Grooming Gab

Stars Align
Customer Service:
It’s More Important Than You Think
by Kathy Hosler
Stars Align
Warren Buffet once said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
I n order for any business to grow and thrive, it must be able to satisfy its customers’ needs. Good customer service is the backbone of every successful business. Every person who patronizes a business wants to feel valued and to be treated well, but that doesn’t always happen.

Not long ago, some of my friends and I got an up-close-and-personal demonstration of poor customer service…

Every couple of months, a group of groomers from our tri-county area get together at different area restaurants to chat, laugh and enjoy a meal together. The last time we met, we went to a beautiful eatery that opened about a year ago. The restaurant was clean and the food was delicious. It was located pretty centrally, so no one had to drive too far. We had a great time being with each other and catching up, but we will probably not go back to that restaurant because their customer service was very poor.

As we entered the restaurant, we were not greeted or acknowledged by anyone. There weren’t many customers in the dining area, so we found a table that would accommodate the eight of us and seated ourselves. When our server came, he did not welcome us or introduce himself. He simply handed us a stack of menus without making any food recommendations or saying anything about the house specials. He took our orders, brought our drinks, then disappeared until the food came.

While we were eating, he never refilled our drinks, removed any plates or checked to see if we needed anything, but he was prompt when he brought our checks. It certainly wasn’t because he was busy, as there weren’t many patrons in the place. (We now presume that others had also experienced their poor service.) We finally cleared the table ourselves, finished our conversations and left.

Is poor customer service a reason to not patronize a business?


Everything else we experienced at the restaurant—the food, cleanliness, etc.—was great, but it did not make up for the poor customer service. All we talk about when we recall that night is the way we were treated. And we have not been back.

Just what is “good” customer service? One definition I really like is, “Good customer service typically means providing timely, attentive, upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business.”

Is this the kind of service you and your staff provide to every person who enters your establishment? If not, then why?

Stars align 2
“Good customer service typically means providing timely, attentive, upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business.”
Good or bad, people always remember how you treat them. One bad experience can lose that client for life. No matter how talented you are as a groomer, if you don’t treat the client and their pet well, they will seek service elsewhere. In addition, they are likely to show their displeasure by posting a scathing review about you on social media. The old saying, “Good news travels slow, but bad news travels fast,” is true.

In our case, we did not post anything on social media, but I’m sure that everyone who was there that evening told their family and friends about the poor service and suggested they steer clear of the restaurant.

In today’s highly competitive market, people have many choices. They will patronize the businesses that treat them well, satisfy their needs and make them feel appreciated. There is a strong correlation between good customer service and business success. Did you know that 20 percent of new businesses fail in their first year, 50 percent by their fifth year and only four out of 100 make it to the 10 year mark, often as a result of issues associated with poor customer service?

When customer service is done right, it benefits both the client and the business. When the customer has a positive experience, it makes them feel valued and respected. Happy customers become loyal clients who sing your praises and refer you to all their friends and family, which creates a steady stream of revenue for you, and brings less stress and problems to a business.

Rock-solid customer service really is the backbone of a business—and it’s more important than you think!