According to the American Pet Products Association, the pet services industry has seen incredible growth in the last few years with pet parents spending over $6 billion on pet related services. The APPA 2017-2018 Industry Report states that “spending on pet services continues to be an exciting and promising segment of the industry.”
Today people are pampering their pets more than ever, yet they are also outsourcing many services to mobile businesses that offer to walk, care for, and groom their pets for them. Low investment, low overhead, and high profit margins have caused a proliferation of mobile services in the U. S. by people who are looking for a change in careers, who want to spend more time at home with their families and pets, and who would like to see their ROI fairly quickly. They are also realizing how profitable and rewarding working with pets can be. To build a successful mobile pet business, they need to pay strict attention to the personalized customer experience; to always do the required due diligence when hiring staff; and to use current technology to hold their mobile staff accountable, build client trust, and ensure brand loyalty.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Making the commitment early on to deliver extraordinary customer service to pet parents and their pets will market your business favorably from the start. Going above and beyond to ensure our customers are always taken care of adds the personal touch that differentiates our brand from other mobile services that are not customized or have a proven system to follow. Personalizing the customer experience with the dog walking and pet sitting services entails having staff meet with prospective clients at their home to ensure they are a good fit with the pet. A large, high-energy dog, for instance, would not work well with a walker who is only comfortable with smaller breeds. Similarly, a consultation prior to the service allows the sitter to assess the personality of the pet and to discover if they need to pay special attention to a dog who may be a flight risk when opening the door to the home, or to be careful with a pet who is elderly.
For the mobile grooming service, matching the skill level and personality of the groomer with a new client is important. We require that the client be home for the first service, so that the groomer can learn exactly what the client will expect from them. We believe that taking the time to meet our clients and assess their pets in their own surroundings guarantees the parent convenience, peace of mind and a personalized experience.
Careful Selection of Staff
Our mobile staff is the first impression the clients will have about our brand. Therefore, we are selective about who we hire. In order to make a superb impression, it is important to hire energetic, compassionate and motivated pet walkers and sitters who share our passion for animals. The mobile grooming staff always needs to be independent, professionally trained, and able to share their knowledge about pets in a relatable way that will gain the trust and confidence of our clients. The groomers, walkers, and sitters should share many of the same personality traits. However, a professional groomer will need additional skills to fit the unique needs of a mobile environment.
The staff should always be respectful, focus on the safety of the pet, the security of the home, and the convenience of the client. They should truly love working with pets and exercise good judgment and safe handling at all times. We check several job references, perform background checks, and we properly insure our staff. The pet parents trust the mobile staff to come into their home while they are away to take care of their priceless pets. Our technology enables immediate client feedback as it is paramount to always know what is happening in the field.
Technology to Ensure Trust and Brand Loyalty
Mobile business technology has advanced significantly over the years. Nanny cams, video doorbells, text alerts, and GPS tracking allow you to communicate with your clients in real time and track the activity of your mobile staff. Parents enjoy checking in on their pets and like to see how happy they are. They also want to be alerted immediately to any situations that may arise while they are absent. The use of a digital platform to write and send journal entries to the parents, along with a cute photo, helps to build trust and assures them that both their pet and home are secure. Since consistent monitoring and reporting is expected in today’s market, using this technology promotes active communication with clients about their pet’s care, keeping the business competitive and customers coming back again and again.
When pet parents and their pets receive superior, customized service, they look forward to the expert care given by employees to their cherished pets. Additionally, by keeping them informed in a timely manner about the services provided, they will remain loyal to your mobile business brand, and become your greatest advocates.
Amy Reed and Leslie Barron started Woofie’s in 2004 in order to fill a gap in the pet services industry in Ashburn, VA. Fourteen years later, they have demonstrated a proven system for integrating the pet sitting and dog walking services with mobile grooming. Woofie’s is a member of Pet Sitters International and the National Dog Groomers Association of America. They were recently featured on CNBC, the Washington Business Journal, and have been named one of the Top 100 Small Businesses by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.