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Needs To Adopt A Different Type Of Customer Service, Part 2

, , , | Right | January 5, 2019

(I have been a volunteer with a dog rescue for about six months, fostering dogs, helping out at adoption events, etc. Not once in that time had I met a rude customer, until this past event. Our time slot at the pet store is from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; however, since we often get a few adoptions right at 2:00 pm, we often stay later, sometimes until 4:00 pm. By that time, we and the dogs and puppies are exhausted from meeting hundreds of people all day. This day, we start packing up around 3:30 pm, an hour and a half past our normal end time. We have half of the remaining dogs packed up and sent to their foster homes, our table is broken down and put away, and all of our paperwork and event items are out in the car. While the other volunteers are hauling some crates to the back room, I am waiting with the last few dogs to make sure a pet store customer doesn’t just come by and decide to take a free dog home with them. A man approaches with his dog and starts looking at some of our puppies.)

Customer: “Are these dogs up for adoption?”

Me: “Yes, they are; we’re just packing up for the day now.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not the right answer!”

(I am tired enough that I am not sure what he means, so I just stare at him for an awkward few seconds. He doesn’t say anything else, so I figure I’ll say SOMETHING, still having no idea what he meant by his last comment.)

Me: “Yeah, we were supposed to be done at two today.”

Customer: “Oh, so, you make it about you and not the dogs, huh!?”

(At this point, I’m so mad I can’t even respond to him. I just glare at him, hoping he’ll go away. I was in food service long enough to have learned when to keep my mouth shut, and I don’t want to give our rescue a bad reputation, so I make sure I don’t say anything I’ll regret. After another awkward ten seconds or so, he “apologizes.”)

Customer: “I don’t mean to be so hard on you; I just want to make sure the dogs have a fair chance of getting adopted.”

(I then got up and went over to talk to him, since he might be interested in adopting. We talked for probably close to ten minutes about how he wanted another dog since his was getting pretty old. He seemed really interested in the puppies, wanting his dog to meet them, etc. I don’t have a problem staying late if dogs are getting adopted. I’d stay all night if it meant all our dogs found great homes, so I happily talked to him about the rescue and the adoption process. He did not adopt a dog.)

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