4 Ways to Make Your Business Extraordinary

I recently had an amazing experience with a local business here in Boulder, Colorado. I had been shopping around for a doggie daycare for my new puppy, so I asked my dog owner friends for their recommendations.

Many of my friends recommended The Dog Spot, a locally-owned daycare and boarding business for active pups.

I reserved Moose’s first daycare day with them, and right from the first moment, I got a great feeling about The Dog Spot. Here’s what I loved about my experience on the first day:

1. I was asked to fill out a complete profile for Moose, so that his caretakers would know his personality, including all his quirks and weird habits. I love that they wanted to know everything about my dog, in order to take the best possible care of him.

2. The owner, Shannon, greeted me warmly at the door, and as I was filling out my paperwork, she greeted each of the other customers (and their dogs!) by name as they came in the door.

3. Every dog who came in was incredibly excited to be there — some were actually scratched at the door to get in!

4. I was told exactly what Moose’s schedule for the day would be, so that I would know what to expect. I particularly loved hearing that The Dog Spot owners carve out the hours between 12-2 PM every day as “naptime,” so the pups can get some rest.

5. The place was clean, welcoming, and quiet when I arrived. It is obviously well-run and very organized.

6. During Moose’s first day, the caretakers posted hilarious photos of him on their Facebook page. When I picked up him that evening, I also received a full report on his first day, including a fabulous photo collage of pictures of Moose with all his new friends.

I am so thrilled with The Dog Spot that I have been talking about them non-stop on Facebook and Twitter. I have also recommended their facility wholeheartedly to my dog owner friends in Boulder.

Here are the lessons you can take from The Dog Spot, to make YOUR local business more extraordinary:

1. Know your clients! Greeting people by name when they arrive makes them feel valued and welcomed.

2. Go out of your way to provide a memorable experience. Because The Dog Spot owners provided an amazing experience for me and Moose, they are going to get tons of referrals from me. What can you do to provide an incredible experience for your clients?

3.  Integrate your social media presence in smart ways. The Dog Spot uses their Facebook page to post regular pics of the dogs’ adventures, so puppy owners can keep an eye on their pets during the day. What can you do with social media that makes your customers’ experiences even better?

4. Be nice. One of the things I love about the folks at The Dog Spot is that they are so warm and friendly. Studies show that as human beings, we most often do business with the people we like — so being nice is not only the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing, as well!

Your assignment for this week: Take a look at what you’re doing with your business, and see if you can make some small changes that would make your company really stand out from the competition. Make your business better, and your clients will be delighted to refer their friends and family members to you.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Beth, thank you for sharing such a lovely and giving story – I am living thousands of miles away from you guys and I still did “Like” the Dog Spot’s fan page – so much to learn (or teach in my case) from there! I like your story so much that I am going to talk about it in my business blog as well. Lets hop many other small businesses pick up a lot from your experience with The Dog Spot by integrating the same great values in their daily customer service as well!

    • Thanks, Veronika! I think it’s great that you used the term “values” here – that’s exactly what I felt from the Dog Spot proprietors….that they have their business values really clear. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all small businesses were this clear on what is important to them? Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Most importantly, that photo of Moose with the Saint Bernard just melts my heart! But on to more businesslike matters (alas). I don’t have a dog (also alas!), but I’ve had similar experiences with the summer camps that my daughter attends.

    It’s made me realize that if I owned a business that dealt with the public, like a dog daycare or a summer camp, I would invest in very, very good people to be the “greeters” of my customers. For example at one summer camp that my daughter goes to, the actual instructors are awesome; very energetic and enthusiastic science-teacher types, but the people who actually check your kid in often seem halfhearted about the job, sometimes barely making eye contact and certainly not making any effort to engage you when you’re dropping your kid off. At another camp she attends, the second you arrive you’re practically accosted (in a good way) by a super enthusiastic young person who greets your kid by name, asks them some cool questions about themselves, talks up all the great stuff they’re going to do, etc. I can tell you as a parent that those two situations create a dramatically different sense of trust, regardless of the quality of the actual camp experience. So honestly, if I owned a law firm or a medical office or something like that, I’d pay whatever it took to get a really amazing receptionist (seriously) to give people that immediate feeling of confidence.

  3. Oh oh oh, I love this post so much it makes me wish I had a dog to take to the Dog Spot! I especially love the photo of Moose with one of his new friends, while the bigger dogs look on approvingly. Beth, one of the many things that makes you such a great social media coach/strategist is you bring this same warmth to your work with your clients. I may not have a dog (yet), but at least, thanks to you, I have a blog!

  4. Cheryl McCutchan says:

    Hi Beth,

    I’m in the midst of reading “Word of Mouth Marketing” by Andy Sernovitz. Your post provides a great example of word of mouth marketing and how to do it right, like the people at The Dog Spot. And your take home messages reinforce what Sernovitz has to say. It’s such a great way to do business! Now, on to improving my word-of-mouth marketing.

    Thanks,
    Cheryl

  5. Great story, small business stories like that are so inspiring. That is how to run a business; awesome for all parties; dogs, owners, business.

  6. As a dog lover, I just love this story! As a marketer, these are all important message to offline and online businesses.

    BTW: Just starting Pinfluence Academy today – I’m so excited!

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