Being on so many social networks, I hear alot of talk & complaints about customers who are unreasonable, demanding, lying, scamming....yada yada yada....but sellers....stop and put yourself in the place of the buyer. Yes, there are scammers and difficult people out there, no doubt about it. When I worked in Customer Service for a mail order catalog, I was positive that I must have talked to every one of them in the United States and a few overseas!!! :-) But, really, people are mostly good, and just want to be treated like they matter, that their purchase is important to you and that you want them to be satisfied with their purchase.
Some time ago, I had a customer out of the country, who wanted me to ship a heavy order by UPS Ground (which I have never done) and specify a broker that she wanted to use. I have never filled out waybills, or done anything like this, not even on in my previous job!! My first reaction was....what a pain!! I then looked at it a different way. I decided that this was a great learning experience! I contacted UPS, and riddled them with questions on how to do this. In the end, I helped the customer save a bundle on shipping charges, her order arrived in perfect condition and in record time!! I had a very happy customer, and I learned something new while making a nice profit. I am sure that this customer will shop with me again!!
Whenever I have a customer contact me with a problem with an order, I do one thing before I respond. I check their feedback. If a customer has 100% positive feedback, it is most unlikely that they are lying or trying to scam you. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If it's a low cost item, and it's damaged, either replace it immediately if you can, or refund immediately. If it is a more expensive item, ask them to return it for a refund. If you have shipped the item by UPS, you can go to their website, and request a call tag (UPS goes to the customer's home and picks up the package from them within 2 - 3 days) or you can send them a prepaid label to make it easier for them to return. Think about what you would want if the tables were turned.
Trust me, you may end up spending a few dollars...and maybe you will lose your profit from that sale, but in the long run, it will be worth it. Remember, that customer will still be giving you feedback, and hopefully glowingly positive feedback!! Future customers will read that feedback, showing that you responded quickly and took care of the problem. This will build customer confidence in your & your business.
Who would you rather do business with?? Someone who assumes you are a scammer? Or someone who treated you like the important customer that you are?? I know which I would choose!