When a potential new client passes your initial screen, a good way to make you and your new client feel comfortable is a meet and greet. I think about these in a few ways.
Virtual meetups via video tours and video conference
As your business grows you will be contacted by potential clients that live outside your local area. Sometimes customers are close to booking with you but want to know more information. I offer three options depending on the circumstances.
Take some time to film and edit a good home video tour. Video editing is easy these days and you can use your phone. Film the inside and outside of your home, talk about and show where the dog will sleep and play. Show the house and other clients in these areas. Make sure the video is steady, has good lighting, keep it short and speak clearly. These can go a long way in making parents feel comfortable and to solidify bookings.
Video conference and facetime
Another option is to ask the potential client to facetime you. Walk them through your home, yard and sleeping areas. Show other client dogs while talking and answering questions. Speak clearly, hold the phone steady and don’t forget to smile. A selfie stick is a great tool to help with clear visualization.
Encourage your clients to visit you at your home and to bring their dog. The Rover app has an easy to use scheduling tool for meet ups. Use it and have the app sync to your everyday calendar. Set reminders!
You know the saying about first impressions. Take some time to prepare for your customer visits. Have other family members on board and even participate when appropriate.
Inspect and adjust your home beforehand. You should always pick up and properly dispose of any dog waste immediately, but walk through the yard and double check that its spotless. There are alot of great ways to keep high traffic dog areas clean, find the methods that work for you and be disciplined in the upkeep. Your yard should not have any sign of feces or even the smallest hint of dog urine. Strive for sanitary and clean environments.
You should strive for minimal barking and have other client dogs contained before meet and greets. Barking dogs running around uncontained can be a turn off for new clients and is generally bad practice. Keep your home clean and presentable. Excessive dog hair, dirty toys laying around, gates that are unsure, and general messiness are a sign of how your are managing your dog business.
Use dog friendly cleaners and wipe down sleeping and common areas.
Print out the dogs information and a list of questions before the client's arrival
During the meet up
Remove distractions such as other dogs, children etc. Take your time, clients love talking about their dog so make sure to schedule enough time to let clients dog explore your yard, home and for you all to get to know each other. Usually I allow for one hour try to have these last 30 min. Pay close attention to the dogs behaviour and use this as a time to ask questions.
One other tip I learned is to ask the client to leash their dog when getting out of their vehicle. That way you don’t start the meet and greet chasing a dog around! :-) Don’t forget to offer any other services you may have and to be firm when clients ask to lower prices, or to book outside of Rover.
Thanks for reading!
Very nice! I would love to see Rover offer the option to include a brief video in our profiles. Videos capture the attention much more effectively than the written word!
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