PocketSuite For Pet Professionals

One of the things that we hear most from pet professionals, dog trainers, dog walkers, pet groomers, and pet sitters is that managing the “business-side” of their work is actually the hardest part of being an independent business owner. Some have even partnered with larger organizations or partnered with another pro because it was just too exhausting managing everything on their own.

That won’t be your story! We’re going to share how you can continue to “be your own boss” without the stress. 

Pet professionals handle everything from finding new clients, scheduling, taking deposits, working “behavior training”, “dog walking”, “pet sitting”, or “pet grooming” magic with pets, collecting final payment and a whole lot more. For dog trainers, you have the added job of organizing, marketing, enrolling clients in classes and keeping track of all vaccinations and behavioral profiles. For dog walkers and pet sitters, you are mapping your walks and sharing lots of “meme-worthy” pics of your furry wards. For groomers, you are keeping track of cut and fluff preferences and staying mindful of who smells like they need a good scrub. Phew, I get tired just thinking about all of the odds and ends that pet professionals are managing while delighting clients. To better understand all of the things that they do on a day to day basis, we interviewed some successful, dog trainers, walkers, and sitters who actively use PocketSuite.

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They highlighted 5 common challenges:

1. Getting New Clients: Pet professionals, depending on the services offered, may have a long or short time serving clients. For dog trainers who don’t also do boarding, your time with clients can be as short as the enrollment period of your behavioral training classes. For dog walkers, you have a client for life unless and until your pet parent moves or has kids who can take over walking duties (at least for a while). However long your service period is with clients, you always need to build relationships with new clients.

2. Payment Processing: With the exception of a few clients who are old school, most clients prefer to pay with plastic. They don’t carry around cash and it is super inconvenient to make trips to the ATM or worse yet to find their check book to pay you. Without a system of your own, you have been subject to clients paying so many different ways. Some will pay via PayPal on your site. Others will send you the money via Venmo. Even more give you their card in person and wait while you swipe them out using Square. Yikes! That’s already 3 different payment tools that clients are using to pay you. It makes it really difficult for you to know how much you are making in total because the money is in so many different places. It’s also really hard to see which of your clients have paid you for appointments or classes that they have booked. You are constantly having to look in 5 different places to fully get control of your calendar and income.

3. Service Packages: We understand you’re busy working with your pet parents & their pet babies every day… the last thing you want to do is to spend the day reaching out to clients about scheduling and rebooking. It takes a lot of visits to achieve the goal of behavioral training. For dog walkers and pet groomers, the visits are so often…it is hard to keep track of the rebooking and follow-ups.

4. Completing Contracts & Forms: It’s important for new clients to complete all of the liability waivers, vaccination forms, pet profiles, and other intake materials, but it’s not always clear to them why. It takes time and patience to walk them through the documents and explain the significance so they really understand what they are signing and getting into.

5. Too Many Apps to Deal With: Many Pet professionals use a scheduling system, a payment platform, a note taking app, excel/google sheets, and text messaging to stay organized… it truly is a juggling act.

Did any of that sound familiar? If so, we totally understand. We are going to walk you through how PocketSuite seamlessly addresses those issues. It makes it easy and efficient for Pros to get booked and paid by existing clients as well as find new clients.

 

 

Solutions to these Pesky Problems

“Once I started serving more than 5 or 6 clients a week, keeping track of schedules, deposits, products, and messages became way too much… I knew I needed help.” – Jake P.

