Make Every Connection Count

The key to building a loyal customer base in today’s highly competitive retail world is to ensure that your pet business is engaging consumers the right way at every touchpoint.



In this world of “always open,” do your current customers and potential customers receive exceptional customer service at every possible point of connection (touchpoints), 24/7? 

I read recently that we are all part of a $1.5 trillion “switching economy” that is one click away from being tempted by the competition. Consumers used to be much more forgiving, often giving three strikes before you were out. Now customers can leave with one mistake, one blunt conversation or a slow website response.  

Providing a relentlessly consistent customer experience will be the defining differential advantage in your business. It is not as easy as it sounds. Try to walk in the customer’s shoes and anticipate where there are speed bumps or cracks or detours in your business that could negatively affect your “touchpoint score.”

Let’s take a simple customer service journey and see where a laser focus on consistently delivering an outstanding customer service experience can affect touchpoint scores.


Come to the Seminars

Thu., March 17, 9:00 - 9:15 AM
Mini Session: Gen Who?
Room W204A

Call them what you want—Digitals, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation X or Boomers—it doesn’t change the reality that we may be dealing with up to five generations in the workplace. Strong communication skills and the ability to recognize the differences and similarities of each group will set you apart from your competition.

Thu., March 17, 2:00 - 3:15 PM
Contagious Service Touchpoints
Room W203B

Do your customers receive exceptional customer service at every possible point of connection? We are all part of the “switching economy”—one click away from being tempted by the competition. Your customers can leave you after one mistake, one blunt conversation or a slow website response! What is your company’s “touchpoint score?” How can you ensure exceptional customer service 24/7?

Fri., March 18, 9:00 - 10:15 AM
On the Floor - A Merchandising GPS for Increased Sales
Room W204A
Customers rate your performance every time they come in contact with you and your store—with a direct connection between your visual merchandising and brand identity. Anne Obarski will offer strategies for effective store merchandising, first impressions, store layout, productivity of space, importance of signage, effective displays and appealing to customers’ emotions through their senses.

Consistent Marketing
Customers are likely to begin their journey by visiting your website or other social media channels. Do your “friends” on social media feel that they know you so well that they could recommend you because of that relationship? 

Your brand identity starts there and provides various ways to communicate. How effective and efficient is your website? Do you consistently update it with information, pictures and video and customer testimonials? How easily can they contact you through those channels and how fast is your response. 

Consistent Employee Performance
Each and every employee is the face of the business. From the office administrator to the sales force and service team, every single employee represents the company. 

The number of employees does not matter; it is the relentless consistency in providing a memorable customer experience at each and every meeting that counts. From your hiring process to your training and mentor program to your review process, each and every opportunity allows you to explain the importance of their daily job performance and how it affects the business. 

Consistent Ethical Business Practices
People like doing business with people they trust. How do your clients describe you when it comes to your business? As a leader, how do your employees describe you? Are they proud to work for you? 

Pet parents are well versed in what they want in providing their animals the safest and most beneficial items to give their pets a long and healthy life. Trusting you and your company is critical.

What is your company’s touchpoint score? Customer service is your defining advantage. It is the one main area that sets you apart from the competition. It is made up of countless touchpoints on a daily basis that inevitably create a “report card” in the customer’s mind. Don’t you need it to always be an A+?

Anne M. Obarski is a speaker, author and retail coach who works closely with organizations who want to become CONTAGIOUS….on purpose! She is founder and CEO of Merchandise Concepts, based in Columbus, Ohio. Chances are you recently had a great customer experience, perhaps dealing with a retailer, restaurant or airline, only to turn around and be disappointed with that same company’s customer service. It happens every day. Anne has mystery shopped over 2,000 businesses around the country looking for “consistent” excellence in customer service. She knows what works and what doesn’t. Driven by her extensive experience over the past 30 years Anne shares her wisdom designed to motivate you to take a deeper look at what your customer experiences every day. 


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