In an ideal world, customers would place an online order, wait patiently for the package to arrive, unbox their new cosmetics, fall in love with each product and even tell a friend. But in reality, accidents (like inaccurate orders, defective products, technical difficulties, delayed delivery, etc.) happen. Sometimes, customers simply decide they liked the shade of lipstick better online than in real life. Running an online business means learning to handle customer issues as they arise. If you’re good, you can even turn a negative into a positive.

Keep reading to learn more about the art of resolving ecommerce cosmetics customer complaints.

Responding to Public Complaints

Complaints can take many forms. Sometimes a customer will call during business hours. Other times, they’ll post about their negative experience on social media for the whole world to see. Unfortunately, complaints tend to attract more negative comments the longer they remain. “The louder the conversation gets, the more the negative sentiment towards your brand will spread to other people in your target market,” according to Kissmetrics.

What can your makeup brand do? Develop a plan for timely, understanding social media responses. Here are four tips for responding to negative comments from Social Media Examiner:

  • Reply with a friendly (yet professional) tone
  • Personalize the response with the customer’s name
  • Tell the customer how you will address or fix the issue
  • Take ownership of any mistakes on behalf of your brand
  • Acknowledge the customer’s experience

Above all, the customer seeks validation and reassurance. It’s important to take them seriously and avoid finger pointing. When possible, transition the conversation offline so you can speak directly to the customer without an audience.

Developing a Helpful Return Policy

When you sell beauty products from home, you have to expect some customers will make returns. Part of order your fulfillment and delivery process should be developing a return policy. Create a page on your website solely for spelling out the terms and conditions of your return policy so customers can easily find it. This is where you will list important parameters like the time frame for returns (typically 30 days), type of compensation (in-store credit, exchange or cash back) and specifics (like who pays for delivery fees). Unless it’s a true financial strain on your fledgling business, it’s considered a good practice to pay for return shipping. If you choose to opt out of this helpful service, customers may hesitate to place orders—especially if they’re first-time visitors.

Bear in mind, products from online stores are returned at a higher rate compared to brick-and-mortar shops (30 percent versus 8.89 percent). But if your makeup store is experiencing a very high rate of return on products, consider the quality of your product pages. Customers may be seeing one thing online but opening their packages to find another. Do your descriptions include high-definition photos of each product? Are the specifications accurate? Is there unique copy to help customers make purchasing decisions? Save time and money by making sure your product listings are highly accurate.

Offering Responsive Live Chat Service

Customers appreciate the immediacy of live chat when it comes to asking questions and leaving feedback. One survey found some customers prefer live chat because they got their questions answered immediately. Further, they could multi-task during the process so they consider it more efficient than other media (like email and phone). Modern ecommerce platforms allow entrepreneurs to integrate these services with convenient live-chat plug-ins.

While it’s not the end of the world to receive a customer complaint; the outcome depends upon how you handle it. Learning the art of resolving ecommerce cosmetics customer complaints is more important than ever in such an image-based industry.