Sunday, February 12, 2012
Love What You Do and Who You Do It For
Selling on line in the late 90s was amazing. Lots of communication made it completely fun, and it was common for a customer became a friend or a pen pal. It made me love what I do, so much so that it became a full time job. Times have changed since then, and in this day and age, when everyone is so busy, it is so heartwarming when someone just takes the time to email regarding their order
I love what I do. Absolutely love it. I've always told my children I didn't care if they were a lawyer or flipping burgers, as long as they go to work with a smile on their face.
Heeding my own advice, that is exactly what I've been doing myself. I make a cup of coffee in the morning and go to my office in my pajamas. I look at beautiful Mark Shaw vintage ad prints on my wall, and racks of fabulous vintage clothing. How good does it get? Actually even better thanks to my wonderful customers.
Through the years I have been fortunate to make many pen pals and friends. Customers from 1998 still call to chat, email updates on their personal lives. They have sent postcards from all over the world. Beautiful presents through the years from Christmas ornaments to even brooches. Little treasures tucked into greeting cards. When my son passed way, thoughtful Sympathy cards and calls. Christmas cards, pictures of their children or their latest trip from customers and their friendship mean so much more to me than just their order.
Please don't misunderstand, I don't love my customers because they send gifts, but because they realize there is a person behind the shop.. not a conglomerate like Amazon or the large auction sites. I'm sure most sellers agree, our customers know they are getting personal service from our shops, We're "real people" not outsourced.
Oten a customer tells us "this is for my Mom" or "its for my anniversary cruise" and that makes it even more special, that we are a very small part of their occasion. Its our job to ship their order, but it then becomes personal. We want our small part to be perfect.
And, while their purchase from me is an "order" I prefer to treat it as if it were a gift to them. These days, to receive an email from a customer after they receive their order is a treasure! To go to my mail box and discover a card or a package from a customer is overwhelming. I am only doing a job I not only love, but am paid for. A gift is so unnecessary, but touching and truly appreciated.
Just such a package arrived last week. Completely unexpected, the customer purchased two nightgowns from me for her mother as a Christmas gift in October, allowing plenty of time for shipping. We exchanged emails, her package was immediately shipped priority to Greece. By December we were both frantic! Her package still did not arrive. Fortunately, she kept constant communication, a HUGE help for sellers, as we have no idea what is happening on the buyers end.
I put tracers on her package, sent her scans of the customs number and my shipping receipt. This helped Rena track it down on her end, as once it leaves the US, the tracking is difficult. Rena worked hard on her end, calling her customs office and local post office, I kept calling my post office for any possible updates and to make sure it wasn't being returned to me. The line of communication constant and very appreciated, we each knew what the other was doing to find the package.
It finally arrived in Greece two days before Christmas, Rena's mother loved her nightgowns and our story had a very happy ending.
In the process another friendship was formed. Rena is adorable and her English wonderful, and she did the most touching thing. Rena surprised me with an amazing package from her country. A wonderful cd of Greek music! Two beautiful postcards from Greece and Crete, soon to be framed on my wall, a bar of pure olive oil soap that looks heavenly but is almost too pretty to open! Rena had no idea I collect shopping bags but even included one that is my new favorite. The most touching part of the package, a hand written note in English from Rena.
To love what you do is wonderful. But ~ to love who you do it FOR is a bonus.. and I am so fortunate to have such wonderful customers, I am grateful to every one of you!