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Amazing Topics, Incredible Speakers

Explore the award winning practices of the Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center will present a 3 hour session on Service Excellence Culture

  • Learn about The Credo, Motto, The Three Steps of Service, The Employee Promise, and the 12 Service Values of The Ritz-Carlton.  
  • Understand The Ritz-Carlton Key Process, known as “The Systems Behind the Smiles”: You will hear about the selection process at The Ritz-Carlton and how we onboard talent and reward and recognize our associates.
  • Employee and Customer Engagement: The foundation of driving customer engagement is having engaged employees. You will be introduced to the three levels of employee engagement and shown techniques that will enable you to personalize your service and create emotional connections.
  • The Importance of Empowerment: Empowering your employees is an imperative component of legendary service. You will learn about The Ritz-Carlton Empowerment Guidelines, including how these reduce problem resolution costs and create consistently exceptional service.

Best Practices on Staff Hiring and Staff Training

Andrea Hoffer from AHA! Business Consulting and The Dog Gurus will provide the best tips on interviewing possible candidates and training them to build your dream team! 

  • Is this really the same person I interviewed? Discover how to create interview questions that get you the responses you need to truly determine if the person in front of you is right for your business and job. Follow this step by step process and start hiring the right people! No more wondering why the person you interviewed isn't the same person who starts working for you!
  • How to find your best team members. Learn the three steps you can take to grow your candidate pool even when you don't currently have an opening. Stop the stress of hustling to fill a spot just because you suddenly find yourself short-staffed. Always be recruiting...we will show you how. 
  • Proven systems to help you train your staff by job role. Learn how to build your onboarding and training process to train your team, keep you best employees, and grow your profits by building a career-minded staff.
  • Ideas to recruit the high-level employees that are dedicated and loyal.

Trick Demos by Trevor Smith

Trevor will conduct trick demos and teach you just how easy it is to teach any dog some new tricks. Your staff can use this information for enrichment, Daycare 2.0, or other add on activities.

  • Positive dog training methods that are quick and easy
  • New ways to teach a wide range of tricks 
  • Great ideas for enrichment activities during Daycare 2.0
  • Add on trick training workshops to generate more revenue in your buiness
  • Create add on services such as "trick of the month" or daily trick activity packages for lodging clients
  • Your staff goes home with knowledge they can start using immediately with all the dogs in your care

Powerful Connections, Powerful Sales, Powerful Profits

  • Ways to improve sales immediately by training the person on the phone.
  • How to hire and train a reservation specialist.
  • How to effectively use a reservation specialist.
  • How to use incentives and commissions to pay your reservation specialist.
  • Key metrics to get the most out of your sales team. How do you know if they are doing their best? 

The Secrets of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Whare are the most important KPIs for your business growth, marketing success, sales process, and employee engagment?
  • How to get your staff to help you get monthly KPIs so you build a team of knowledgeable employees.
  • What are good percentages for payroll, profit margin, marketing and other expenses.
  • What you need to know about KPIs to make your business flourish.

Getting and Keeping New Clients

  • The latest on lead generation strategies.
  • Where do you find new clients?
  • Are you using your website to generate leads (if you aren't you should be!)
  • What is a "funnel" and how do you create one? 
  • Take home "done for you" marketing funnels so you can get started imediately. 
  • Planning a year's worth of marketing to keep your clients engaged (and you'll go home with a 12 month calendar)

And More...

  • Profitable pricing strategies (and a done for you template for your own cost analysis).
  • Solving behavioral challenges in your facility panel - learn from other business owners about tried and true measures for preventing and reducing problem behavior in the pets at your center.
  • Insurance/legal panel - ask them anything and learn from the experts.
  • Daycare 2.0 membership options - how to create them, how to determine the benefits, how to market them to your clients (including take home resources so you can create your own). 

Featured Keynote Speaker

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center has leveraged the systems and processes of the Ritz-Carlton brand to deliver award-winning services that have allowed thousands of clients to improve customer and employee engagement, innovate their culture, and differentiate themselves. Our services have created incredible competitive advantages for some of the biggest brands in the world: Nearly 50% of the 2018 Glassdoor Top 25 Best Places to Work have been impacted by our organization’s work on culture transformation, customer experience, and continuous improvement initiatives.  

