Free Advice Friday: Exceed Expectations

I have been shopping online recently at two sites: Etsy and Fiverr. I made three purchases on each site. My experiences could not be more similar or more different.

The similarities are that I was looking for custom work. I sought a piece of wall art for my work office and some personalized print work. Etsy had countless options for each; Fiverr had a numerous graphic designers bidding to help me with one of my two print design jobs. My thanks to Tom Zampino at LaserZ Studios and Cami Purpura at Cami’s Paperie for providing me with a reclaimed wood adornment for my office and custom stationery, respectively. Each exceed my expectations.

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I reached out to Mr. Zampino via Etsy’s Conversations feature. I had a simple design in mind. It was unlike anything in his catalog. At the same time, it included key elements of his existing designs. From start to finish Mr. Zampino and I had 25 points of contact as we traded thoughts and ideas through product exchange. For some this might seem minimal while others might see it as excessive. At one point Mr. Zampino stated, “I like my clients to be really happy.” My interpretation: “I want to exceed expectations and maximize customer satisfaction.”

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Mrs. Purpura had a full catalog of paper and print products from announcements to invitations to custom Mad Libs. As I reviewed her catalog I saw products for men. Upon ordering, she provided a custom proof more quickly than promised, responded to questions promptly and efficiently, and even included a small batch of personalized notecards even though I did not order notecards. Again, my interpretation: she desired to exceed expectations.

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Sadly my experience with the graphic designers at Fiverr was mixed. I received an original poem as a gift from my daughter. It was poignant. I wanted her words beside me at all times. I asked Fiverr designers if they could give my poem a typographical flair worthy of the power of her words. About 15 designers said they could; I gave three of them a chance. The first two were so disappointing. I could have equalled their work with Microsoft Word and its multiple fonts. The third was better but contained many errors. It took three rounds of edits to get it right. My interpretation: Pay me and let me go on my way.

To be fair, I am sure there are talented and professional designers on Fiverr and people looking for a quick transaction on Etsy. I am not trying to trump up one platform or vilify the other. What I am saying is that I highly recommend Tom and Cami for your wood design or customer paper goods. If they treat you as well as they treated me, your expectations will not only be met, but exceeded.

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