Thursday, March 29, 2012

Customers who vie for the same animal

Question: When multiple people contact you about the same animal--asking for specifics, more pictures, etc.--how do you deal with who has first chance at it?

Ahhh yes.

This happens often. Often enough to have a set of rules that I follow to be fair.

Let us imagine that there is Customer One and Customer Two.

Scenario One:

Customer One answers my ad and asks for more information.

Customer Two answers my ad an hour later with the cash.

Customer Two pays for it, and recieves the animal.

Customer One gets a nice e-mail after the animal is paid for saying that the animal in question has been sold, but please let me know if there is anything else I can help them with.

NOTE: This does not happen frequently, but unless there is a deposit or some type of monetary hold on the animal, it is still available to any one.

This is only a rule due to the type of customer base that exists in the industry, as there are people that are not truly serious about the animals in question. This is why there are ads that state "Serious Offers Only" and the like. Its a common problem, and most people handle it the way I do in terms of the sale.

This also does not apply to previous customers. Previous customers get priority, as they are returning and you know that they are good at their word (if you do know..I know my customers are!).

I have even had those people who say "I will pay you on X day" and never follow thru. To protect myself, I do not hold any animal without a deposit, even with that kind of promise. A deposit can be even $5, but it needs to be there as a good faith offering.

Scenario Two:

Customer One answers my ad and asks for more information.

Customer Two answers my ad an hour later asking for more information.

Both Customers get the information accordingly, and are left to make the decisions the way they see fit.

Customer One gets more priority than Customer Two due to the timing, but if Customer Two pays for the animal, then it is theirs.

There are instances where I do not talk about payment plans or accept offers from other Customers until I know that Customer One is fully informed. This can be a risky move, but most people are willing to wait a few days to spend their money anyway.

I do not, however, leave them hanging for long, and I try very hard not to ignore/miss an e-mail.

Scenario Three:

Customer One answers my ad and asks for more information and puts forth a ridiculously low offer.

Customer Two answers my ad an hour later asking for more information.

Customer One gets the information, as well as an explaination as to why the low offer is unacceptable, and usually a counter offer.

Customer Two gets more of my attention, as I do not expect Customer One to be serious about the animal.

Again, this goes back to Scenario One in a sense. There are a lot of wishy-washy people out there that do not take things seriously, but it is never okay to completely write them off (unless they are being absolutely rude/inappropriate/etc). This is one of those times where customer service needs to be brought to the forefront.

There are plenty of other scenarios to be brought up, but these are the most common that I have experienced over the past many years. If you have a scenario, please feel free to share as well!
I hope this helps you all out there understand the other side of the coin, so to speak, in terms of buying an animal.

Have a great day, my friends!

1 comment:

Eventide said...

Makes sense to me! Thanks for such a detailed response! :-]