Please think about your pet sitting customer journey from start to finish. And I want you to think about it from the moment that the customer makes contact with you. It could be the moment they land on your website, or this could be when they call the office.
Create the know, like, trust factor through video on your homepage.
First, let’s talk about the website. Are you creating the know, like, and trust factor through video on your homepage so that if a prospect hits your website and they say, “Oh, let me click play. Oh, wow. This is great.” And you talk about your services; you talk about the value you provide, talk about the benefits, talk about how you are the solution to their problems.
That right away is going to give you a step up above the pet sitting competition. Is your messaging clear? Do your contact forms work? Is your number clickable? Everybody’s on mobile these days. They need to go boop and touch the phone number and have the phone call.
I know that seems so simple, but how many times have you been to a website, and you’re like, “I can’t call the person.” Very simple. Make sure the phone number is clickable.
Load your pet sitting website with social proof from happy customers.
Social proof is free, and it, again, creates that know, like, and trust factor, and it’s going to portray to your prospect that you are the person they want to do business with.
Make sure every website link is going to the right place.
If I sign up for your free offer on your website, is the email being sent? I can’t tell you how many companies I’ve worked with that have that opt-in offer on their website, but then nothing happens on the back end. That’s not a good first impression, especially when they leave you in the trust with their animals and their homes.
Make sure someone answers the phone.
That is a big one, and I have a manager, my client happiness manager, and she is supposed to answer the phone, and if she doesn’t answer the phone, she’s to call back within five minutes. That’s the deal.
If you’re not answering the phone, if you’re the admin and you’re out walking dogs, how long is it taking you to get back to your customer prospects? This is part of the journey. Every five minutes that you let lapse before calling a new customer prospect back, your chances of signing them on as a client drops significantly, so keep that in mind.
Be friendly on the phone.
I had a student once, and we were doing a coaching call, and she just sounded miserable. And people would call her office, and she wasn’t signing clients. I said, “Is this the tone of voice that you’re using when you’re speaking with your clients?” She said, “Yeah. What’s wrong with my tone of voice?”
I’m like, “Well, it’s not very welcoming or friendly.” I was scared to death. It was just a cold feeling. Remember, they are trusting us with their homes and their pets. They want to feel that you are warm, and friendly, and approachable and that they can trust you.
Listen and take good notes.
We all know that everybody loves to talk about their pets. It would be best if you sat back, listen to your customers, write down notes so that you have a clear understanding of precisely what they’re looking for. And say it back to them. Let them know that, “Yes, I am listening to you. I hear what you are saying.” That’s going to go a long way.
Have an easy system or process for customers to get started.
They say, “Okay. This is great. How do I get started?” Is it easy? Always want to make it easy for them to buy from you.
Set clear expectations of what is to happen next.
“Okay, we have you all signed up. This is what’s going to happen next. Your assigned pet care professional will be reaching out to you within” enter the time period.
“You’re also going to be receiving an email that’s going to tell you all about them. X, Y, and Z. You’re also going to receive a welcome packet in your inbox. There are two sets in that welcome packet. Number one. Please fill out the forms. Number two. Update your billing information.” So on and so forth.
They know exactly what their responsibility is and what they can expect on your side.
Reach out to your customers before they depart.
If you are reaching out, how is that? Is it an automated process through an email autoresponder? Are you picking up the phone or calling them?
Regardless, you do want to make that touchpoint. This is going to give them peace of mind, “Okay, this company is on it.”
Do you have prepared information on how they can prepare for their pet sitting, dog walker, or house sitter? With a simple checklist PDF that they can go, “Oh, this is great information.” They can put it on the counter and make sure they have everything ready.
You’re taking the pressure off of them because you’re giving them exactly what they need to do to prepare for their sitter.
Keep in touch with your customers while they’re away.
If so, how? Do they request how? Did you ask how they want to be kept in touch with? Do they want text messages? Do they want videos? Do they want emails? Do they want phone calls?
You need to set that expectation that you need to ask them first and then follow through with how they want to be communicated with. We had a client once who the sitter was texting every visit with cute pictures, and he was like, “Stop texting me. I am on the beach trying to relax. I do not need to be texted.”
Right there, I went to their onboarding form, and I said, “How do you like to be kept in touch with?” I give them the options. I don’t want to bother my customers who don’t want to be bothered, but if they do want to be bothered, I want to be sending those messages. Make sense?
When a client returns, make sure they were happy with the service.
When they return, what is left for them at the final visit? What are they walking into? Do you reach out or send a survey to make sure they were pleased?
Every time a client ends service with me, they are receiving a survey because I want to make sure they were happy with their pet sitter. And if anything was out of the ordinary or anything went wrong, I want to know so that I can make it better.
What are you doing to Wow them?
Are you sending them a card? Is the sitter leaving a handwritten thank you note for allowing him or her to take care of their pets? Are they leaving a little bag of homemade biscuits? There are a million different things that you can do to really wow your customers.
Stay in touch when they are not actively using your service.
Are you keeping in touch with them? Are you providing value to them with interesting or helpful content? Are you checking in with their furry pals? Are you making quick phone calls, or sending short text messages, or sending a send-out card, “Hey, it’s Colleen from Pet Nanny. I haven’t heard from you guys in a while. I just wanted to see how doctor Watson’s doing. We miss him so much. Let us know if you need anything; we’re always here to help. With warm wags, Colleen.” Something like that. You can do that so easily through sendoutcards.com.
Are you reminding them about upcoming holidays when they may need service?
This is the whole journey. From the time they hit the website, they call the office, how they sign up, is it easy to buy from you? Before they depart, while they’re away, when they return, and while they’re not actively using your service.
I tell you, if you do improve it, this is where you are going to set yourself apart from the rest. I see in so many pet sitting groups there are so many pet sitters, “How am I going to make a living doing this?” This is how.
You’re going to attract amazing customers; you’re going to provide genuinely stellar service; they are going to use you over and over again. They’re going to refer you all over town, and this is when business becomes easy.
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