It’s Time to Start Rebuilding
By Laura Laaman
At long last, summertime is just around the corner. The days are longer, the sun is brighter—and people are hopefully willing to start going on vacations again.
For pet care businesses, summer means more than warm weather. We hope that individuals will be back to work and families will make travel plans. We can’t wait for life to get back to what we considered normal. That means it’s time for you to start rebuilding after the losses suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Especially with what the country has recently been through, it’s important each business does everything possible to make the most of this very valuable season. Here are a few proven and powerful strategies to rebuild your business.
Treat Each Customer Like Gold
In any given year, even the most successful pet care facilities lose about 30% of their client base for any number of reasons. But this year, due to the coronavirus, many pet care businesses saw a complete halt. Since summertime typically brings an influx of interested new pet parent prospects, you and your team need to capture as many of these prospects as possible to make up for lost ground.
The phone is a critical and often underutilized tool in the pet care industry. Ironically, we’ve found almost all new client inquiries come in through your phone lines. Due to the emotional nature of pet care, human points of contact are critical. Even in the age of Facebook Messenger and online form submissions, pet parents will still call you on the phone. Why? Because it’s important for them to connect with an actual breathing human when choosing a caregiver for their furry family member.
Every phone call is a golden opportunity to secure a new client who could end up spending thousands (or tens of thousands) with you over the lifetime of their pet. When the pet parent calls in, are you confident your staff is handling each call with the skill such a valuable opportunity requires?
It’s important to select carefully trained and skillful employees to answer the phones with as much compassion, consistency and compelling information as possible. As summer approaches, your phone team members will be your biggest revenue winners—as long as they’re trained and informed appropriately.
Cross Marketing for Summer
While most successful pet care businesses cross-market year-round, it’s especially important to ramp up those efforts during peak periods like summer and other holidays. Generally, prospective clients need to see or hear a message seven times before they act on it and engage with your company. Is your cross-marketing meeting this “Rule of 7” to bring in new pet parents?
Excellent Tour Processes
When a prospect walks in your doors to tour your facility, it’s important to promote the other services you offer in a clear, consistent and memorable manner.
Many Americans have gone through a total economic shock—business owners have had to close their doors, employees told they no longer have jobs and families can’t leave their home. And after economic shocks, people tend to be very careful spending money.
That means that even with the most successful phone and marketing strategies, your efforts won’t bear fruit if you aren’t priced appropriately. Changing prices is a delicate decision with a lot on the line. You don’t want to charge too little and leave money on the table, but you don’t want to charge too much and deter customers.
For years I have spoken about the dangers of all-inclusive pricing. All-inclusive pricing usually means including daycare in your overnight boarding fee, which means your overnight price will likely be very high. Far better is offering options to your pet parents. When promoted properly by your trained phone personnel and priced properly, you’re going to be attractive to more pet parents. The result will be higher occupancy which ties directly to profitability.
Following this year’s challenging winter and spring, it’s more important than ever to maximize on this summer’s potential. Hopefully, pet parents are extra eager to get out and travel this summer. I hope you’ll do everything to help your business bounce back quickly.
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. One of our new services is management success training. 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