Handmade Jewelry Business: 7 Top Tips to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
Business Saturday: Interview with Silvija and Taya Koschnick, Owners of Tasi Designs, a handmade jewelry business.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: When we started out, we did a customer profile section in our business plan. What we realized was, we really didn’t know who our customers were or who they were going to be. Three years later, we’ve come to realize our best customers are repeat customers, people who collect our pieces or think of our handmade jewelry when they need a gift. We’ve gained a lot of repeat customers over the years, but we’ve also lost some along the way. How to retain them is a learning process!
Q: What did you learn about attracting first-time customers?
A: It’s such a juggling act: you want to be professional and still approachable to customers. Our sales increased when we took the time to focus on our business’s image. We invested in a logo, printed materials, and thoughtful displays and crafted a unifying message about what our business is and where it comes from. We found that people attend craft fairs to get a peek at the creative lifestyle, in addition to buying handmade art. It’s challenging for us not to be shy, but new customers are excited about who we are and want us to talk about what inspires our designs and our lives as full-time artists.
Q: How do you retain customers?
A: The more customers know about you when they leave with their first purchase, the better chance you have of popping into their head when they want a new pair of earrings or a gift. Make sure they can find you again by including your business card with every purchase and having some kind of online presence, no matter how small. Keep your customers excited about your handmade jewelry by incorporating new designs and techniques into your work. We use our ever-growing (and indispensable) customer mailing list to spread the word about our new products, business updates, and shows where we’ll be selling. Most importantly, we are grateful for all of our customers, and we want them to leave feeling that way. We try to be kind and courteous to everyone who stops by our booth.
How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back
- Consider offering coupons or discounts to repeat customers.
- Focus on customer service. Have policies in place for things like returns, custom projects, and repairs.
- Be prompt. Customers really appreciate it when you answer their e-mails or phone calls within twenty-four hours.
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask your customers for feedback. Most of them will be thrilled to talk to you about your designs.
- Try selling some of your work online. That way, customers who can’t make it to your shows can still support you.
- If you’re selling online, don’t underestimate the importance of amazing pictures and clear descriptions of your work.
- Think about trying a small-scale advertising campaign to direct new customers to you. Plenty of inexpensive options exist online. For instance, you can advertise with design blogs, online galleries, and ecommerce sites, such as Etsy.
Photos courtesy of Tasi Designs.
For more great advice from Taya and others who share their business knowledge, check out these web seminars!