Recurring Subscription Billing

We have just released recurring subscription billing functionality to Gingr! In this post we'll outline 5 ways subscription revenue can help your business.

1.) Reliable revenue stream

Subscriptions can help smooth out your revenue stream throughout the month. Because packages automatically renew at set intervals, you'll be better able to predict the coming month's sales.

2.) Faster, Friendlier Check Outs

Because your customer's packages will automatically renew there's no need for staff to sell a customer a package every so often. This allows for less friction at check out and more time for staff to engage the customer.

3.) More Loyal Customers

Customers with an automatically renewing subscription are less likely to go looking at your competition. A study by Ventana Research shows that the primary business drivers for using such a model are “increasing the top line, enhancing the customer experience, and increasing customer loyalty.” 

 

4.) Planning for Growth

High volume businesses (especially daycares) need to know in advance how many dogs will be attending over the coming days. Not only does predictable attendance allow for more accurate staff planning, you can allow a greater number of customers to attend Daycare because there's reduced variance in attendance from your existing customers. Hopefully you'll be able to cut down on your day care wait list :).

5.) Custom Pricing Plans

Recurring package subscriptions allows you to offer your services at a reduced rate, perhaps even negotiated with each customer. This flexibility allows you to create a program that benefits both you and the customer, without causing headache and confusion at each check out.

We think recurring revenue is a very powerful tool and are very excited to bring this to our customers!

 

New Grooming Features!

On Friday night, 11/4/2016 we will be releasing some awesome new features to Gingr.

Grooming Revamp

We've completely revamped Gingr's grooming functionality to provide the most flexible and robust grooming features in the industry. Specifically, we are introducing 2 new ways to schedule your groomers:

  • "Slots" are a flexible way of setting a groomer’s capacity and booking grooming appointments according to how much work they require. The slots system is used instead of booking appointments at specific times with specific durations. 
  • If you would still like your appointments to be at a specific time with a specific duration, you can now set a capacity on that specialist time block. I.e. Melissa can do 2 grooms at 8am, 3 at 11 am, etc.
  • The new Facility Calendar allows you to view groomer availability and book directly from the calendar, and shows you the breed of pets who are already booked.
  • The new New Appointment page puts grooming notes and appointment history right at your fingertips. You can also set the price at the time of booking, along with adjusting the duration of the appointment or the number of slots required.

Click here to learn more about slots.

New Incident Reports

Gingr's incident reports now use our custom form builder. You can now totally customize questions asked on incident reports and create incident reports that include multiple pets.

Speech to Text

Gingr's rich text editors and employee notes tool now allow you to speak directly to the computer and Gingr will convert it to text in real time. Currently, this is available only with Google Chrome.
 

Log In With Yubikeys!

Starting tomorrow, Gingr users will be able to log in with a Yubikey. Say goodbye to usernames and passwords!

What is a Yubikey?

A Yubikey is a small physical device that can fit on a keychain and can be used to securely log into a variety of online services and apps (Gingr, Google, Windows, MacOS, Dropbox, Salesforce and Citrix to name a few).

How do I use it?

To log into Gingr using your Yubikey, navigate to your Gingr app and click the Yubikey icon. Next, plug your Yubikey into a USB port and tap the button. Bam! You're logged in.

How much does it cost?

The Yubikey 4 is available from Amazon (with Prime) for $40.00. The Yubikey Neo is also available on Amazon for $50.00 and includes NFC (wireless) functionality. Currently, this only works on Android devices (not iPhones/iPads).

Do you have a video available to see how it works?

We sure do!

7+ reasons to offer online pet-service and dog daycare appointment scheduling

Plenty of research is now showing an increase in online reservations for a variety of services. Many of us are likely used to booking plane tickets and hotel rooms online at this point. Some of the slower-moving industries include health-care and automotive repair.

