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Nuts & Bolts: Handling Custom Requests

November 27, 2012

Many artists receive requests from shoppers who’d like a custom designed card or to to have an existing card personalized. Custom requests can be exhilarating, challenging, fun … but also occasionally frustrating or confusing. To make it easier on yourself, when handling custom requests, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be sure your Private Gallery module is ON. To do that, when you’re logged in to GCU, go to Manage Store > Store Layout & Content. Check the Private Gallery box. Don’t forget to SAVE your changes.
  • Avoid lengthy review times by checking Make Available in Private Gallery Only and Waive Review during the card creation process. Your custom design will be ready much faster. NOTE: This option makes you responsible for returned cards due to artist error, so check, double check, and check again! Another option is to Fast Track the review, which also speeds up approval. You can do this because a customer is waiting for the design.
  • Reply quickly to requests. Don’t leave a customer dangling for days.
  • I find it helpful to repeat their request to the customer in my first contact e-mail to help make sure there are no misunderstandings before I do the work. Communicate, communicate, communicate. And be certain both you and the customer understand what’s going to happen before you put your heart and soul into a personalized design. There’s nothing worse than spending time and sweat on a design, only to have the customer tell you that’s not what they wanted!
  • Remember, customers CANNOT find a custom request card by PID# when it’s in your Private Gallery. It’s so important to give the customer a direct link to the card if possible. That way they’ll have no trouble finding it – and buying it! Don’t give a bad link, such as to the card’s Large View or your Manage Cards section (I’ve actually had artists give me those links, and they’re useless to a shopper). Example of Good Link | Example of Bad Link
  • Once you’ve notified the customer their card is ready, if you haven’t heard from them in a couple of days, send a reminder and give them a little nudge. I usually use something like, “I just wanted to make sure you received my previous e-mail about your customized card design, which can be found here …”
  • If you are unable or unwilling to customize a design, don’t ignore the customer. That makes you look bad, and it makes your fellow artists and GCU as a whole look bad, too. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “no.” Just do it courteously.

With these tips in hand, you should find fulfilling customer requests somewhat less stress inducing. Have fun!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 27, 2012 7:32 pm

    We are seeing a lot of custom requests coming in for changes on existing holiday card designs. 🙂 A good amount of them are for businesses who want to incorporate their logo and/or company name. These are usually nice, big sales!

    Great advice from Corrie and good luck to you on these sales. This is one feature of GCU that sets us apart and will keep the shopper coming back for all of their greeting card needs!

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