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3 Ways Care and Compassion Improve Customer Experience

Lead with your heart when it comes to customer experience. The pets, people and your business will benefit.




NOBODY OPENS A grooming salon believing that mediocre client relationships and bare minimum customer service will lead to success. Most of us start our businesses to build strong bonds with our clients and grow year after year. I’ve done exactly that at my salon, The Paw Shop, by making care and compassion core elements of our customer experience. If you struggle with client connection, no matter the type of business you own, try these simple and inexpensive ways that work for me.

1. I recognize that I have two clients. Our services may focus on the dogs and cats, but what about the pet parents? I ask myself, “What more can I do to make our two-legged clients have a more enjoyable experience at my salon?”

Offering to take payment over the phone before they arrive for pickup makes checking out fast and simple. This doesn’t work for all clients, such as ones who want to pay with cash, but those whose dogs pull, jump and bark with excitement during pickup, stressing out their people, appreciate the option.


I also make communication during the grooming process a bigger priority for new clients. We make courtesy calls to let pet parents know how their dogs are doing with their new groomer.

Such customer service is key in building relationships. And let’s face it … while we wish dogs could speak, they can’t. Our two-legged clients are the ones we need to talk up our businesses around town.

2. I am proactive. At my salon, we stay on our toes! Being proactive means we’re prepared and already a step ahead. For example, poop. Accidents happen in every pet business, and at some salons especially in the lobby. We have bags, cleaner and a positive attitude ready and waiting. My team moves to clean up messes before the usually embarrassed pet parents try to do it themselves.

Any type of pet business can look at common problems that are easy to solve, before customers even ask for help, in a simple and heartfelt way that strengthens our bond.

3. I show it. Actions speak louder than words. For this, social media is one of my greatest tools for showing clients we care. We share videos and create Reels of heartwarming salon moments, whether of kissable puppies who have stolen our hearts or reactions of pet parents seeing their fur babies after a grooming transformation. This shows we’re happy, they’re happy, and that makes us proud. We also post videos and pictures about the salon’s sanitation and cleanliness practices.


Whatever we do, it’s authentic. By highlighting our amazing and unique clients in this way, we also give them content to share with friends, family … and potential new clients.
If as pet business owners, we give sincere care and compassion to our clients, we will outshine the competition and excel at retention, both of which positively impact our bottom line. This also allows us to charge more, as “75% of customers are willing to spend more to buy from businesses that give them a good customer experience,” according to Zendesk, a customer relationship management software company.

So let’s put our hearts into the customer experience. The pets, people and our businesses will benefit.



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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