Thursday, January 13, 2011

Customer Etiquette

As a person who receives plenty of e-mails in regards to my animals, as well as general inquiries about husbandry (care) and morph information, I want to touch on something that I feel people seem to lack now a days.


Yes, Eh-tih-ket.

That little thing your mother or father taught you when you were two and didn't know better.

Now, this is not to say that you, my beloved blog reader, are one of these people at all. I'd like to preface my rant by saying that this is NOT in any way meant for any particular person that I have encountered over the years.

But let me begin.


Do not tell me that you can and will get X Morph that I am selling somewhere else for cheaper.

My response?

Feel free to do so. With that, you may be getting in over your head with a smaller animal, a problem feeder, or an overall less quality animal. AND, you will be missing out on the customer service in which I provide to any person who chooses to buy from me. Yes, I will answer your e-mails, and your questions, and anything you want to send my way. Yes, I will talk about the weather with you if you so choose. THAT is what I do.

Good luck with that.


Haggling is part of the game, but low ball me and insult my intelligence, and I will no longer be willing to talk to you.

Low Balling is a typical move of people looking for the best price they can possibly squeeze out of you.

Here's the problem with that... The only people who are willing to take those deals are those that are desperate. Desperation comes in many forms, family emergency, job loss, etc... There are times when it is necessary to move an animal for the sake of the animal itself. Otherwise, you are more than likely getting an animal that has been sparsely fed, not well taken care of, etc.

Now most breeders are very much in a position to keep all of the animals they produce if need be.
Do we want to? No, not really... But do not try and play it like we are. It's just uncouth.


Be polite, type up more than one sentence in an e-mail inquiry, and realize that we want to know that you care just as much as you want to know we care.

"Hey, is that snake still available?" is not quite the e-mail we as breeders expect from a prospective customer. I personally like to know that the person inquiring actually cares a bit about the snake that they want to buy, be it asking for more information, more photos, etc...

Plus, if you don't leave a name on the e-mail, am I supposed to call you in my response to you?

The same goes for phone calls.


Please call once as an inquiry, leave a message with your phone number and name if we cannot pick up the phone, and wait for a response back.

This is kind of a roll over from Rule Three, but valid none the less.

I have had children call me at all hours of the night asking about Ball Pythons, and also calling non-stop until I pick up.

One boy called 15 times in 20 minutes. That rankled me a tad as I was in a business meeting, but once I got him on the phone, I explained to him that I work full time as well as breed snakes, and that if I cannot get on the phone, please leave a message and I will call him back as soon as possible.

Life tends to get in the way of e-mails and phone answering, so please keep that in mind when expecting immediate responses.

I know I try my darndest to answer things as soon as I can, but sometimes things slip thru the cracks. We are human too.


If we as breeders ask for you to send us an e-mail to make sure your shipment arrived safely, please remember to do so.

This is a slight issue, not something that really comes up often, but I do have anxiety, just as you do, about your package arriving correct.

Please, as a courtesy, just as we would do for you.... Pretty please with sugar on top.


We are human, you are human, treat us as you would like to be treated.

This is something that I think everyone in the world needs to be reminded of once in a while. We are all human, we are all people, and we all deserve respect. Treat your fellow man well, and you will be rewarded.

Always a nice thing to remember.

These rules are not all that there are, and I'm sure I could come up with a few more.

There are days which I feel like pasting these rules to people's foreheads that I see around the forums, or at a show...

Remember that even though you want your snake, your hamburger, your car wash, etiquette and politeness goes a long way.

Have a fantastic, polite, smile filled day, my friends!!!


Krystal said...

All excellent points! And I agree about wanting to post this on people's foreheads. Forum posters make me cringe. >.<

One of my own personal rules, with regards to e-mails in general, involves grammar. Not Grammar Nazi grammar; just show me that you managed to pass fifth grade, please. If you can't type out the words "you" or "are," use semi-complete sentences, use at least somewhat-proper punctuation, etc., then how am I supposed to take you seriously?

The secretary of an honor society I was a member of in undergrad would never capitalize the personal "I" in e-mails to the society. I could never take her seriously because of that.

Jackie said...

Gosh, K., how do you find customers in this day and age? If somebody wants to give me Actual Real Money for an animal, and I'm reasonably convinced they will keep the animal alive, healthy, and happy, then they can have the animal. Grammar or no grammar!

Krystal said...

I said I would have trouble taking them seriously, not that I would ignore them or treat them without respect. I'd try to work with them, of course, and if they truly do seem like they'd take care of the snake, then awesome! It just might take a bit more convincing than someone who takes a few extra seconds to not sound like a third-grader.

Supreme Gecko said...

I won't call this a Rule but more a pet peeve-
Customer Emails with an inquiry for an animal. I shoot out an Email that evening. Then nothing for a day or two. I send a note asking if they have any questions and if they are still interested. They reply back with a general question then nothing else even though I Email again a couple time. A month later and an Email comes in- "I would like to purchase that animal" Well, most likely, the available animal is long gone. After Emailing back, I get an EMail questioning my professionalism and ethics.