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Communication as a Competitive Advantage?

Does the communication you provide to your clients make them feel really good about you or frustrated?


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by Susan Briggs in Blogs
March 30, 2017

We all know the importance of customer service, but can basic communication serve as a competitive advantage in your business?

There is irony in the digital age that makes communication easier, that focusing on the basics can set your business apart.

I just checked my emails and was pleasantly surprised to find an email from one of my service providers telling me their website was down. They apologized for any inconvenience and made a positive impression on me. I would not have known the website was down as don’t use the service every day. I loved getting a proactive message and feel really good about this business.

Recently a local business really missed out on an opportunity to impress when they did not share a step they took of going the extra mile for me. In fact, I questioned if I got the service requested and sent an email. No reply to my inquiry. Now, I’m frustrated as not only do I think the service was not provided, but no one responds to my email. It was a couple of weeks later when I found out what really happened, but rather than feeling really good about the business there is still a sense of frustration.

Does the communication you provide to your clients make them feel really good about you or frustrated? Pet care is a business built on trust and good communication is at the heart of building trust.

If you could wave a magic wand and transform communication in your business what would that look like?

  • Would customer service problems disappear?
  • How many service errors in pet care would go away?
  • Could you go through a week without staff drama?
  • Would productivity increase?

What impact would this have for you personally? Would you feel freedom from your business on days off?

Many of you know that burnout is the reason I sold my pet care business. I remember my phone ringing one Sunday afternoon shortly after the sale and noticed that I did not flinch. That was when I realized that as a pet business owner I dreaded any calls after hours.

Even though you own the business you deserve time away from your business to recharge. When you are connected 24/7 to your business it is very hard to rebuild your energy. This puts you at high risk of burnout if you don’t find a way to manage and control communications in your business.

As a pet business owner you know emergencies will happen and those are calls we want made as soon as possible. How many of the calls, texts or emails that you get after hours are true emergencies?

I’m betting most are not, so I decided to help you out by creating a short Emergency Communication Guide. Use the information in this free PDF download to clarify for your team what constitutes an emergency for your business. The guide includes some other tips that can help you get freedom from your business on days off and after hours.

Right now I am hyper aware of communication as it’s the focus of a new project we’re working on.  In reviewing feedback from our follower survey last fall and listening to the issues many of you are facing a common thread appears to be communication breakdowns. Before we finish the project I would really appreciate your input on communication in your business. Your time sharing your views in our brief survey is appreciated.

Is it busyness, lack of customer focus or basic skills that makes simple communication feel like good customer service?

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share in the comments below.

  1. Al Bowman says:


    The answer to that question is varied in our experience. We have those staff members who seem to simply be born with the energy and great customer service skills without much direction from us. Those are rare, however. We have found if we hire a person with fast food skills, well, they will need a lot of work with customer service and service to those who they work with. Our business is not the fast pace of a fast food place (although sometimes we wonder!). Most fall somewhere in between. We spend lots of time training our staff in how to interact with the public. Simple things such as smiling while they are on the phone go a long, long way. Yet I always tell them to imagine that the person who they are talking to in person, on the phone or on the internet is their “one love of a lifetime”. How would your tone be? How understanding would you be of their most mundane point? Think that if you make them happy, then you will have scored that significant other that you are head over heals for. Staff always laughs, but they when they put that into action they are amazed at how easy it can be. Communication is a two way street…let’s make sure we don’t hold it up!

    1. Susan Briggs says:

      Al, love the picture you paint for your team! It’s great advice and appreciate the acknowledgement that skills definitely vary.

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