I can always tell when I am going to get a bad review... Thankfully there have not been that many, but they do really hurt when I get them. Maybe this article will lose me clients or get me more bad reviews. Invariably bad reviews are for a handful of the same reasons.
Bad attitude. Client comes in with a bad attitude, they leave with one no matter how far backwards you bend over for them. No matter what you do it will never be enough.
Unhappy with the Fit. Plus size women will not measure themselves. A measuring tape is a thing of ultimate fear and humiliation. If you do not measure yourself accurately or worse yet get creative with the numbers - it wont fit and there is nothing I can do about it. This is happening more and more often and I have recently had to add a size chart to every listing on every platform because a link to the size chart is not enough. Now while I can deal with the 10cm problem (4 inches between sizes), having incorrectly measured by 3 sizes is not helpful. And then to complain publicly that the fit is wrong, or the material is not stretchy enough... In each case I have offered to remake the item - that's money out of my pocket for their mistake - and they still give me a mediocre review. See above.
Time wasters. These are the ones who never buy. They are the most populated group and it happens about twice a week. They ask a million questions and want alterations to the design and materials. What they really want is the attention they are getting from a professional that makes them feel special and listened to. The fantasy of owning the item is another big part of the dream. But they don't have the money. They just really want to be your friend. Which is fine and nice - but I work to pay my bills and having these discussions is a huge time suck. Doing the research on alterations to designs, finding fabrics in different colours, new laces, etc. it takes hours that wont be recouped in the sale of a single item. Where the break even is in the sale of a second or third item in the same pattern, colour or materials. I do a lot of custom work but the only people who complain are the ones who when you draw the line and ask them politely to order, get angry that I am not grateful for their patronage and then blacken my name and brand to everyone within the reach of their social media accounts.
What makes this so frustrating is the some of the eCommerce platforms don't allow you to respond to the criticism. The bad crit stands unanswered. I want to make my clients happy - no - ecstatic, but I have to realise that that wont always happen for reasons I have no ability to fix or fight. It really does hurt me personally every-time there is a biased comment about my work. If I have screwed up and made a bad garment, then I deserve it. But to be lambasted for doing my best for people who aren't doing theirs... I can't stop the unreasoned bad reviews. Maybe I should start being more firm and stern with the clients who don't hold up their end of the conversation/transaction.
What do you think?
Should I remake items when I have been given the wrong measurements?
Should I entertain the time wasters?
Should I continue to bear the bad attitude with silence or call them out here?