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Buddy the Puppy and Customer Service Skills


Buddy the Puppy and Customer Service Skills

While (most) dogs can be trained, Jeremy Greenberg found that (many) customer service skills must be learned, often through trial and error, or, in this case, through email. 

Two years ago, I adopted a very cute Cheagle (Chihuahua-Beagle mix) named Buddy. Buddy was abandoned by his owner in North Carolina and rescued by an organization in New York. He was shy at first, and his anxiety quickly became evident: clawing at the door frantically when left alone, whimpering and shaking in the elevator, cowering on the sidewalk in congested streets.

At the age of nine months, Buddy needed some help acclimating to life in bustling Manhattan. I searched on Yelp for a dog trainer. There are numerous trainers in New York to choose from, and Yelp provided a helpful guide to identify someone well-rated and near me.

Yelp has a “Request a Quote” feature for some companies that allows inquisitive shoppers like me to describe my need and get an estimated cost within days or even hours. I wrote up a short summary of the situation and proceeded to copy-paste it into about a dozen potential dog trainers’ quote request boxes. After requesting many quotes, I began to receive a range of responses, from automated, generic messages to detailed, customized estimates.

While combing through the responses, conducting online research on the respondents, and speaking with many of them on the phone, I received a very powerful recommendation for a particular trainer.

The first training session with her taught me very quickly that I had a lot to learn about raising a puppy, and the trainer was exceptionally sensitive and effective with Buddy. I tossed all of the Request a Quote folks into my mental trash bin as I had found Buddy’s trainer.

Not surprisingly, despite informing other trainers that I was no longer in the market for their services, some persisted. Some who hadn’t responded after a few weeks began to respond with a quote. The steady stream of emails became a trickle and then stopped.


Key points include:

  • The danger of autoresponders
  • Leaping before looking
  • Beware of beguiling puppies


Read the full article, What a Puppy Taught Me About Customer Service, on LinkedIn