Is this you?
As a creative business owner, you might find yourself frequently in a little over your head. The tech stuff isn’t your favorite. And so maybe you end up screaming at your computer because you can’t get the coupon code set up for the sale that starts, like, now! Or maybe you feel the tears start to sting at your eyes because you thought you could refund a customer’s order but now you’re not sure how and she was so mean to you that you’re starting to question yourself and your products and it would be so helpful if you could just process the refund so you could stop thinking about the whole ordeal!
Stressful moments like this are all too common for business owners. But it’s what you do when you encounter the situation that spells your ultimate success or defeat.
But if each time a problem arises you rally yourself and figure out a solution, then you’re headed for major success.
If every time you run into a problem that makes you want to scream or cry, you break down and hope someone else will come along and fix the issue, you’re not going to go very far before you give up on your business altogether.
It does get complicated, though, when 95% (my best estimation) of your problems have something to do with computers and that is just not where your talents lie. How do you rally and find a solution when you just don’t have the knowledge to put forth a solution (nor the funds to hand the problem to someone more knowledgeable)?
The answer is so simple, you might laugh:Google.
Seriously, though. This is the lifesaver for at least half of my clients, and myself too! So the coupon code isn’t working… pop into Google “how to set up an ArtFire coupon” and review the steps to make sure you didn’t miss anything crucial. Or you’re using WooCommerce on a WordPress website and you can’t refund the order, just search Google for ”can’t refund order on WooCommerce.” You’ll see tons of articles and how-to guides walking you through the process or troubleshooting the issue.
Even if your problem is really simple: you can’t figure out how to crop a photo on your Mac computer. Just type in ”how to crop a photo on a Mac” and lots of results will pop up telling you which program to use (like iPhoto or Preview) and step-by-step instructions for making it happen. Much better than losing hours to fumbling with it on your own, trying every button in every program, getting more and more frustrated as the minutes tick past.
Customer Service is your friend!
Every once in a while, your problem is going to be really complicated. Yuck. But there’s a secondary solution. Once you’ve Googled, to ensure your problem isn’t simpler than you thought, you can pop back to the tool you’re having trouble with and find their Help button or their Contact button. Customer service representatives are there for a reason. If you’re really in dire straights, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help and often it can bring you a sense of calm to know that someone else is on the job, that the weight of the problem doesn’t rest on your shoulders alone.The Fly & the Honey
The only trick to remember with customer service, no matter what company it is, is that you’ll catch more flies with honey. That idiom references an incredibly accurate truth about the human psyche. People are more likely to help you when they feel like they want to help you. And they’re more likely to want to help you when you’re nice to them. So remember that they are just doing their job. They didn’t cause your problem, so they don’t deserve your frustration. Speak to them (or write to them) calmly and patiently. Give them as much detail as you can and be extra polite and friendly, thanking them for helping you and letting them know they’re valued. That’s the honey. And your fly? They’re going to want to help you however they can.
Instead of approaching your tech problems with fear-of-the-unknown, breathe deeply and head to Google to see how others have dealt with the problem in the past. If that doesn’t pan out, you can always contact customer service and the problem will be fixed in no time. When you attack every tech problem like this, you’ll feel less anxious and much happier overall with your business.Written By: Laura C. George ArtFire is very excited to announce that Laura C. George, Business Consultant for Artists, will now be writing for ArtFire’s Nosh blog! We are sure she will bring a lot of valuable tips and small business advice for our sellers, so stay tuned for more articles from her!