising problems and keeping shoppers happy.
Etsy Service Level Standards
Etsy sellers are expected to maintain a level of customer service in line with Etsy’s Service Level Standards. These standards are a way of monitoring how orders are handled and ensuring buyers can be confident purchasing through Etsy.
Etsy’s Trust & Safety’ team is responsible for evaluating all orders with problems:
- Non delivery cases: If a buyer opens a case because their order wasn’t shipped within the listed processing time, or they’ve contacted the seller about their order but didn’t receive a sufficient response.
- Not as described cases: Items that are materially different from the listing description and photo, orders where it’s only partly delivered, or non-delivery of a replacement.
- Low reviews (1-2 star)
- Cancellations: Orders that are cancelled without communication or consent from the buyer, particularly if the order is cancelled after the scheduled shipment date.
- Chargebacks: Etsy will investigate when a buyer disputes a charge and decide if the seller or Etsy is liable for the chargeback.
If you have a good track record with your customer service but start experiencing some issues, Etsy offers recommendations to help you improve. However, if your shop continually fails to meet their Service Level Standard your shop may be removed from search results or certain privileges will be suspended until your account is in good standing
Eventually, if you consistently fall below the Service Level Standard, Etsy can permanently revoke your buying and selling privileges for your account.
How to offer excellent customer service on Etsy
To avoid any restrictions or an all out ban, keeping the level of customer service you offer high is crucial. You can minimise the amount of customer service, messages, returns and refunds that you have to deal with by ensuring that listing descriptions and photos are always up to date and accurate.
Accurate fulfilment and dispatch times are also important; you need to stick to these timeframes to avoid disappointing buyers. Find out more about improving your dispatch process here.
The key to offering the best customer service, however, is to keep on top of your Etsy Conversations (messages). All buyers are encouraged to contact the seller before they open a return - you need to make the most of this opportunity to resolve the problem before a buyer formally asks to return an item:
- Regularly check your Conversations: Delayed responses will result in buyer’s opening refund cases, returning items or not even making a purchase in the first place.
- Work with buyer’s to sort out problems: Go out of your way to resolve the issue in a way that leaves the customer happy and likely to order from you again in the future.
- You need to ensure that you follow through on any return agreements made in Conversations.
- Follow Etsy’s Seller policies to ensure that you’re eligible for Etsy Seller Protection.
Etsy Seller Protection
For cases where the only resolution is a return and refund, you can either agree to this through a Conversation message or Etsy’s Case system.
If your account is in good standing, you’re using Etsy Payments and you’ve filled out all of your Shop Policies, then you’ll qualify for Etsy’s Seller Protection. This means that Etsy will help you to resolve issues with buyers. Once Etsy has stepped in you’ll need to respond quickly: for Non Delivery and Not as Described cases you have seven calendar days to respond, and for chargebacks five calendar days.
Etsy customer service tips:
- Keep your listings accurate and up to date
- Ship items on time and keep your customers informed
- Check your Conversations daily and respond to all messages promptly.
- Keep your shop in good standing so that you’re eligible for Etsy Seller Protection.