Creating Customer Loyalty at Your Pet- Care Business: 5 Tips
As a small business, retaining customers is of the utmost importance. Customer loyalty in your community will go a long way in helping you sustainably build up your business. While providing services your customers need and meeting their basic expectations is the core of what you do, there are a few steps you can take to go above and beyond to win them over for years to come.
These five essential tips will be the key to creating a loyal customer base for your pet-care business:
- Offer a superior customer experience
- Stay organized
- Keep up to date with changing trends
- Develop genuine relationships
- Communicate frequently and effectively
While it may take a bit of extra planning, preparation, and effort on your part, it will be well worth it when you ask customers to leave you Google reviews. Their superb experience will leave them more than happy to leave you an excellent review that will help you grow your business.
1. Offer a superior customer experience
The specific services or aspects of your business that will set you apart from competitors should be a part of your pet-care business plan. But you may have put less thought into how you can make your customer experience stand out. Being friendly and patient is only the bare minimum for excellent customer service. To really outdo your competition, you should consider how you can make being a customer at your business more convenient than going anywhere else.
Here are a few things you can offer to improve your customer experience:
- Online scheduling
- Text reminders about upcoming scheduled services
- Digital forms and records
These changes, which are made much easier by using pet-care software, can significantly improve your customers’ experience by making tasks more convenient. As the saying goes, time is money, so if you can save your customers even just half an hour, they’re likely to greatly appreciate it.
2. Stay organized
Especially as your business grows, it will be crucial for you to stay on top of all of your customers, their pets, their information, and the services they schedule with you. When you first get started, it may seem easiest to simply use physical paperwork that you have customers fill out at your business. However, the more customers you have, the harder it will be to keep track of all of those papers. Not to mention how much more convenient it will be for you and your customers if they can fill out their paperwork online and it can be reviewed online at any time.
The number one way to organize and better manage all of your records, services, communications, and marketing is with pet-care software. In the 21st century, the majority of businesses use software to run at least some part of their business. However, any old software won’t be as tailored to the work you do. Investing in software specifically designed for pet-care businesses will ensure that your investment is well worth the money and meets, or even exceeds, all of your needs as a growing and thriving business.
3. Keep up to date with changing trends
While the core services you offer may remain the same despite changing trends, it’s still important to know which customers are interested in this quarter or year. This knowledge can help you make better decisions within your business, like investing in more organic food, offering a popular training type, or acquiring a new popular toy for pets to show your customers that you’re on top of the industry. Beyond this, keeping up with pet industry trends can help you know what things to emphasize in your marketing or on your website or blog.
This will be especially important when it comes to social media marketing. If you feel like you don’t have the time to take on social media on top of actually running your business, consider hiring young marketing interns or volunteers who can help you while gaining social media experience.
4. Develop genuine relationships
Even though your customers are coming to you for a service, going the extra mile to engage with them and their pets can make a great impression. Remembering small details about pets and spending the time to call or communicate via email, text, or direct mail can wow your customers and make them feel special. Here are a few ways you can add a more personal touch:
- Give owners “report cards” about how their pets did during their visit.
- Send photos and updates via text or email during a pet’s stay.
- Call or send a card on their pet’s birthday.
If you have a large customer base or are rapidly growing, pet-care software can be particularly helpful when it comes to keeping up with some of these special initiatives.
5. Communicate frequently and effectively
Whether or not you choose to start adding more personal touches to your services, you should still be making an effort to communicate regularly with your customers. Not only will this help your customers stay informed, but it will also make them feel supported in their pet-care journey. This will deepen your relationship and make it more likely that they will remain long-time customers. Here are a few things you can share with your customers:
- Reminders about upcoming appointments or stays
- Resources for pet care at home
- Important information about their pet
- Advice for keeping pets calm when bringing them in
- Expressing appreciation for their business
It’s important to be sharing pet and customer-specific information with all of your customers, but you should also be sharing general resources and information about your business and services through your marketing channels. This can help you gain new customers or inform your existing customers about services they didn’t know you had. The bottom line is to simply keep your customers up-to-date and to keep your business at the top of their minds!
As you work hard to serve the pets and pet owners in your community and grow your business, focusing on giving your customers a reason to keep coming back will always be worth the effort. Take these five best practices and make this year the most successful one for your business yet!
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