  • Getting New Clients & Growing your Business

    • As long as you are actively posting about your work with pets and pet parents, you will have no problem getting a stead stream of new clients. Your pet parents will proudly share YouTube videos of their pup doing a trick with friends and family. There is literally noone who doesn’t love sending memes, starring their cuddly kitten. If you are actively telling your stories online, PocketSuite will do the rest. We have three powerful online marketing features that help you convert all of those likes, follows, shares, tweets, retweets, (re)grams, etc. into bookings and payment: (1) Online chat, (2) Suite link, and (3) Online booking. With Online chat client leads can easily chat with you anywhere online, including on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or your website. The chat message from clients is sent directly to you via the PocketSuite app. You also get the contact information of every new pet parent lead … so you can follow up with them easily. You also have your very own Suite link . A Suite link can be added to your website or Instagram and Facebook. You can use it to share your marketing links with your service information/packages/classes/subscriptions/other items, social media, pictures of clients that you have served. A Suite link can also be used by client leads to book and chat with you… the options are endless. Your Online booking site makes it possible for new and existing clients to schedule and buy anything from you. You can offer a free consult as a way to build your email marketing list and begin building a healthy, long term relationship with new pet parents leads.
  • Automated Payments

    • There are over 10 ways to process a payment on PocketSuite. Depending on the services you provide, different pet parents prefer different payment tools:
      • Dog trainers – Prefer selling packages, which involves paying for a bundle of appointments upfront that you can track as you use them.
      • Dog walkers – Are all about scheduled invoices. They have recurring appointments for picking up and walking your dog. Scheduled invoices regularly sends their clients invoices with recurring appointments automatically added & itemized.
      • Pet sitters – They take reservations. Yup, just like the Airbnb kind. You can book and check into and out of “overnight or multi-day” appointments. A deposit is typically required for these bookings. Alternatively, some schedule a customized series of repeat appointments for regular clients.
      • Pet groomers – It’s a jump ball between invoicing depending on whether clients are regulars or processing them using PocketSuite’s POS checkout system with all of the products that they buy.
    • There is literally something for every kind of Pet professional. The PocketSuite system encrypts and stores client payment information and their card can be charged after each appointment. No awkwardness. No payment delays. No kidding. 
  • Service Packages

    • Many pet pros offer packages which are essentially a bundle of appointments that clients buy upfront, which are automatically updated and tracked as client’s book their pre-paid appointments. With the ability to offer different types of packages. Packages are popular with Dog trainers and Pet groomers who like to pair different offerings for their clients. For Dog trainers, they will include a mix of behavioral training and puppy training classes and private appointments in their packages. For Pet groomers, it may be a mix of wash and cut services with some products like a chew toy and collar.
  • Contracts & Forms

    • With Pocketsuite, Pet professionals can import client forms & contracts. When clients book an appointment, they are prompted to sign a contract and/or complete a vaccination and pet profile form about their pet. They can do all of this online from a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop. All completed client contracts and forms are saved in their PocketSuite profile for you to access whenever you need. Client’s typically complete and sign contracts and forms within 1 business day of receiving them on PocketSuite. Now before clients show up for their first appointment, they have already completed all of the intake materials. Most Pet professionals love this feature because it saves them hours of time that they would otherwise spend emailing, faxing, printing, and filing paperwork.
  • Multiple Apps & Software

    • For all your essential business needs, PocketSuite has everything a Pet professional needs for their business. Pocketsuite offers a simple data export to support Pet professionals come tax time. They or their accountants can easily import that data into Quickbooks. PocketSuite has so much more to offer Pet professionals, including extensive appointment and notes features that is automatically, securely saved within client profiles; a dedicated business line; repeat appointments to make scheduling even easier; income and client reports to track performance; options for Pet professionals with a team; and much, much more! Check out the dozens of other features that we offer you, your business and your clients.

PocketSuite has thousands of Pet professionals who all started where you are right now. Our community of Pet professionals are always happy to help you ramp up, grow your client base, and achieve your income goals, both within the app and as part of our exclusive Facebook Community Group. PocketSuite’s vision is for any Pet professional to be able to work for themselves and make a great living. It starts here. It starts with you. It starts today. Let’s get started, download PocketSuite now! Feel free to reach out with any questions (we’d love to hear from you)! Text us @ (415) 841-2300

Customer Referrals

Customer referrals – one of the oldest growth tricks in the book. Every business owner has heard of this growth engine. It’s honest, it’s free, and it’s the most trusted – customers are 4 times more likely to use your service if they are referred by a friend.

