Thursday, May 7, 2015

First bad review

I got my first bad review this week and I am bummed. I am not upset by the bad review (although it is disappointing since it is my first since opening my shop in 2008!), but that I let a customer down and caused her stress during a time that is naturally stressful: wedding planning. I had a tricky decision-making process to wade through. I injured my shoulder and it's bad enough that I am taking it really easy to make sure I don't injure it to a point of no return. I went back and forth for about two days looking at some large orders and trying to figure out what to do. I have some smaller custom orders that I feel like I can complete because I have enough lead time that I can make them in small amounts and not over-tax my shoulder. But this one particular wedding order was big. I had taken a deposit from her weeks ago and told her I was backed up with orders all the way until her deadline. Now I had about three weeks to her deadline, and I was not sure if my shoulder would heal in two days, two weeks or not at all. It didn't seem fair to wait and see, and leave her in an even worse pinch to find a replacement. And I knew I couldn't work through pain and a chance of worsening injury. I felt I had no choice but to deliver the bad news. I let her know the situation but gave her links to other business that make plantable place cards. Naturally, she was upset and showed it in her review. Of course, when you have just told someone that you can't make their custom order for their wedding, they don't thank you for giving them six weeks notice rather than two weeks. It still puts her in a horrible position. The bride may not know it yet, but I am confident she will find something else very easily. Plantable paper is a popular and growing trend, and businesses that make it are all over and multiplying like crazy, each one of us with our own unique spin on what we make.

Still, I have an unhappy customer and that makes me sad. It's a tricky business being a one-woman business owner. There is no back up plan, no disability pay, no sick day, no co-worker standing by who can step in and fulfill the order. When I accept a custom order, my customer and I are both showing a lot of faith and trust. I take that responsibility really seriously. But what can you do? Life happens.

But it certainly made me feel better when another customer left this review today!

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