Customer service, this may seem like a strange topic for a dog blog but customer service is customer service no matter what you are purchasing. I put a VERY high value on customer service, to me it is up there higher than the quality of the product itself. Even if I absolutely love a product, think that it is the most wonderful thing ever invented I will not recommend it to others if the company has bad customer service. If I eat at a restaurant and adore the food but the service is bad, I won't go back. Customer service is a make or break it for me.
In my own businesses if my customer is not happy, I find a way to make them happy, bottom line. So when I contact a company either online or on the phone and someone gives me attitude, I am not happy. I'm not only not happy, I'm ticked off. And I'm not a great customer when I'm ticked off, believe me. So what is good customer service? Being attentive to your customers, making sure that they are happy, going above and beyond to make sure they are more than satisfied with their product or service and being there.
Being there, yep, being there. Do you know how many companies that I have contacted online or even on Facebook that I've not been replied to? I test dog products, and much of my testing has to do with acquiring the product. When I find a really cool new product I contact the company to see if they would be interested in me testing their product out. Often a company will contact me, which is nice. I have several different dogs that test products in a couple of different homes. Once the product is tested it is then blogged about with accompanying photos. Great advertising if we like the product. So when I make the first contact and don't get replied to for a month? Of course sometimes it can be our wonderful technology that is the problem but if they don't get back to me the second time? Hmmmm.
I have often walked into a new pet store to have a look around and am disappointed in the CS. They aren't helpful, no one asks you if they can help you, nothing. Then there is the extreme opposite, the sales staff try to sell you everything under the sun. They convince you that your dog needs all these things and they won't go away. Geesh.
Not long ago I heard about a company that produced very quality specialty car harnesses for dogs. The owner of the dog had bought a harness online, it didn't fit so they tried to contact the company. They never got a return call or email for weeks and weeks. This leaves one wondering if the company even exists any longer. I know when I heard the story I passed this information onto others wanting to know about harnesses. Customer service is everything. She did eventually get in touch with the company but by then she was furious, easily avoidable.
For me if a company is not willing to stand behind their product, put the customer first then get out of the business. Of course there are many companies who are strictly in it for the money and don't care at all if you ever come back. But these days word travels fast, email, facebook, blogging etc gets the word out to places it would have never gotten to in the old'n days. A faux pas which you may think no one will notice like turning down a service dog in your shop can be catastrophic. Before you know it the world knows and you are being boycotted.
Customer service is very important, yes even in the dog industry. So step it up people. Word travels fast.