So here at Norwood Kennels we believe in learning from our four legged friends as much as we can so that not only can we become a little better at being humans but also so that we can transfer that knowledge over to make our businesses better too. When you think of your dog inevitably you will think of their unconditional loyalty. So when you are asked what’s the relationship between a dog’s loyalty and your customers most likely you are going to think that you would like your customers to have your dog’s loyalty, and then start to think of ways to make that happen. But, I’m here to tell you, while there is definitely merit in that, it is not the best approach for your business. Let me explain.
Obviously a dog is only going to be loyal if you treat them well but if you are on this site then I’m not concerned about that at all so we will just say that that is a given. And while it is common knowledge that you should treat your customers well, this will not always work to keep them loyal let alone unconditionally loyal. To be honest, in today’s fast paced, instant gratification, newer, better, faster, world…that’s unlikely to happen even if you have the best product, service, and personal relationship with your clients. Life happens and they most likely will move on. Not always, but most will eventually and that’s fine. You will of course gain more success through treating them as best as you can versus just using them for their cash, just keep that in mind.
No the point that I am trying to get at when equating a dog’s loyalty to your customers is that you are the dog. You will find much more long term success by viewing them in this light. And what is that light, well just look at how your dog treats you and looks at you. When you walk through the door, even if you’ve only been gone a couple minutes, they are there to greet you and often it is as if they haven’t seen you in ages. They light up and greet you with their whole being. They can sense when something is bothering you and try their best to get you to be happy. Think about that, how different would your business be if you treated each and every customer in this way. Wouldn’t it change their experience with you and your business. Now obviously there are many businesses where you never see your customers so all you need to do is ask yourself how you can recreate that type of experience through your sales process and delivery of your product/service.
Let’s take a look at a service based business like plumbing. 9 times out of 10 when a plumber is called, it’s because something bad has happened at home and there’s a big possibility that the cost to cure ain’t gonna be pretty. So let’s step into our dog’s shoes (pun intended) and handle it the way they would. When your dog knows something is bothering you, they know that by jumping all around and being obnoxious or copping an attitude and begging for a treat at that moment is not called for. No, what they do is come over at just the right moment and lay their head’s on your lap in a gesture to let you know they care. Now, I’m not suggesting you put your head on your customers lap rather take the soft empathetic approach. Acknowledge their pain and let them know that you are there when they need you and that you will do everything in your power to make it better…even when you can’t.
Why does this approach work so well? Because we are moving into a socially based, review based, share economy. You make that person’s experience with you the best you can with sincerity and empathy and they will tell people. Do this consistently and you the digital social proof will provide you new customers for years and years to come.
Contrast that with a plumber who just shows up, is pretty rude or says little, and then after showing his/her butt crack for a few minutes comes back and tells you that it’s going to cost you $2,500 dollars and that if you don’t fix it asap it’s going to cost you $20,000 in water damage. Now, you may get that business and do a good job but the customer is not going to forget the feeling that they had with you. They may or may not leave a bad review about you, but it doesn’t matter because the reality is that you left a whole bunch of future customers on the table by not creating that good sincere experience that has a good chance of becoming a referral and/or review down the road. Remember, I’m not suggesting that you have to cheer them up. How many times have you come home in a bad mood and yelled at your dog to get away or tell them not now in a harsh tone. They get the message and give you your space but when the moment is right or you tell them you’re not mad at them, they immediately light up and start wagging that tail. That’s the approach. Give space if needed but be ready to supply that good feeling/experience when they are ready. They will appreciate it 9 times out of 10.
Try out being the loyal dog and your business will grow faster than you can say woof!