There are many good reasons to do this for your pet-services business:

  1. It's what people want. - One study of service-business customers showed that 59% of customers wanted to schedule online if able. People like convenience and success. When they can make an appointment request on their own terms (say, after hours) and feel successful in 'getting it done', they are happy doing business with you.
  2. Younger demographics prefer it. The Washington Post reported that 75% of folks currently in their 30s have dogs. These 'millennials' also prefer things like technology, smart phones and making reservations online.
  3. New customers seek it out. Up to 63% of new customers in one study were seeking out the ability to do online scheduling. You want new customers? You need to serve these folks.
  4. Talking on the phone is expensive. When customers aren't able to schedule reservations themselves, they rely on your staff to do it. Track how long a typical call (or series of returned calls) it takes to make a typical appointment appointment or reservation. (Let's use 5 minutes for example Now multiply that by the hourly wage you pay an employee (plus payroll taxes, say $15/hr). Now multiply that by the number of reservations you do by phone each month (say 25/day, or 500/month). You'll get a sense of the monthly cost of those phone-made appointments. In this example: $1.25 per call * 500 calls = $625.00.  And that doesn't include follow-ups/return calls!
  5. It shows your customers you are 'in with the times'. Your customers' perceptions of you are important. If you show them you are using modern technology, they will trust you with other things, like caring for their pets and managing their accounts correctly. Honor your customers by showing them their time is valuable, and increase their confidence in your business as using the best available technologies to provide the best service.
  6. Reduce frustration and surprises. Self-service online scheduling reduces errors, transaction time and can reduce 'no-shows', thereby reducing frustration among your customers, staff and you (and perhaps even the pets!). Make it easy to do business with you, and make it easier to work for your company!
  7. Up-sell add-on services in advance - Show your customers add-on services when they are scheduling, so they can select these services in advance. Even if they don't, they'll know in advance of the option, and then you can up-sell them at check-in.  Among all Gingr apps, 21% of self-made online reservations have add-on services. That compares to 15% of all reservations having add-on services. The average add-on service value is over $24.00.

Imagine at least 50% of your appointments/reservations being made 'self-service' online by your customers, and at least 20% of those appointments having an added value of $24.00. If you do 500 reservations/appointments in a month, you've saved over $300.00 and generated over $6,000.00 in added revenue. How would that help your business?

The success of online reservations depends on the user-interface being USER-FRIENDLY. Ensure that your prospective software solution actually gets used by the end-user customer for online reservation or appointment requests. Ask the sales folks for the software, and if you are already a Gingr user, now might be the time to use this functionality!

Do you have any other good reasons to accept online reservations? Or any concerns that are preventing you from allowing this 'self-service' booking model?

Let me know, and here's to your success in business.  - Andy

Did You Know: Describe Your Reservation Types

Just in case you missed it, in our newest release, we have added the ability to describe your Reservation Types! This is long awaited and a great little feature allows you to include a rich text box with photos, text, tables, and links that shows on both the customer and business portal! Use this feature to show off your rooms, describe what's included, or list requirements and expectations for each reservation. 

To add descriptions, navigate to Admin > Reservation Types and Services Configuration Page > Edit a Reservation Type (Pencil Icon) > write a description > Save Changes.

Add Custom Email Text to Reservation Requests

Want to take your communication to the next level? Check out this quick article to find out how to add customized text to your automated emails for each Reservation Type. 

Did you know: See More Dates in Expected and Unconfirmed

On the Dashboard's Expected and Unconfirmed sections, we have added some small new features. Previously, Expected Today meant only who was expected to arrive today, but you can now include all animals that have been expected on previous days, but who's reservations were not checked-in or cancelled.

The Unconfirmed section used to include only unconfirmed reservations expected to arrive 7 days in advance, but now, you can set the amount of days you would like to look ahead! 

To see these options simply click on the chevron icon on each section. While you're at it, check out what options are available in other dashboard sections!

Learn more about your Dashboard

 

Did you know: Icons can help control capacity

Did you know: Icons can help control capacity

This simple setting allows you to control how many animals with this icon are checked into your facility.

Getting new customers to build your dog kennel business

The sustainability of your pet boarding, daycare or grooming business will always depend on getting new customers, as some of your customers will move, their pets will pass on, or they will leave for other reasons.

I just listened to TyTheDogGuy's "PetLifeRadio" short on getting more leads for your pet business. I'm not a marketing expert, but I can appreciate the value of more leads (I'm Director of Sales for Gingr, after all). I think Ty has some good advice.

How do you maintain getting new customers for the life of your business?

Most of your prospective customers will look for you on the internet and review your website. They've made it to your website, but how do you get them to the next step? How do you convert them to engage with you?  Remember, all you need from them at the start is their name, an email and phone number.

