How to handle a negative feedback with grace

I realized today, I am a proud eBay drop shipper. I let people know that I don’t physically hold stock, I simply facilitate a C to B transaction in which I collect a fee upon it being a successful eBay transaction. I do focus on customer service more than stock monitoring and I have accepted what I can’t control. I want my customers to know straight up that sometimes I might miss stock on some items and if that is the case, I will correct the issue right away.

I used to feel that receiving a negative feedback would somehow ruin my business, however receiving one today made me realize it offers optimal opportunity to show the level of professionalism that isn’t derived from ego.

A customer purchased replacement blades and unfortunately there were not available anywhere anymore. I do take a minimal profit loss to send it out to my customers, but in this particular situation, none had them. I contacted the customer to let him know our mistake in not updating our stock in time, and refunded them right away.

The customer messaged me to tell me had he known that I was drop shipping from <source> at a $20 markup, he would not have ordered them from me.

“Initially, what crossed my mind was: how exactly does he know that I am sourcing them from <source> and exactly the right markup? It’s almost like he dropships himself!”

But then I realized all of this is noise is keeping me away from the big picture.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t update in time, that it was a glitch, etc. All that is important is the customer wanted to do a transaction and I did not fulfill it. I felt it was my responsibility to own up and expose my mistake, so I can correct it moving forward.

negative

Since I can’t make everyone happy,  it’s also important I find the most professionally, respectfully-assertive way to address that as quickly as possible.

I remember one of Gary V’s talks (you can read the article here), when he used the analogy of entrepreneurs being like UFC fighters, there is no undefeated.

THERE’S NO “UNDEFEATED” IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP Gary Vaynerchuk

Today I got my first loss and while the race for a perfect feedback became the existence of my eCommerce store, today made me realize this negative feedback is only a micro-battle that I lost.

This is a minor loss that isn’t detrimental, and it is part of the journey that I am on. The championship rounds are those that matter, but to get there, you have to grind through and earn your place in those final rounds.

I respect my customer’s choice to want to purchase from me and I respect his opinion about his experience.

 

== UPDATE

I decided to send him a $25 Home Depot gift certificate to my customer, to cover the markup he was talking about.  I felt that it’s important that I show my outmost ethical side of doing business and make him understand I truly appreciate his opinion and business and hope I get the opportunity to serve him again. I run a dropshipping business, but I run it from the heart, not from the wallet. This is the legacy I strive for always.

The customer revised his feedback this morning.

revised feedback

2016-12-01T11:40:34+00:00

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    […] The next day he revised his feedback. I actually wrote more about that experience here […]

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