Customer Loyalty and Your Facility
By Jason & Steven Parker
It is undeniable that customers are the lifeblood of business. Without them you wouldn’t be able to meet your goals and establish your brand. While the pet industry is growing rapidly, households are still cutting back and adjusting in other areas. The person whose pet typically stayed at a facility twice a year while the family vacationed, may now only be staying once a year. That may not sound like a major problem, but if a similar situation happens with more than one client, then you potentially approach losing 50% of your revenue. Situations like this are what make customer loyalty and retention more important now than ever before.
A customer loyalty strategy at its core is designed to leave no doubt in clients’ minds that they want to take their pets to your facility and make them never question that decision. Below are three things to consider when creating your own loyalty program.
Reward Your Customers
With service brands, this is a great opportunity to offer something that is new to your business or that is an easy addition to the service you already provide. For example, if you just started offering grooming at your facility, you could offer a free basic grooming for customers that book a five-day stay. Another easy offer that is often popular is giving a free day of day care, if your facility provides this.
It is extremely important that your rewards have your customer’s best interests at heart. The core of your loyalty program or offer should be focused on your customer, not how you can benefit. Remember, the loyalty you garner from the program should deliver greater long-term success for your business. Keeping this in mind will help you design your operations to support the loyalty strategy.
When offering discounts and rewards it is usually a best practice to offer a free service rather than a discount, but make sure that you budget accordingly.
When working to retain customers, it is always important to make sure that they are aware of your services, offers and promotions. We highly recommend using some sort of newsletter that you can email to your customers. This will help build a sense of community around your business. Regular touch points will help to reinforce your message. Clarity and consistency are keys to success when offering new promotions.
Sending nice messages on birthdays to customers for them or their pets can be a great way to show that you care and that you’re thinking of them beyond their stay with you. While executing these minor touch points, you may have room to offer an additional benefit.
Data Collection and Retention
This is the most important part of loyalty from a business standpoint, and, unfortunately, it is often overlooked. When you have new customers come to your facility you will want to make sure that you collect their information. This is fairly standard from a safety standpoint, but make a point to mention to them that you have a newsletter and other community involvement aspects that you would like to share with them.
Each person that stays with you is someone who trusts you with a loved one, often for a long period of time. Earning that trust is not easy and takes time, but it is the ultimate point of emphasis for customer retention. Showing them how important they and their pet are to you and your staff is the best way to make them feel comfortable with your business.
K-9 RESORTS DAYCARE & LUXURY HOTEL was founded in 2005 by brothers Steven and Jason Parker in Fanwood, N.J. When in their early teens, their parents denied them a dog of their own, so the entrepreneurial pair opened a professional pet-sitting business to prove they were not only willing, but ready to care for a dog. That business not only became a highly profitable enterprise that they sold for a six-figure sum in 2006, that revenue became the expansion fuel for their burgeoning K-9 Resorts business. The business, which is the only facility in New Jersey to have been rated Number 1 by multiple major publications, is a luxury pet care franchise with locations throughout the East Coast of the U.S. K-9 Resorts was ranked Number 1 in its category by the Courier News and by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. To learn more about K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel and potential franchise opportunities, visit the company’s website www.k9resorts.com.