My parents have two dogs. Two high maintenance dogs. (Spoiled rotten might be another way to describe them!) But, they’re good dogs and great companions for my folks. They deserve every bit of “spoiling” they get.
A couple weeks ago, mom wanted to get them bathed but their regular groomer was not available. And, since one of them (Sparky) is a big bear of a dog (he easily weighs 140 lbs) not all groomers are equipped to take care of him. Especially since he’s getting old and not walking as well as he used to.
Mom heard about a place that possibly could help her. It’s a small animal vet clinic out in the rural part of the county they live in. They probably care for more farm animals than dogs but she figured it wouldn’t hurt to call and find out if they could take care of the dogs.
What happened next knocked her socks off.
Before I go on, it’s only fair that I point out, my mother is one of the world’s most demanding customers. She knows what it means to really, truly take care of someone. And she’s not easily fooled by phonies and fakers.
So, when I say she was impressed, it means a lot. And she was VERY impressed by this vet clinic.
First, they answered the phone right away. The person who answered was warm, polite and friendly. Even more, she sounded excited that mom called. She encouraged her to bring Sparky and Doogie in for a bath whenever it was convenient for them.
However, when the day came that she had planned to bring the dogs in for a bath, the little one (Doogie) had a rash of some kind. Being concerned, mom called to make sure it was okay that she brought him in. They told her it would be no problem, they would take care of him.
And they did. They went to great lengths to make sure both dogs were comfortable and happy throughout the experience.
The next day, mom got a call from the vet who saw the dogs while they were at the clinic. “Just checking on the dogs” she said. She wanted to make sure everything was okay.
The following day, mom (and the dogs) got a hand-written thank you note in the mail for the vet clinic.
And, to top it all off, she said their prices were very reasonable. No more (and maybe even less) than she paid elsewhere.
As she was relaying this story to me, I asked her when was the last time she got a call or a note from the dog’s regular vet.
“Never!” was the immediate response.
And, from my personal experience, this is typical.
What really impresses me is that this clinic doesn’t even specialize in treating dogs. As a small animal clinic in a rural area, they have a lot of other animals they cater to.
So, why would they go out of their way to take such good care of these two suburban dogs (and their “mom”), whom they might never see again?
I can think of two reasons. (And they’re not mutually exclusive.)
One, is that they care about the animals and the people they serve and they enjoy what they do.
They care enough to hire friendly and competent people. They care enough to have a “can do” attitude instead of a “not interested” attitude. They truly enjoy what they do so it makes sense to do these extra things for their customers. That they care about their customers and they enjoy what they do shows in everything they do.
Two, is that they’re smart business people.
They understand when they treat people well, they come back and they tell others about their wonderful experience. So, they have built their business around providing this superior level of service on a consistent basis. They probably have systems and policies in place to make sure everyone gets treated well so every customer has an outstanding experience.
My honest conclusion is that both reasons apply here. Either that or the stars just happened to line up perfectly that day.
Time will tell because I’m sure Sparky and Doogie will be making future visits to this wonderful animal clinic.
How can you use this example to improve the service in your business? Or do you already deliver a level of service like this to all your customers?
If not, find ways to treat your customers like this clinic treats theirs. You’ll find them coming back again and again