Puppies and Customers

Like pets, you need to give customers 100 percent of your attention to get the most out of the relationship.


Every one of us has those long days where it seems that everything is uphill regardless of the angle it is viewed from. The drive home that day may even take longer as well, but that escapes notice because your mind is occupied with a universe of thoughts and emotions, or just moments of void. Just one of those days that make you question if it has an end.

Man’s best friend

Upon entering the house your mind is called back by the rush of excitement headed your way. There is only a split second to empty your hands of work-related items before your anxiously-wiggling, four-legged greeter is there to pounce, jump and run circles at your feet. The day certainly has been long and now it’s time to play (“work” is a word dogs don’t understand).

Giving a few moments of undivided attention may feel like a hindrance while still focused on the day’s tasks. But after a short pause for some ear scratching and belly rubbing, everything seems to become brighter as your mind clears like the skies after a thundershower rolls through. The thoughts of the day become distant as a smile starts to appear with this joyous reunion.

Owning a dog, or dogs as is now the case at our household, can be entertaining to say the least. When they are first brought home, everything is new for both of you. But it doesn’t take long before the need for some basic rules becomes apparent, and so the teaching begins. I will admit I have wondered who’s teaching whom, after issuing countless treats for obeying or pulling off a certain stunt.

It takes two

Having a new pet is similar to having a new customer in that each has to get used to the other. Understanding how things work takes effort from both parties, and whether training pets or customers, both have to adhere to the same training.

For instance, let’s look at training a dog to go outside for “nature call” events. After awhile, running to the door becomes habit, but it only signifies that YOU need to open the door: it takes two to make things happen the way they should. Same with a customer who has asked about a product: it takes two for a happy result! The trip to the door can happen every 10 seconds, but if that door is never opened, who is responsible for the result?

We have all said that we would look into something for our customer, only to drop the ball or decide (for ourselves) that the priority level is low, so off to the back burner it goes. Just as the trip to the door requires a response, so does a request from a customer. Both have a consequence if not acted upon in a timely fashion.

That phrase, “timely fashion” is something most people think they understand, but here is the funny part; only the one who is asking for something can decide what is “timely.” A trip to the door or a request from a customer should both receive immediate attention, otherwise things are going to stink real bad, real fast.

Giving 100 percent

Why would we spend so much time with repetitive teaching in the beginning, with our pets or our customers, and then not hold up our end? Why do we sometimes feel let down by the result? Do we become complacent and take for granted that things will just work out?

The answers to these questions could be as plentiful as the thoughts in your head on that long drive home, but one thing is for certain; no matter what type of day you have had, whether it’s your dog or your customer, each one expects the full you and not just someone going through the motions. In the end, each will always favor someone who gives them the attention they deserve.

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