However, many professionals don’t know how (or have the time) to juice this growth source as much as they can. The obvious answer is to do great work – but let’s assume you’re already doing great work. So what else can you do to get clients to tell their friends or family about you? How do you stay top of mind? How do you motivate your clients to want to promote you?

Here are my top 4 tips that you can implement in your daily working routine to boost that viral growth. With very little effort, you can leverage your current client base into a larger marketing engine.

1) Ask for reviews

This sounds basic, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to do this. I don’t mean while you’re walking out of your customer’s home give a “Oh hey, do you mind writing a review for me on Yelp?” Maybe 1 in 20 of these interactions will result in a review. And don’t blame your clients – they’re busy! What you need to do is make it extremely easy on them and also remind them.

Set up a standard email template with a link to one of your business profiles online (e.g., Facebook, Yelp, Google, Thumbtack, etc.) and email your client asking for a single review. The client will tap on the review link, give their rating with brief commentary. Don’t send them 5 different links because that’s asking a lot and some customers might just look at all the review work in front of them and just push it off for another day (which turns into eternity). Just get that one review from each client. If the client doesn’t complete a review, then follow up 1 week later. If nothing then, then send a another review reminder 2 weeks later. One more 3 weeks later. Not every single person will bite, so you need to find the balance of not being spammy yet being top of mind enough for them to give you that review.

Set a simple calendar reminder about asking for reviews, or use an email service like MailChimp to time emails that get sent out asking for reviews. (Note: MailChimp is completely free for up to 2,000 customer emails.) Streamline your review request flow!

2) Remember birthdays and anniversaries

A basic law of human nature is people care about themselves the most. So if you show that you care about them too, then they’ll love that! Sending a text or email or postcard the day of that special date will mean a lot to that client – and not a lot of businesses do this enough.

Collect special dates like birthdays or anniversaries from your clients. You can do this by being honest and straight up asking your client for the date and explain that you send out customer birthday cards (for example). Or if you collect information upfront from your client in a questionnaire or online form upon booking, collect that information from the client.

The beauty of this is that you’re simply doing one extra thing a year for a client, so the investment is minimal. But I’m telling you – you will be 100% top of mind for that client, and the next time one of their friends needs a specific service that fits in your wheelhouse, there is a huge chance you’ll get recommended.

3) Discount for referrals

Sometimes clients need a little nudge over the finish line when it comes to a referral. Discounts can help with that.

In your email signature or on your website, keep a standing % or $ off for referrals. For example – have a perpetual “Refer and get $15 off your next booking” tagline everywhere. Everyone likes a deal, so if a client sees that line, that might actually prompt them to remember that one friend who was asking for service help.

Spending money to get a high quality client is a good investment. And if you’re constantly driving more customer referrals, then adding another client to your list will just help you grow exponentially.

4) Share useful content

As you grow your client list, you’re essentially building your own audience. You can actually take advantage of that in creative ways.

Whether your business is in home services, photography, pet services, beauty, education, therapy, or any other industry – I’m sure you follow a variety of industry news. Topics like DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) or newly (and complementary) tools / technology are typically interesting for clients to read amount.

I know you’re probably very busy, so just once a month (or every other month) share some of that interesting industry news with clients via email. Even if your client doesn’t read the content you send them, I guarantee they will be impressed at the fact that you’re continuously on top of trends, announcements, and industry happenings, that will boost their respect for you. Not to mention, this is also a very easy excuse to keep your brand top of mind with customers, while at the same time giving your client something that’s easily ‘forwardable’ to their friends to recoup that referral J

Good service and the above starting tips will help you leverage your client based and turn them into avid cheerleaders for your business. The truth is 83% of your customers are willing to refer you to friends, but on average only 29% actually do. That means over 50% of your customer base is low hanging fruit for you to take advantage of and grow like crazy.