HomePlease get your PDFs for 2024 Workbook & 2016 Facilitator's GuideContents: The 2024 WorkbookContents: The 2016 Facilitator's GuideThe AuthorThe Photography


 Most important, "Animal Friendly-Customer Smart:"





•  Teaches appropriate responses under demanding circumstances.

•  Helps us leave an interaction with a sense of "a job well done."

•  Helps the animals in the long run.



           Animal welfare, protection and rescue customers are all different--



In a nutshell, the workbook:

  • Is shelter/clinic/rescue friendly and designed to be used in-house at any time without the help of a professional consultant or trainer.
  • Uses examples of real situations familiar to any department, staff member or volunteer.
  • Can be used to train new staff or address problem areas for existing staff.
  • Will resonate during department meetings, individual interviews, cross training or special sessions.
  • Is meant to be written in, discussed and referred to at desks, counters, in meetings or vehicles.
  • Shares educational materials that are both entertaining and informative.
  • Contains photos by award winning Companion Animal Photographer, Sumner W. Fowler.
  • Includes 120 easy-to-work-with pages that offer Customer Smart principles, exercises, quizzes and ethical dilemmas. 

 When can the workbook be used?

  • individual study


  • discussion in meetings


  • new employee orientation


  • special training sessions


  • volunteer/staff team building


  • in small groups


  • in departments or cross sections of departments


  • as benchmarks for employee/volunteer evaluations or team performance


What methods does the workbook use to train staff and volunteers to be Customer Smart? 

  • Clear objectives for each chapter
  • Examples of interactions
  • Tools to try out
  • Questions to answer
  • Quizzes to complete
  • Exercises to practice
  • Scenarios to resolve
  • Situations to discuss
  • Case studies to consider
  • Ethical dilemmas to contemplate



How many copies of the workbook do we need?

Each staff member and volunteer will benefit from their own copy so they can take notes, highlight sections and refer to the materials as needed. 

The 2024 Edition has two new chapters and content, some new photos and updated content


What does the workbook look like inside?


Chapter 1: Your role in interacting with the public, or “Hey I didn’t sign up for this!”

Chapter 2: The Filters We Wear and the Snap Judgments We Make

Chapter 3: The Art of Shaping Outcomes

Chapter 4: The Art of Setting the Tone

Chapter 5: The Martial Art of Customer Service: Verbal Aikido Tools---

#  1: Remember why customers get upset

#  2: Raise customer esteem

#  3: Don’t instigate or elevate anger

#  4: Calm the situation

#  5: Avoid words that flip the anger switch

#  6: Be assertive, not aggressive

#  7: Survive saying “no”

#  8: Stabilize quickly after a very bad, difficult, or simply odd interaction

#  9: Help coworkers during difficult interactions

#10: Give and get respect

#11: Fortify team work

#12: Trash triangulation

#13: Go to the coach!

Chapter 6: Why Customers Get Angry

Chapter 7: The Secret Life of Words

Chapter 8: Positively In-Charge

Chapter 9: The Adult in the Room   New!

Chapter 10: Recovering


Chapter 11: A Culture of Teamwork and Caring


Chapter 12: Say Yes to a Happy, Balanced Life    New!

Some customers immediately show a love of animals.


 Some customers can be difficult.


Some may need you to be very Customer Smart.


Some need extra time and patience


Some customers just need a smile and some  information


 The animals benefit if we deal well with the people! 

 "Toby Waits," award winning photo by Sumner W. Fowler


                   Weighing in


Puppy check in the clinic