The Importance Of Facility Tours
By Laura Laaman
Costs of operating a pet care business are on the rise. Labor, taxes, utilities, maintenance…all have increased. If you want to increase your revenues in 2017 without cutting services, doing a better job with client acquisition is a great start. Client acquisition is typically done three ways within a pet care facility. Prospective clients knock on your proverbial door either by (1) a phone call inquiry, (2) filling out a web form, or (3) a tour of your facility. People that choose a tour are a distinctive group that require special care but will be well worth the effort if executed well.
Tours Are Critical
The vast majority of prospective clients (pet parents) who are interested in finding a home-away-from-home for their pet, or a place for their dog to play while they’re at work, make phone calls to gather information. The prospective clients who take the time to come in for a tour are as unique as the pets they parent but they all have a very important commonality. Prospective customers who come in for a tour are:
- Willing to take the time to visit a possible home–away–from–home for their furry friend.
- People who crave concrete information and validation (emotionally and physically) to confirm if a facility is right for their baby.
- The ‘nothing is too good for my furry baby’ customers waiting to find a great pet partner.
- Therefore, more valuable than most customers.
Recognize the Possible Value of a Tour Client
A new prospective client can be worth tens of thousands or even over one hundred thousand dollars to your company over time. There are many variables of course—pricing, how many services they use, number of pets they have, length of time they remain clients. But when you add up the overall value, it’s easy to see why doing tours well is so important to your company’s success.
- Hours. Ensure your facility is open for tours anytime you’re open to the public. If your lobby is open from 7 am–7 pm, you should be not just able, but happy to do a tour during those times. Being unwilling to do so can be interpreted as disorganized or even deceptive.
- Ensure your facility is clean and pleasant smelling. We all have five senses and prospective pet parents will use them all to determine if this is the right place for their pet.
- Have a uniform tour for your company. Your company’s tour process should be concise and brief, consistent, and competitively superior. The guide should relay the same information on every tour. Feature the reasons your facility is better than others without saying anything negative about another company. Highlight your most important services to a prospective client. Remember most people’s attention spans are limited—especially when they’re taking in so much information: listening, watching, smelling, trying to assess if the staff are nice—choose only the most important information to highlight. The information you communicate should be positive and motivating.
- Ensure the person or people giving the tours are positive. They should be upbeat and enthusiastic. Pet parents base a lot on the people they come in contact with. The person giving the tour has the greatest impact, but even staff members the customers pass by will be watched closely.
- Track each person’s tour success. You’ll need a tracking sheet which gathers client’s information, indicates which services they were most interested in, and which employee gave the tour.
- Don’t trust anyone to give a tour until they prove they can give a great tour. This means roleplaying and/or videotaping their tours to ensure they’re following your company’s tour procedure.
- Follow up with those that haven’t booked. If you feel the pet would be a good fit for overnight care or daycare and the pet parent didn’t book, do a follow-up call to build a better connection. This phone call can go a long way to make them feel valued.
Tours are a valuable way to make your business stand out and gain some of the most selective pet parents in your market.
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 our team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com.