18 December, 2015
I truly feel that I was born to create and grow Dog Quality to help as many dogs around the world as possible. It gives me purpose, focus and a warm fuzzy feeling each and every day. While I love all animals my main focus with Dog Quality is to help those dogs in need of ways to improve their quality of life. This is why our products are designed to make life easier for older dogs and physically challenged dogs. Our products also benefit younger dogs, but when we make product decisions they are made thinking of an older dog's needs.
As many of you know I started Dog Quality because my dogs at the time (Churchill and Mackenzie) were struggling seniors and I found it difficult to find products that made enough of a difference in their lives. I knew that I could not be the only one looking to make life easier for their seniors and Dog Quality was born.
I pour everything I have, heart and soul, into making great products and helping as many dogs as possible. My team, the people behind the emails, products and packages, are some of the most caring, hard working people I know and they love knowing that their efforts make such a difference in the lives of dogs and their families.
I feel that 99% of people that come to our site, watch our videos or interact with us on social media, by phone or email, learn quickly that we put the needs of their dogs well ahead of making a dollar. In fact we often lose money on an order because we are willing to go the extra mile to ensure a customer's dog has what they need to live a higher quality of life.
1% of the people remain uncertain, guarded and often skeptical and may begin the relationship on the defensive. I don't blame the customer, I blame other businesses. When people expect the worst it's only because other companies have shown them the worst and when trust is broken it is difficult to restore. The reason I wanted to write this post is to give you a glimpse of what happens on our end.
We are so fortunate to have the most amazing customers in the world and our days are filled with many feel good moments when we hear and often see the difference our products are making in the lives of older dogs. When we do interact with the 1% of people, who are simply not sure about us, most times we can show them that we truly do care, but for those that do not give us a chance, it upsets us because we take it personally. Sometimes I lay awake at night thinking of something a customer said and working out in my mind how to make things better. I also think to myself "if they only knew how much their words affected me," because I think if they did, the conversation would be very different. I also talk to my dogs a lot! But that is a topic for another post. :)
I have been told so many times that in business you can't please everyone and you need to not take things personally. For a little while there I tried to put this advice into action, but I failed miserably and then I realized why. It is personal, very personal and maybe I can't please everyone, but I am certainly going to try. If a mistake happens or a product doesn't provide the benefits we had hoped for a dog, I obsess about it and if a customer will allow us, we will go to great lengths to find a way - a new size, different product etc to make it work.
I am truly saddened if we are unable to help and I am truly hurt if we upset a customer. And I hope that as we grow the business that this never goes away. I always want us to feel something when it comes to our customers, not just when things go right, but also when things go wrong. It is what keeps pushing us to constantly improve.
Every email or post we read, every phone call we take matters. If you are upset we are upset; if you are happy we are happy, so please know this whenever you reach out to us. We will always be a company that puts your dog first. Making a difference is the fuel that drives us to keep being better, to keep doing more and to keep putting ourselves out there even if at times we get beat up a little.
If we ever do something that is not to your liking please talk to us and know that you can trust us. I say this with all my heart. We will never do anything but try and help. On the flipside, if we have helped please also talk to us because it motivates us more than you will ever know.
So if you ever feel that today's world is only about the mighty dollar, at least with us you now know that we are only about the mighty dog! :)
Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.