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Turn Customer Feedback into a Win-Win for Your Pet Business

By embracing your imperfections, you will improve your client experience, increase loyalty and boost your bottom line.

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WE’VE ALL BEEN there: Feeling like we’re providing the best possible experience in our business, then boom! A client surprises us with suggestions on how we can improve — even offers criticism, which may be presented as constructive but doesn’t always feel that way.

So What Do We Do?

Follow the lead of successful companies that use customer feedback to grow and evolve, among them the likes of Apple, Trader Joe’s and Southwest Airlines. This requires us to lower our defenses and change our perspective, to see this information as valuable to our business.

How Do I Do This?

I regularly assess my grooming salon and look for “holes,” or imperfections, in my business. I start by listening to what customers are saying. Are they having trouble accessing a particular service? If so, I figure out what solution would work for both them and my business.

For example, our clients were complaining that their dogs’ nails were getting too long between appointments. Many were having to make appointments with their veterinarian for nail trims and pay double the price of what we charged at the time. Our solution: We started offering walk-in nail trims. This required making sure our groomers had the support they needed to briefly step away from their current client to provide this service.

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Walk-in nail trims have become so popular that we’ve raised our price from $7 to one comparable to what local vets charge, $20 to $25. Customers happily pay it as they don’t have to wait for an appointment. As an added bonus, we’ve gained new clients who only need this simple service done. This complaint turned into a win-win solution for everyone.

Your response to customers can lead to fantastic changes that benefit your business. The next time you’re faced with feedback — a suggestion or even a criticism — stop, breathe and remember, no business is perfect. We all have room to improve. And just imagine the boost to customer loyalty when you take their feedback and act on it!

Not Sure Where to Begin?

You likely already follow your online reviews. If not, start. There are ideas for improvement just waiting for you. Add this question to your checkout process, “In what areas could I give you a better experience?” And for those who may feel more comfortable offering suggestions not in the moment, send an online survey.

And then get ready to embrace these (im)perfect opportunities to grow and better your business.

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Lashonda Geffrard co-owns The Paw Shop in Ocoee, FL. She also founded the Black Pet Business Network, a non-profit organization committed to growing Black-owned businesses and leaders in the pet care industry. You can reach her at blackpetbusinessnetwork@gmail.com.

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