I sent my husband off to work today with our two St. Bernards, Otis and Rosie. Both stood on the back seat of his little car, one gigantic head sticking out of each back window, on their way to a very personal experience at the groomer – bath, brush and beautification. They are always an amusing sight that draws attention and smiles from passersby.
My husband’s task is simple – drop off Otis and Rosie at the groomer on the way to a meeting, wrangle the collective 280 pounds of beasts into the store while dodging doggie drool and white and brown fur. Pretty easy, don’t you think?
His parting question to me: “What do I tell them?”
I respond quickly: “Just the same as last time. They know what to do.”
“Oh nooooo. That’s it? Honey, there are always questions.”
“Ok,” I say. “They don’t need their teeth brushed. That’s it. Nothing else.”
“Alright,” he sighs, in an “I really don’t believe you” tone as he pulls out of the driveway.
I zip into the house. The groomer is only about a mile away, and I am on a mission to head off any questions at the pass. I want to make it as easy as possible for my husband, but you can bet that I don’t want to hear, “I told you there would be questions.”
A minute later I’m on the phone with Danielle at the Canine Center. Danielle is the young, energetic groomer who always takes care of Otis and Rosie and who always provides excellent customer service. We share a chuckle about husbands handling drop off and pick up duty, and I learn that my husband’s behavior in this area is typical … clueless about instructions.
Danielle and I discussed the usual dog grooming to-dos, bantered about the poor St. Bernards in the 105 degree St. Louis heat and so on. I won’t bore you with the doggie details here. But, ultimately I told her, “Danielle, do whatever you think is best for them. I trust you. I know you’ll do a great job.”
She quickly replied, “Oh wow! Really?”
I confirmed, “Of course!”
“That’s fantastic. I am so particular about how my dogs look. That really helps me. Ok, Laura, I see them now. They just drove up. I’ll go meet them and help out your husband.”
So off she went empowered by my comments and my trust in her. She made my husband’s delivery seamless and easy. He was quickly free of the mutts and on his way to work within minutes.
My simple comments had empowered Danielle to take complete ownership of her work. She had the authority to make decisions for me, to serve me, the customer. As a customer, I empowered her as the service provider, not really even thinking about it.
Otis and Rosie had a fantastic customer experience. Danielle treated them like her own pets. I was thrilled with the results and the excellent customer service. And as for Otis and Rosie, they are loyal customers.