Sometimes it’s just what you need isn’t it? You walk in the door after a long day and there’s your furry friend, running up to you with love and affection as if you are, without doubt, the most important person in the whole entire world. And of course you are … to him (her).
What if your customers felt the same way about you and your business? What if every time they interacted with you they felt special, cared about, and valued? What do you think would happen to your sales?
I understand that not everyone has a dog … or even likes dogs. But everyone has heard that “A dog is man’s best friend.”
Why? What is it that entitles a dog to this distinction?
And what can we learn from them that can help us to be our customers’ best friend and preferred choice?
Here are 10 lessons that lead us in the right direction. Go find your dog, put on his leash and let’s go for a walk through … this article. We can learn a lot!
Be Eternally Optimistic
As a business owner, self doubt can creep in when sales are down or we’re faced with challenges. Some call it the imposter theory. We start thinking, “Do I really have what it takes?” or “Who am I fooling?” Remember, this is natural. Even the most successful among us go through this. Just knowing that can help you turn the course on your thoughts and set them in the right direction.
Our dogs display eternal optimism every time we open the closet where a leash is stored or the cabinet containing a favorite treat. They are already anticipating that walk or bone.
If there is something you do on a regular basis, establish a routine. That means doing it the same way, going through the same steps, each and every time. Not only does the task become less of an effort, it ensures you do it correctly and don’t miss a step.
Pets are dialed into routines. A meal comes after a walk. When the lights go out at night it’s time to be quiet and go to sleep. Disruption in these routines causes them anxiety.
Be Dependent Sometimes
It’s okay to seek advice and assistance. You cannot be the expert at everything and it’s a waste of precious time to try and be. You may be great at marketing but terrible with numbers … hire a bookkeeper. You will get farther enhancing your strengths than trying to upgrade your weaknesses.
Dogs are dependent on us for pretty much everything … food, water, and shelter. But also, they come to us when they need the door opened so they can go outside. Or they stay near us during thunderstorms because they’re afraid. What’s our response? Compassion and action. We certainly don’t think any less of them.
We hear more and more about how important sleep is to our overall health. Make time to curl up and take a snooze … even if that means going to bed at night a little earlier. Your productivity and energy level will thank you.
So who isn’t jealous of how much our pups get to sleep?
Protecting Your Ownership/Property is Important
It’s definitely not the most fun part of being a business owner, but ensuring you are in compliance with all legal documents, sales tax, etc. saves you from problems later. Also, make sure if you have intellectual property or want your business or product name covered, you do the appropriate trademark or copyright registrations.
Just as we keep up our responsibility with vaccinations and dog tags, our businesses need the same loving care.
Always Display Happiness
Your customers are not going to want to come back again if they are left feeling bad. It’s your job to provide an environment that is uplifting and enjoyable. This means smile, be welcoming, and have a positive attitude.
How would you like it if when you came home your dog met you at the door with a growl or complaint that their dinner is late? Luckily that can’t happen but you get the idea. They always wag their tails and display happiness when they see you.
Whether it’s with your customers, vendors or employees, trust is earned by being consistent over time. This way they know what to expect when dealing with you. We are attracted to the familiar so make sure you have systems in place that reinforce that confidence. Think about your checkout process, your delivery systems, and your communication frequency.
Sad but true. Most dog behavior problems stem from distrust. Instinct plays a role too, of course. But that isn’t something we can affect. Inconsistency in human responses or harsh brisk motion that is threatening can lead to trouble.
Add some levity to your daily activities. Business tasks can be fun and people are attracted to happiness and a light-hearted approach.
Who doesn’t love the You Tube videos of a basket full of puppies or a dog on a skateboard?
Forgive and Move On
Things happen. Mistakes are human. People are emotional and act out. As long as it’s not a repetitive behavior, address it and then let it go. No grudges allowed.
Opps, a tail got stepped on. Or you go on vacation for a couple of weeks. Or there’s a thunderstorm and you just can’t go on that walk. No worries. All is forgiven.
This means being accessible by phone, email, or any other platform when a customer reaches out. This one trait alone will separate you from most others.
Our dogs are always there when we need them for companionship or just for someone to love.
It’s really so very easy in theory. Connecting on an emotional level is where it’s at for both personal and business relationships. When you actually do this, the game changes for your business and you get one, big, wet, slobbery kiss!
Play time: Of course I want to see pictures of your fur babies. Post them in the comments.