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The Power of Educating Your Customer Base

5 20 9

Behind the Review host and Yelp's Small Business Expert, Emily Washcovick, shares a look at this week's episode of the podcast.

Our pets are becoming more like family every year. Nearly 70 million people own dogs in the United States. And for some, what they feed their pet is as important—if not more—than what they feed themselves. Paws on Chicon owner Keith Zeiler had a beloved dog who wasn't feeling well, and while investigating ways to make his pet's life better, he dug deeper into dog nutrition. He later took an extensive course in pet nutrition and then decided to share his knowledge through his boutique pet store in East Austin.

For Keith, it's all about the pet. "I'm so very well-educated on the nutrition side of it. I just really wanted to pass that along. And as you can see through so many of my reviews, it's all about nutrition," he said. "I look at it this way: Every person that walks through this door and every one of my employees that I train, it is about helping that dog. It's not about making that dollar on them because if we can help their pet, that builds loyalty, and that makes me and my staff feel like we did an amazing job. There's nothing better than having customers come in and talk about how much we have helped their dogs, without costing them thousands of dollars."

The myriad of choices in pet products is both a blessing and a curse, sometimes. Having so many choices in dog food alone can be downright intimidating. When reviewer Nicole B. walked into the pet store for the first time, she felt overwhelmed, but only for a moment.

"I have to be really honest. The first time I walked into the store, the staff had a big button pinned to their apron, and it said, 'Ask me why X dog brand is bad.' And that was the dog food brand I fed my dog," she said. "And I was so scared and nervous that they were going to be judgy or say that I was like killing my puppy or giving him McDonald's equivalent in dog food. But at the end of the day, they were no pressure. I said, 'Listen, this food our vet recommended when he was a puppy. I'm not going to switch, but what else can I do? Are there supplements? And then when we wean him to adult food, what do you recommend?'

"And it was just so nice that they took........

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