With all of the time, effort, and money that you’ve poured into your small business, you want it to be a wild success. However, maintaining sustainable growth and increasing your profits depends on one thing: your ability to earn customer loyalty. Every business owner knows that developing strong relationships with their customers is crucial, and this is especially true if you run a pet-care business. 

Your customers entrust you with the safety and well-being of their furry friends, so maintaining the highest standards of care is essential to keep their business. And if you’ve just launched your business, building up your customer base might be particularly challenging because you need to win over every pet parent’s trust. 

Although you might be more focused on acquiring new customers to expand your base, it’s equally, if not more important, to ensure that you’re retaining your current customers. Maintaining this loyalty is a great way to build trust within your community and to sustain your business over time.

How can you wow your customers and make sure that they keep coming back? At Gingr, we are dedicated to helping businesses achieve these goals to ensure long-term success, so here’s our advice. To help you impress your customers and encourage them to return to your services, you should: 

  • Focus on the customer experience. 
  • Offer a rewards program. 
  • Always over-deliver. 
  • Stay in touch.
  • Ask for feedback.

Whether you’re running a brand new business or are well-established in your community, these tips can help you grow sustainably. Retaining your customers and making a great first impression with newcomers ensures that your excellent services reach as many pets as possible.

Focus on customer experience.

Customer experience should be at the center of everything you do for your business. This is because each customer’s opinion of your business will be shaped by their interactions. For this reason, the more that you can perfect your customer experience, the better. 

You might already be delivering a fantastic customer experience, but there are always ways to improve! Here are some ideas for making your customer experience the very best it can be: 

  • Allow customers to make appointments easily: It’s likely that the primary interaction your customers will have with your business is scheduling appointments. Making your appointment or registration process quick and easy will demonstrate to customers that you value their time. 
  • Hire friendly staff: Your staff is the face of your business, so make sure that everyone on your team understands the importance of quality customer service. Consider rewarding particularly successful employees with a customer service incentive. 
  • Stay organized: Have you ever lost a pet’s toy or sent out the wrong email? If so, you probably know that it made a bad impression on your customer! Keeping track of important belongings and contact information demonstrates your professionalism. You can use pet-care business software to keep tabs on this important information.
  • Connect with your customers: Building meaningful relationships with your customers can help them feel more invested in your business. Try learning your customers by name so you can always be a friendly face next time they visit. You can also use Gingr’s report card feature to keep pet owners updated on how their pets did throughout the day.
  • Brand your space: Creating a branded experience in your facility can make your customer’s interactions with your business more memorable and enjoyable. Plus, well-established branding is a great way to market your business! Brand your space, any merchandise you sell, and even your online tools.

Ensuring the best customer experience possible will impress your clients and establish yourself as their trusted, go-to pet-care business. A superb experience will also encourage customers to recommend you to their friends and family as well, which can help you grow organically. 

Offer a rewards program.

In addition to a great customer experience, another option to encourage your customers to keep coming back is through a rewards program. Loyal customers help keep your business going, so why not reward them for their continued engagement?

A great rewards program also signifies to new customers that you appreciate their business in a tangible and cost-effective way. You could even offer a specific discount for new customers to see if they like your services. Rewarding loyal customers and incentivizing newcomers to try out your services can definitely enhance your client experience. For instance, customers will feel as if they are getting more out of their payment if they know they can cash in their purchase for a reward in the future.

There are tons of other ways you could structure your rewards program, but here are a few choices to pick from: 

  • Points system
  • Punch cards
  • Referral discount
  • Spend-based program

Another great aspect of rewards programs is that they can help you increase your profits. Because you have created an incentive for customers to return to your business, it’s likely that they will stop by more frequently than they might have otherwise. It’s a win-win!

Always over-deliver. 

Your customers will interact with your business with a certain set of expectations, so consistently exceeding those expectations can leave a very positive impression. Over-delivering can extend to all areas of your business. Whether it’s reasonable prices, outstanding customer service, or attentive care, your customers will appreciate the extra effort. 

Over-delivering can also help you distinguish yourself from the competition. It’s likely that you offer similar services as your competitors, but if you have the best customer service in town, your clients will prefer your business. 

Additionally, your superb customer service should extend to when your business makes a mistake. If something does go wrong, you can use the same mindset and go the extra mile to correct it. Consider offering discounts or gift cards to make up for an error.

Your customers want the very best for their furry friends, so going the extra mile with your care and attention will demonstrate the passion that you have for your work. Customers will know that their adored pets are in good hands.

Stay in touch with customers. 

Your customers lead busy lives, so staying on their radar is crucial to maintaining your business. Because customers probably require pet-care services frequently, reminders or updates are a great way to make sure that customers choose your business next time their pet needs a trim or a place to stay. Stay in touch with your customers by: 

  • Sending appointment reminders: It’s easy for an appointment to slip your customer’s mind. Consider sending text or email reminders so that your customers don’t forget about their appointments! With pet-care software, you can automate these messages, so you hardly have to lift a finger.
  • Tailoring marketing materials to fit individual needs: Segmenting your customers based on their shared characteristics and then adjusting your marketing materials to fit their needs is a great way to highlight your attention to detail. This way, customers will receive information that is completely relevant to them.
  • Sharing business updates: Moving to a different location? Changing your prices? Selling some more merch? Send a quick update to your customers! They will appreciate you keeping them in the loop about your business.

As great as staying in touch with your customers can be, you also want to be careful not to send too many updates, which might seem like spam or could cause customers to unsubscribe from your mailing list. If you’re unsure how often your customers want to receive communications or which kinds of communication they want to receive, don’t be afraid to ask! This extra step demonstrates that you value your customers’ input.

Ask for feedback.

How can you guarantee that your customers will react positively to any changes that you make? By implementing their ideas! Everyone loves to share feedback about their own experiences, so don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they have any thoughts they would like to share. They might have interesting insights about anything from your marketing materials to your appointment registration process. 

When asking for feedback, be as strategic as possible. If your questions are too specific, you might only receive one type of answer, which isn’t very helpful. However, if your questions are too broad, your customers might not take the time to answer them thoroughly. To help you out, we’ve picked some questions that can help you get the most insight possible: 

  • Were your expectations met, unmet, or exceeded? Why or why not?
  • Did you enjoy your interactions with our staff? 
  • What did you enjoy most about your experience?
  • What did you enjoy least? 
  • Did your furry friend have any issues after your visit? 
  • Would you recommend our services to a friend?

You might even design different surveys for loyal customers and newcomers. Because both of these customers will have varying experiences, it could be helpful to get a sense of why a loyal customer has stayed or how a newcomer found out about your business. However you ask for feedback, the act of doing it shows customers that you want to adapt your business to fit their needs. This attention to customer service and experience demonstrates your dedication to keeping their business.

Growing your business begins with improving your customer experience and building strong relationships with your clients. Prioritizing these factors can help you make smart decisions that will help customers feel like a valued part of your business. 

Want to learn more about enhancing your pet-care business? Check out these resources: