Great Customer Service for your Pet Care Business
Article by John Corey
So you love animals and you’ve chosen the freedom that accompanies making money pet sitting – but what do your customers really want from you? In my nearly 20 years of running my own successful pet sitting service, I have discovered that it really comes down to three main things: trust, confidence, and professionalism. These three characteristics make up the pyramid of overall fantastic customer service.
Trust in your pet sitting business
One of the biggest things a customer will be looking for in anyone running a pet sitting service is total commitment. More often than not, customers consider their pets to be members of the family, and they want to see that you feel that way too. If you don’t, you might want to think long and hard about whether or not making money pet sitting is the right vocation for you.
An additional, but no less important, consideration is that although your business is pet care, your clients will be allowing you access to their home when they are not present. This will require a huge amount of trust on the part of the customer. You reassure new clients that they can trust you by your professional behavior – you are bonded, you have liability insurance, and you provide them references they can check. As your pet sitting business grows and you hire helpers, they are trained and monitored.
Confidence in your pet sitting service
Regardless of how well you market your pet care business, the bottom line is that customers cannot be expected to have confidence in you until you have earned it. The confidence of your customers is just as valuable as the fees they pay for your services; the best way to earn this confidence is to show up on time, every time, and then consistently do the job to the best of your ability.
In the same way that the pets respond positively to consistency, so will their owners! Remember: A happy pet means a happy owner, and a happy owner means an ongoing customer for your pet sitting service, not to mention referrals galore!
Professionalism in your pet care business
Equally important for your pet sitting service as trust and confidence is the demonstration of professionalism in everything you do. For example, wearing a three-piece suit to a new customer meeting might be just a bit over the top, but a casual and neat appearance at all times is essential. Clients also watch your interactions with their beloved pet, so acting annoyed when an excited puppy welcomes you with a little yellow stream on your shoe does not exude the professional caring image you want for your pet sitting business.
Customers will respond well to professional, appealing paperwork as well as an organized, pleasant manner. In your initial client meeting, have forms ready for their signature in their own labeled folder, confirm their expectations and your pet sitting service commitments in writing, and reiterate how you run your pet sitting business to care for their pets and protect their homes.
Trust, confidence and professionalism cannot be overstated when starting a pet sitting business. They are the pyramid of your success in realizing your dream of making money pet sitting!
About the Author
John A. Corey is a full time pet sitter and author of Pet Sitting Success: The Critters Choice Way ). His goal is to share the hands-on knowledge he has gained over the last 19 years, which makes it possible for others to avoid many of the common pitfalls all pet sitting startups experience and move on to achieving success.