Our methodology is rooted in the legendary Gold Standards of The Ritz-Carlton and the practices and processes that have allowed us to win two Malcolm Baldrige Awards and a #1 J.D. Power ranking in our category. Through culture transformation and application of our best practices, clients can expect to see their service culture dramatically change as their employees become more engaged and proactively anticipatory towards customers’ needs. This includes improved first-person resolution skills (cost reduction of 57% per transaction), double-digit percentage decreases in employee turnover, and incremental gains in customer service metrics and employee engagement. Our clients are consistently awarded for employee engagement, innovative service excellence, and for delivering unique experiences that drive organizational success.

Summit Speakers

Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, author, speaker, and expert on dogs. She founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia and has been using her expertise in “reading dogs” to teach families how to train their pets as well as helping others in the pet care industry keep dogs safe for over 20 years. Robin’s first book, All About Dog Daycare is the number one reference on opening a dog daycare. She is also Co-author of Off-Leash Dog Play… A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun, and an extensive staff training program called, Knowing Dogs, which are the leading staff training resources for dog daycare and boarding facilities. Robin is currently co-founder of The Dog Gurus, the nation’s premier resource for dog care professionals. Through The Dog Gurus she is now helping pet care professionals get their lives back by showing them how to create sustainable businesses with teams that truly know dogs.

Who Are The Dog Gurus?

Susan Briggs is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, author, speaker, and pet business expert. As co-founder of The Dog Gurus she brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming and training business in Houston, Texas. In addition to being a co-author with Robin in publishing Off-Leash Dog Play and Knowing Dogs, Susan used her educational background in accounting and published Counting Noses: Accounting and Financial Management Guidelines for the Pet Services Industry. Susan enjoys making it easy for owners to understand the numbers side of their business so they can focus on care quality. In 2015 Susan co-founded the Professional Animal Care Certification Council whose mission is to provide independent testing and certification for pet care professionals. The program embraces Susan’s passion for providing quality care for animals.

With a degree in management and employee relations, Lori began her professional career in sales. She owned two successful small businesses and also completed multiple university led courses in professional coaching, project management, and leadership development. In 2008 Lori began working with a pet industry consultant providing coaching for pet care business owners and veterinarians, as well as sales training for staff members. She later accepted a position as the Director of Sales in the travel industry where she managed a large call center and resurrected a failed custom group sales department. In just seven months, her efforts with custom group sales alone led to an influx of over two million dollars in actual and future revenue. Lori attributes her success to strategic hiring, sales and customer service training, effective leadership and the implementation of a clearly defined selling process. She is utilizing her professional and pet industry expertise, along with her passion for pets and those who care for them, to help pet care businesses reach new heights of success!  

Andrea Hoffer has been in the business of hiring people for 25 years. She is currently the Founder and CEO of AHA! Business Consulting. The core purpose of AHA! is to give business owners their time and freedom back by helping them find, keep, & train the RIGHT team members. Andrea, a former spa owner where she managed 35 employees, knows first-hand the everyday challenges of motivating employees, exceeding customer expectations, and meeting business and revenue goals. She struggled with high-turnover and lack of good candidates and is now helping companies to recruit, hire, onboard, and engage their team members. Her main goal is to help the right candidates match with the right companies and positions. She has found that one person may be successful at one company or in one position, but not a fit for another company. She enjoys finding the right team members for your company and later hearing about how those team members flourished.


Location and Event Information

Omni Jacksonville Hotel

245 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

The Dog Gurus 2020 Summit will be held at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel. Reserve your room by March 1, 2020 to get special room rate (unless they sell out by then!!!)

Plan to arrive on Tuesday, March 24 (if you are a VIP plan to attend the VIP reception that evening starting at 6:30 pm).  

The Summit will begin at 8:00am on Wednesday, March 25. We will end at 3:30pm on Thursday, March 26. You'll want to stay till the end!!!

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NOTE: The Dog Gurus Summit room block is full. HOWEVER, the host hotel may still have regular rooms available so you can click on the link below to make a reservation. 

Make Hotel Reservations

Special Thanks to Our Summit Sponsors and Supporters






Become a Sponsor or Supporter The Dog Gurus Summit sponsorships offer a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand and gain targeted exposure to hundreds of industry experts, thought leaders, trailblazing entrepreneurs, and potential customers. However, it's not for everyone! Sponsorships are generally limted to those companies with excellent reputations and high quality services and products. Sponsorships must be approved by The Dog Gurus. 

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