Updated on: July 24, 2017.
Dealing with anxious pets that board at your facility is nothing new. You have a plan and practiced methods of dealing with anxious animals. You can handle it. But what happens when it isn’t the pets that are anxious at all… it’s the owners? Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the anxiety that owners feel when they leave their pets in your care that are both easy and cost-effective.
ROUTINE IS KEY
Routine is important when attempting to reduce a pet’s anxiety, but it can also be useful when reassuring your customers that their pet will be fine in your care. A steady booking and confirmation process for scheduling visits is essential to creating a comfortable familiarity with your customers. If your clients experience the same convenience every time that they book and receive confirmation from your facility, they will remember the experience as a positive and stress free one. If dropping their pet off and checking them out is organized and simple time after time, your customers will become more familiar with your facility and its processes. A sophisticated service like ProPet Software enables you to check a pet in and out with ease, while managing payments and updating clients-meaning that a consistent booking, check-in, and check-out process is easy to accomplish. Another way to ease the anxiety that a customer could be feeling is to introduce them to your facility’s routine. Encourage a visit prior to dropping their pet off so that they can see your facility in person and go over the daily routine that the pets at your facility experience. Inviting your customers to view the facility first-hand, and not just online, is a sure way to make them more comfortable about leaving their furry friend in your care.
SOCIAL MEDIA CHECK-IN
Social media, used the right way, can be a great tool for your pet business for a variety of reasons. It allows you to take control of your marketing, gain the attention of new customers, and interact with your clients and other businesses all over the world! Can using social media actually help to reduce customer anxiety? Absolutely! Making sure that your social media is up to date and posting with regularity shows your clients that your business is present and that updates on pets are easily accessible. Utilizing social media, such as Facebook, to post a quick video or picture of the happy pets at your facility can do wonders for easing the anxiety that your clients might feel while they are away from their furry friend.
However, your business does not have to have social media in order to provide your customers with updates! If you have other means of updating your customers, such as emailing, texting, or even a quick phone call-do it! For example, if your management system allows you to send updates on the pets that are checked into your facility with the click of a button, sending emails to your clients throughout the day becomes an easily accomplished task. Your clients will appreciate that your pet business is willing to take the time to let them know how their pets are doing while they are apart from them.
Reduce the anxiety that some of your customers may feel while they are away from their pets by being transparent about your facility’s safety features, either on your website or in person, and train your staff to answer security questions with ease. Do you have webcam access, a vet on site, or a 24 hour security guard? Let your customers know! Make your clients aware of the security measures that are in in place to guard their pet against injury or emergency, and they can rest easily knowing that their furry friend is in the best hands-yours! When your staff is able to answer questions about security and emergencies with confidence it shows your clients that your staff is well equipped to deal with any situation and that they have nothing to fear by trusting your facility.
IT’S ALL IN THE PROOF
Gathering testimonials and reviews from your happy clients and putting them on your facility’s website or Facebook page provides your establishment with positive social proof that helps to validate the choice that your clients make when they leave their pet with you. When your customers can read the honest reviews that other happy clients have written about your facility, you work towards solidifying a bond of trust that exists between your customers and your facility. A client that is anxious about leaving their pet can peruse the positive reviews and rest assured that if other clients love your facility, they will too.
Each facility has its own best practices for reducing owner anxiety. We have provided a few suggestions, but would love to hear what your facility does in the comments below!
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