SOUTHGATE SNIPPETS - The Anatomy of a Customer

Definition of customer: A person with whom one must deal. A person who buys goods or services. Somer shares her insights on the subject.

The Anatomy of a Customer

By Somer Athari

Hi, this is Somer again, and I pose a question to you. Are you a good customer? I am not talking about whether or not you buy expensive merchandise, but rather your attitude. What do I know, I am just a 20-year-old college student studying in writing? However, I am still going to present my observations from my vantage point, if you don’t mind.

I work at Southgate Coins as a member of the support staff. The two girls I work with are college students as well, attending UNR and we are responsible to service your (i.e. customer) needs. We answer phones, take orders, ship merchandise, organize, clean, restock, and help walk-in customers. I like to think of this store as a well running car. Us girls are the tires and the engine and the owners are internal computers and starters that tell us what to do. We keep the store running properly, but without them, we don't run. So in the store, we do all we can to help customers, but sometimes customers don't help us. This column today is to help you better understand the employees of Southgate Coins, so when you call, or come in, you know what we are about, and how to "help us, help you." Forgive me if some points are repeated, but many times important things need to be said more than once. Remember that customers and merchants are in this together, making business transactions a pleasurable and rewarding experience

Suggestions on How to be a Good Customer:

1. Be courteous-We are all happy girls, who are here to help you with all of your numismatic needs. Please greet us with the same respect. Ask us how our day is going. Bounce the ball back when we ask you a question. We are very non-threatening, towering at no more than 5'4" each.

2. Be patient-We are not coin experts. We are here to lessen the load of work for the owners, who are the coin experts. I and the other girls have learned a great deal about the field of numismatics, but couldn't possibly know everything that there is to know about coins. So, when we ask you questions, we are trying to relay all the information that you give to us, straight to the owners so they can be ready to answer all the questions that you may have. Please don't get frustrated; we are a work in progress.

3. Clarity-This is so essential. Please, the more you tell us about what you are looking for/have, the better we can assist you. We are here to help you in any possible way, but ambiguity helps no one. We are not just being nosy; we really want to serve you better.

4. Phone etiquette-Another very important issue. There are a couple things that need to be done on your part that would help us a great deal.

Let's Go Through the List

Start by saying your name (slowly please). We will be writing everything you say, so why not start with your name. Second, if you are from a specific corporation, store, dealership, etc, tell us that too. Thirdly, tell us exactly why you are calling. If you are just a person with a question about a coin, it's great that you have questions; I know I always do. Tell us every bit of information that you can about that coin: name, denomination, year, and mintage. If you say all of these things, it can really speed up the answering process, and make your experience with Southgate Coins more enjoyable.

Remember Our Names

This is just polite. We will remember your name if you remember ours. It could be like a game. It's just turning a voice into a person, and we are all people at Southgate Coins, not automatons. I can't stand automated services, can you?

Ps and Qs

Don't forget courtesy. Hello, thank you, you're welcome, have a nice day, and I appreciated the time you spent with me. Any of these will do just fine. Thank you very much.

If you do all of these things when you come by, or call us, I promise you won't regret it. The three of us employees at Southgate Coins would really appreciate you understanding the job that we are here to do. That would make you not just a good customer, but a GREAT CUSTOMER. Not only that, but if you do this every time you call anyone, I bet they would really appreciate it too.

I feel fortunate to work in an atmosphere like Southgate Coins, where GREAT CUSTOMERS are the norm, because the majority of the people I deal with are perfect examples of what this means.

"Now, if there is anything else I can help you with just let me know. Thank you so much for your time, and have a wonderful day. Bye Bye."