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- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Cold Connections
- New DVD Series – Stone Setting with Wire
- NEW DVD Series: Introduction to Stone Setting by Kim St. Jean
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Daily Wire Tip: Customer Satisfaction
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
If taking an order for a custom piece, when finished, it isn’t what the client wanted, how do you charge for your labor and supplies, other than saying upfront it isn’t refundable. I try to guarantee client satisfaction and this can become an issue.
I agree that this is a difficult situation, however if you are ‘up-front’ and firm about your ‘custom order’ policies, your client should appreciate your honesty. One sure way to state your custom order policy is to either print it on the reverse of a few business cards that you hold back just for this type of order, or on a separate card with your contact info that you can give to a client. My personal policy is to take full payment, which guarantees my customer that I will pay for any necessary shipping and insurance, and that I cannot refund their money if they don’t like what they have agreed to, until I actually sell the piece they had me create just for them.
The best way I can respond to your question is based upon my experience. This is how I personally take a custom order (which is also what I teach my personal students). Use a triplicate order pad. Have the customer fill in their personal info, including shipping/mailing address, phone numbers and if available their email. I then write out exactly what the customer would like (based on our conversation) including what metal(s), their stone or mine, their preferred style (if possible, the name of a piece I may already have that they like, which I also take a picture of with my cell phone in case it sells) what embellishments they prefer if any, and a quick sketch. I then go over their order in detail again, jot the approximate delivery date on the form, and when they are satisfied I have them sign the order slip. I add my contact info to the bottom and give them the top/original order slip as well as my card. When their order is finished, I include the second slip with their order when I either deliver it by hand or ship it to them. (If shipping the item, I also call or email this customer to let them know their order is on the way, with the tracking numbers.)
And before you ask, yes I have had a customer who was not happy with her order and I did send her a refund check when I sold the item about seven months later, along with a thank-you for her interest in my work. She has since become a regularly returning client.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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