The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Customer service is of the highest priority at Paw Print Genetics. From the numerous positive reviews we have received on our Facebook page referencing our personal attention to detail, to the many emails we receive from our clients thanking us for a job well done, we recognized early on that we were on to something. After all, we know that without our loyal clients, we could simply not exist as a laboratory. The customer service goal established by our company culture is to exceed the expectations of every client that we have the privilege with which to work. We want our clients to come back to us for genetic testing, not because we are the only option, but because they have never had a better experience with a genetics laboratory.

Though the pursuit of exceeding client expectations is an ideal that most businesses strive for, the exact way to perform this level of service often remains elusive. In addition, there has been a long standing debate about whether the skills needed to provide great customer experiences are ones that can be taught or learned. One veterinary nonprofit organization, the Veterinary Leadership Institute, has helped prove that not only can these skills be taught, but that they can be applied in a variety of contexts to obtain more fruitful and effective relationships with clients. Though veterinary colleges have historically done a fantastic job preparing veterinarians for the issues related to prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease, the skills necessary to forge meaningful interpersonal and professional relationships have not always been deemed essential despite their immense importance in client satisfaction and the overall satisfaction of veterinarians with their careers.

After attending the conference as a veterinary student participant in 2005 and 2007, I recently had the honor of being invited to be a “group facilitator in training” at the 11th Annual Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE); an event held in Post Falls, Idaho and organized by the Veterinary Leadership Institute (VLI). The VLE is an international conference that brings together veterinary students and veterinarians from academia, government, private practice, and industry for a common, unique purpose; to educate those in the veterinary community about the non-medical skills that it takes to not only be an exceptional veterinarian, but also to be an exceptional person. The conference focuses on skills related to communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, active listening, and self-management among many others. Interestingly, skills in many of the areas explored at VLE are the missing links that can take a company with good customer service and make them exemplary. It is an honor to work for a company that supports the pursuit of these concepts and understands the importance of client satisfaction. Paw Print Genetics’ commitment to client satisfaction was clearly illustrated by the week off I was given from work (no questions asked) in order to explore this amazing development opportunity!

In addition to a company culture that supports personal and professional growth, at Paw Print Genetics we have set the standard for canine genetic testing in multiple ways. It all started with our desire to make canine genetic testing more efficient by offering more tests under one roof than any other laboratory in North America and providing a user-friendly, well-designed website to place your order. Our “one-stop-shopping” approach is supported by our commitment to personally answer your phone calls within three rings during business hours (yes, a real person!) and to answer all inquiries to our customer service email address ( well within 24 hours. In fact, our CEO and founder, Dr. Lisa Shaffer, personally receives each and every customer service email directly and often responds within minutes. For our less computer savvy customers, we also happily take orders over the phone or in person at our laboratory in Spokane, Washington. Lastly, we are also very excited to announce our latest service, Paw Print Pedigrees, where our clients can post the results of their Paw Print Genetics testing and promote their kennels at no additional cost!

Armed with new inspiration, information, and the conscious decision to explore the concepts gifted to me by another life-changing experience at VLE, I have been given an opportunity to help Paw Print Genetics continue to grow. By embracing the challenge of modeling what optimal customer service looks like within our talented Paw Print Genetics team, I am confident we will continue to “WOW” our clients with the type of exceptional service and attention to detail disappearing from today’s business landscape. We are committed to establishing a long lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with those that have used our services and with every one of our future clients. We truly appreciate our clients and we will continue to work hard to prove it. To those of you that have chosen us for your canine genetic testing needs, thank you for your inspirational support of Paw Print Genetics!