How To Deal With Difficult Pet Sitting Customers

As a pet sitter you are in the customer service industry. I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but customer service is one of the most challenging fields to work in. Sometimes certain “personalities” just make you crazy!

Today I have some tips for dealing with those difficult pet sitting customers who drain your time, your energy and your sanity.

Tip #1: Get crystal clear on exactly what type of problem client you’re dealing with and then take appropriate action.

Are they the high-maintenance client who just demands top-notch service and won’t let the tiniest mistake slide?

These types of people are why we are in business. They may be difficult to work with at times, but they hired your professional service because they wanted a professional company that will do the very best job. They only want the absolute best for their furry pals. They are good pet sitting customers who are happy to pay you for your superior service. They are also the people who most likely tell everyone they know about your awesome or not so awesome service. They are your squeaky wheels that demand the grease. Unfortunately, these are the peeps that you’re just going to have to grin and bear it with.

Tip #2: Set clear boundaries and expectations with your pet sitting customers.

Are they the type of client who cancels without notice and demands a refund or continuously schedules last-minute?

These people need a refresher on your policies and procedures. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Write a warmly worded email reminding the client of your policies and procedures.
  • Create a web page that you can easily refer these people to where they can see your policies under your company header written in black and white.
  • Institute a fee schedule for these types of clients.
    1. Create a 24 hour cancellation policy: If 24 hours notice is not given of the cancellation, then the client gets charged for the visit.
  • Create a late booking fee: If the client does not give 24 hours notice of scheduling a visit, a $10 late booking fee is added to their service order.

At Pet Nanny we first waive these fees as a token of good faith and then send them the email making note of our policies with a link to the policies web page. This system will shine a good light on your business while also keeping your clients informed. You are creating expectations and boundaries with them.

Tip #3: Master the art of writing a warm email and pursue the path of least resistance.

Are they the type of client who is simply a jerk? Are they rude to you and your staff? Does your stomach drop every time they call or email?

These people are your “heart sick clients” and you DO NOT have to continue to service them. At Pet Nanny we have a very strict, “No Jerk Policy.” Anyone that is rude or nasty to me or my staff gets tagged as “Jerk” and they are added to my “Do Not Service” list. My suggestion for how to handle these people, is to:

  1. Pursue the path of least resistance.
  • Master the art of writing a warm email that tells them in the politest and nicest way possible that you will no longer be able to service them for “X” reason.
    1. Examples you can use are; you no longer service their neighborhood. You had a sitter quit unexpectedly, and you don’t have coverage at this time. You’re downsizing, etc.
  • The key is to make it super duper nice. I don’t think it is necessary for you to have a confrontation.

You are in the customer service industry and your reputation is everything. Don’t give them a reason to blast your good name around town.  You are in the customer service industry and your reputation is everything. Click To Tweet

IMPORTANT: If you’re not comfortable with the suggestions given above and you feel it necessary to address the situation head on, DO IT ON THE PHONE. Do not put anything in writing that could later be used against you or published somewhere. Good luck! I know that unleashing heart sick clients is not an easy task, but I promise you will feel so much better after you cut ties. The “heart sick clients” are truly not worth it. Trust me on this one!

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