Camp Bow Wow
>> The biggest misconception I had about managers was that they sat around in offices and kind of did nothing.
>> Candace: My name is Candace [inaudible] and I'm a manager here at Camp Bow Wow.
>> I was really wrong. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of managing people and working on your own people skills and making sure everybody's organized and where they're supposed to be at the right time. Dogs are pretty simple. They're happy and loving and they're really just kind of sweet whereas people are a little more difficult. They're way harder to train.
>> Yeah so before this I worked for GE for years and years and before that oil and gas and I was in manager positions for most of that.
>> Hi, I'm Sue. I'm the owner of Camp Bow Wow [inaudible].
>> But I had this manager that was just miserable to work for but taught me an incredible amount. She was one of those people that took joy in making me uncomfortable. Every time I went into her office with a question, if I was up here looking at the big picture, she'd ask me questions about the detail. And the next time I'd go in and ask, you know, questions about the detail and she'd want to know about the big picture. So I -- we were always on different pages but when I look back on it, I learned more from her probably than anybody else but it was painful.
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So I bought the camp two and a half years ago and when I started it was just me and a staff that was all at the same level, a very flat structure. I definitely went into wanting my own more relaxed culture not just for my staff but for myself as well. Once I started getting people like Candace where I could start promoting them and mentoring them into more lead positions, I did it.
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I want to be the best. I want to be the best of all the facilities like this in Boulder. I want to be the best in the Camp Bow Wow system as a whole. I mean my expectations are that the customer even if they're dealing with a really difficult problem with us that they come away knowing that we've done everything we could to address it.
>> For a half day, okay perfect.
>> Sue: I think the big thing that we've had to react to is that people are still spending money on bringing their dogs in but they're expecting a whole lot more for their dollars. So the level of customer service has to be that much better and the level of our offerings has to match their expectations.
>> The hardest part of my job as a manager is trying to juggle the customer service side with the dog side. So making sure that the customers are happy but also that we're doing what we need to do to keep the dogs safe and happy.
>> Sue: The model for most Camp Bow Wows is the camp counselors do a little bit of everything so they do -- they take care of the dogs. They answer the phones. They book reservations, do the front desk, the works, and I had a lot of people on staff who were fantastic with the dogs and miserable with customer service. Or good with the customers but couldn't run a credit card properly. One of the best things I did for this Camp and Candace was a part of it was establishing a position where she's here in the mornings and then she leaves. She comes back in the afternoons.
>> Candace: Customer service, I mean it has to be effective as opposed to efficient because it's important for them to know that you care and that you care about their dogs. And if you're just trying to be efficient then it's not going to make them want to come back and it's not going to make them feel like you know them or that you know their dog. They want to know how their dog did and…