From Browsing to Booking: Converting Website Traffic Into Paying Customers
By Laura Laaman
Your website is the link between your company and oodles of pet parent prospects. And, it’s often your first chance to make an impression. When properly calibrated, your website is a powerful generator of new leads, but likely not the most lucrative bookings.
Websites used to be like flat business cards on a screen. Now, due to Google’s demands, every business needs a strong, dynamic and professional website to come up high on a pet parent’s search in order to compete with fierce rivals and app–based companies in the ever–morphing pet care industry, each with their own dynamic digital presence.
How Important are Pet Parent Prospects?
Of course, every business wants new customers. Can you quantify how many you need to sustain—or better—grow your business? Every year, even the most successful pet care facility loses clients for any number of reasons. Many are out of their control: pet parents move, age out of your services, pass away, change jobs…and that’s not considering the pet’s own health.
In fact, most pet care facilities experience an average loss of about 30% of their client base, every year. This means your company needs to attract about one third of your client base per year just to prevent decline. Your website is an important asset for driving new leads. But, your website likely won’t get the job done on its own.
Using Your Website to Captivate Customers
With all the work that has gone into creating and maintaining your website, you’d love to think that visitors read every word (or at least a significant portion of it!), and do so thoughtfully. Now let’s get back to the real world. How long do you really think an average visitor spends on your web page before clicking away? According to a recent study published by Time Magazine, most stay less than 15 seconds.
Our attention spans are getting shorter by the day, digitally and otherwise. We are surrounded by a glut of information, and if we’re not drawn in, we move on. This means your website needs to be compelling enough to grab the pet parent’s interest fast—and keep it. More than being simply being attractive and streamlined, the best websites spur a new prospect into action—like filling out a form, coming in for a tour or making a personal phone call.
Let’s review a few important ways to make the strongest impression on web users (and light up your phone lines).
Make sure it’s clean and professional.
If your website is messy and incoherent, so is the pet parent’s perception of your company. Simple yet compelling messaging goes a long way in building pet parents’ trust. Most pet parents are looking for the same level of professionalism and quality they expect from a human (child) daycare.
Use High–Resolution, Attractive Photos.The visual platform of a website is the perfect way to showcase your facility. Display high–quality photos or videos of dogs having fun together, enjoying your playground or swimming pool and bonding with staff. Don’t forget to show off your beautiful facility with all its fun features.
Remind pet parents you provide an enriching experience.
Many pet parents want their pet to be exercised, mentally stimulated and engaged while in your care. The naturally interactive and social environment at your facility is something pets can’t get with the popular pet sitting apps—and you can leverage this to your advantage.
Display compelling calls to action.Carefully–selected calls to action are instrumental in an effective website strategy. Simply providing your company’s contact information isn’t enough. Special offers can be used to catch a pet parent prospect’s attention and give you a jump on your competition.
Make sure it’s mobile–friendly. According to a 2018 report by Quartz, over 70% of web traffic comes from mobile device users. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s likely clumsy and difficult for a massive portion of your visitors to navigate. That means a protective pet parent will move on to your rivals.
Have a Proven Phone Strategy
Despite the rise of websites, your pet care business still relies on the telephone as a primary source of revenue. Why? The nature of the pet care business is highly emotional—the pet parents are contemplating trusting a creature that can’t talk into the safety of strangers’ care. Many times, pet parents will call to find out more information before booking a reservation (hours, rates and other details).
Once your website is performing well and producing lots of prospects for your business, it’s important to measure how many turn into paying customers. You get one chance to convert a new–prospect call into a booking. Just one client can spend thousands, even tens of thousands in revenue throughout the course of your relationship. If you’re not confident your phone strategy is effective, you’re likely letting revenue slip through your fingers like sand.
Here are a few tips to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Have carefully chosen and well-trained staff on the phones.
Many business owners let any member of their staff answer phone calls. The reality is, some people are more comfortable with and skilled at handling new–prospect phone calls than others. The best phone staff are confident, enthusiastic and eager to learn. To thrive in this fiercely competitive industry it’s necessary to have a clear, compelling, consistent and competitive strategy for handling prospect calls.
Write it down. A successful new–prospect phone call establishes a connection with the anxious pet parent, highlights the fabulous care and experience at your facility, and results in a reservation. This is not easy to do, but essential. For all of this to happen, your phone staff must be prepared. Customized phone scripts in addition to coaching, monitoring and hiring assistance, all designed exactly for this purpose, are all ideal to create well–trained staff to handle phone calls. With or without professional guidance, pet care companies need to improve and evolve to ensure their short and long–term success.
Trust but verify. The most effective phone strategies can be easily verified and measured. Does your phone system record calls? Reviewing calls ensures employees follow the strategy and lets you analyze your successful bookings. This important perspective helps grow your phone team into a well–oiled revenue machine. Before recording calls, be sure to verify with an attorney the legal requirements for recording in your state.
Ultimately, the most successful businesses welcome change. The pet care industry never stops evolving, and the competitive landscape today is remarkably different from even a few years ago. Your bigger and more numerous rivals are all working hard
to draw away your customers—so
don’t wait another day to improve
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of her team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com.