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Q & A: A Crisis in Customer Service? Not So Much

A secret shopper program finds plenty to purr about—and some room for improvements

Last summer, Maddie’s Fund and Petfinder worked together to put the sheltering and rescue field to the test via a series of phone calls, e-mails, and site visits. Their quest? To find out whether there is truly a crisis in customer service in our line of work, and to reward the groups that put their best feet—and their best paws—forward. Over the course of 10 weeks, Petfinder Foundation staff “secret shopped” a series of rescues and shelters selected at random from member groups. They awarded those organizations whose staff and volunteers performed well with a total of $50,000.

In a series of interviews excerpted here, Animal Sheltering editor Carrie Allan talked to Richard Avanzino, president of Maddie’s Fund; Kim Saunders, vice president for shelter outreach; and executive director Liz Neuschatz and program manager Lisa Robinson of the Petfinder Foundation about why they invested time and money in the project, what they found, and what they hope to do next.

 Read the full article.

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