Do you ever have clients that are new to the concept of pet sitting – they want to try it out and feel it will be better for their pets – but they can’t help but be nervous about having a stranger enter their home and relying on them to take care of their beloved pet?
I had one of these clients this week. All they need from you is a reason for them to put their trust in you. Put some of these tips to use in your business and you will instantly put them at ease.
Give them a list of references
Have a printed list of references that they can call and have someone with which they can discuss their concerns. Give the potential client your references name, phone numbers, and the city that they live in. If you have been in business for a while also put down how long your have worked with the client you are using for a reference.
The best references that you can give are for clients who have worked with you several times and that have always had good experiences with your service. Even better if they are raving fans and have given you great testimonials or called to compliment you on the care you gave their pets. Also ensure that you get the person you are using for a references permission so that they won’t be surprised or caught off guard when someone calls them.
Get Accredited with A Pet Sitting Association
Having an accreditation with a well known pet sitting association will give you automatic credibility with new clients. Taking the time to learn more about your profession and about pets will benefit you but also show clients that you are serious about your business and serious about giving great care to their pets.
Pet Sitters International (www.petsit.com) offer an accreditation program where you will learn about pet behavior, diseases, marketing and office procedures. I took their course and became accredited earlier this year. I’d recommend their course and you can use this creditial in all your advertising to differentiate yourself from other pet sitters in your area.
Have your policies and processes clearly stated on your website
Customers will feel more comfortable working with you if they know what to expect. They will also be reassured if they can see that you have processes in place to ensure the quality of your service. On one page of your website give customers an outline of the process of scheduling the initial interview, what information you will collect from them, how you manage keys, if you provide a daily written log at each visit, and what you typically do during each pet sitting visit.
Take the time to get to know them and their pet
At the initial interview make sure that you are friendly and take time to chat with the client to find out as much as you can about them and about their pets. Ask questions about their pets behaviors, if they have had an past medical issues, their favorite toys, treats, and make sure you get to know their regular routine.
Don’t be afraid to share past experiences that you have had with clients pets, and let them know how you have handled any pet emergencies. They will be reassured to know that you acted responsibly and can get their pet the help it needs if anything should happen while they are in your care.
Give them permission to call and check up on their pets
Always make sure to give clients a business card or keyring that they can take with them on their travels that has your contact details. Encourage them to call you if and check on their pets at any time. When they call make sure you tell them about what happened at the visits, if their pet especially enjoyed the walk, loved lots of tummy rubs, etc. Reassure them that their pets are doing fine, or let them know if you have seen any strange behavior.
My client has called a couple of times already this week and I’m sure she feels much better knowing exactly what’s going on at home.
Explain How Your Insurance and Bonding Works
Clients that are nervous about a stranger visiting their home are probably worried that things may go missing. Explain that you have insurance and are bonding which covers them for any loss or damage to their home or their pet. Tell them about your track record – how long have you been pet sitting with no incidents and claims.
If you are using employees or contractors considering doing a background check as part of your hiring process. You can them explain this process to clients and guarantee them that your sitters have a clean record and are not thiefs!