The customer is "almost" always right.
You've probably heard this before, and maybe taken offense to it, or not given it much thought. When running a business, it's incredibly important to put your pride aside, become transparent, and work to make your customers happy, because if your customers are unhappy, then they don't purchase from you again, they don't refer you, and ultimately, you don't make money. Now, I realize that there are always those situations where a customer can be WAY out of line, or complain about the most trivial things (I've had those customers), however, the way you resolve these issues speaks a lot about who you are as a business owner.
If you are working on a custom order, but life gets in the way, and you don't get it finished by the projected turnaround time, then message your client as soon as you can - not just to make excuses, but to genuinely apologize for not having it done on time. If they ask for a refund, because they're going to miss their scheduled shoot date, then it would be best to give them a refund, no questions asked, and reiterate your apologies.
My rule of thumb, when working with customers in conflict situations, is to hear out their concerns, and then kill them with kindness, or just go above and beyond to make them happy - within your limitations.
I think the most important way to avoid conflict with customers, right off the get-go, is to have as detailed of a listing description or shop policies, as possible. If you cover all your bases before your customer even orders, then you have more going for you if a customer does come to you unhappy that the listing photo showed a sash, but the gown didn't come with a sash (even though it says in bold at the top of the listing description that the sash is not included).
If a situation like this arises, because you customer didn't read the product description, then you can respond to them gently, by saying something like this; "I am very sorry you are unhappy that your gown did not come with a sash. I also love this gown finished off with a sash! As per the listing description, I tried to make it very clear that the gown did not come with the sash, so that there was no confusion. I offer discounts to photographers who return images of my products in use, so that I don't have to take the photos myself, but sometimes, the photographers add accessories, or their editing changes the true colour of the fabric, so I try to make these types of things very clear to my potential customers, so that they are well aware of what they are purchasing. If you would like to purchase a sash like the one used, I would be happy to contact the photographer and ask where they purchased it from. I hope that clears things up a bit, and let me know if you have any other questions. Have a fantastic day!"
Cross front off Shoulder Bodice Pattern and Tutorial. *Bodice falls at the empire waist, but can be extended to fall at the natural waist. Ideal for maternity. **Listing is for the bodice only. Sleeves, skirts, and bottoms sold separately.......
When clearing things up with clients, I try to be as honest and transparent as possible with how and why I do things.
That way, perhaps, it clears up any further questions they may have, and they shouldn't be able to leave you a bad
review, because you've now cleared the air for them (hopefully). Now, if someone leaves you a bad review without first coming to you, then message them first, and if they don't respond, then add a kind rebuttal on their review, so that other's reading can see that it was maybe just a misunderstanding. But remember that the nicer you are to your client, the harder it is for them to be angry with you!
Three star review on silhouette skirt pattern:
"Nice pattern but it would benefit from some hip rounding adjustment for better fit."
"Thank you for the tip! This skirt tutorial was designed to be very simple and quick, with simply one center back seam, however, I am currently working on a trumpet skirt printable pattern, with more shaping in the sides and center back, so keep posted for a release date!"