The Opt-In

The goal is to get the prospective customer to 'opt-in', by at least giving their email or contact information to you, so that you can develop the relationship to the point where they will come in and use your services. Generally, you need to offer a carrot (or a bone, in this industry) to get them to provide you with their information. All you need from them is their name, an email and phone number. 

You need to give something to them. This could simply be some form of information, via an e-book or a video.

E-books - For them to opt-in and download an e-book, you need to give them a very big PROMISE. Make it specific. Make it big, like "5 steps to get your puppy house-trained in 4-days". It's really not hard to develop an e-book. You need some content, create a PDF file, and have an auto-mated way for that to send to them once they enter their information. Have your web-designer help you with this.

Videos - Facebook can be a good way to market to people to engage and check-out a video you are offering. It should be interesting and entertaining enough. Use Facebook ads to help catch their attention to your site to get the video. There are lots of very affordable video services now to help you with video content.

Free- or discounted- service 'taste' - If you offer something for 'free', the client will know they are going to be sold on something, so what can you add on-top that has bigger value than the fear the prospect may have to 'being sold' on your service. How can you make it attractive for them to take the time to check out our 'free' offer?

A discount can be helpful, to get them in the door and try out your services, but be careful, as that can cheapen your services, so consider instead a free gift that does not de-value your services.

Pricing - On your website, give them all the information about your business and services (get them hungry), but don't have your pricing on your website. Have prospective customers enter some information so that they can receive your pricing. Then you can follow-up and see if they are a good fit for your business.

Follow-Up

And here's where it all lies - the timeliness and qualify of your follow-up. It can be tough, I know, as people are busy, and they may submit an inquiry, but then it's hard to reach them. Develop a system and stick with it. If you show them you are available and persistent, you can connect with the prospect and help them learn more about your business' services. This gives you a chance to control (to a degree) when and how you communicate with your prospective customers, so you can do a better job of selling your services.

Here's a link to the audio file:  http://petliferadio.com/sixfigureep60.html?platform=hootsuite

 

What are you doing to attract and communicate with new prospective customers? Let me know!

 

 - Andy

 

Introducing Webhooks

What is a webhook?

A webhook allows one application to notify another that a particular event has been performed. It's like an API, but in "reverse". 

What kind of events are we talking about?

Gingr is able to notify a third party application when a reservation is checked in or out, owner or animal is created or modified, as well as when an email is sent from Gingr. Over time, we'll be able to expand on the types of events we send. 

Give me an example.

Let's say you use a CRM at your business, and want the CRM to stay up to date with your customer's reservation and communication history. When you click on the Check In button in Gingr, a webhook will be sent to your CRM letting it know that a reservation was just checked in.

I want a video.

Here ya go! 

What kind of apps can I integrate with?

Just about anything! Popular integration services like Zapier and IFTTT can receive a webhook from Gingr that can then be pushed out to any of the thousands of products they are integrated with. If you're looking for a more customized solution, any decent web developer can easily interact with webhooks.

When will this be in my Gingr app?

We'll be releasing this feature into all Gingr apps over the next few days. You can get started with the documentation of this feature here.

 

Software tool box for your pet care business

Often I get inquiries about our dog daycare and boarding software that include the phrase "we want pet care software that does everything".

I have a little joke I sometimes share in response, and it goes like this: "Google is working on that". The implication is that Google is working on software that does everything. Every conceivable task for every industry. An ALL-in-one solution.  (Kind of like super-sizing your lunch. Bigger, but not necessarily better). Of course they are not. That's why there are well over 100,000 software companies in the U.S. alone, building tools for different needs in different industries.

The truth is, no software does everything, even within it's industry niche. Yes, some are better than others for certain types of customers. Some do more, some do less, some are more user-friendly software, some are less. Some you pay more for, some less.

Here at Gingr, we use at least 15-20 different software/apps. Here's a partial list:

Slack (team communication), RingCentral (telephony), Join.me (screen sharing, online meetings), Agile (CRM), Gusto (payroll), googledocs/Drive, MS Office, YouTube (video-sharing), Trello, Asana, FreshDesk, SquareSpace; Zapier, MoonClerk, Stripe, Squarecash (for paying each other for lunch) .... (this does not even count what the developers use, and I'm sure I am missing some anyway).

Now you may not need that many software/apps, but here's the point: pick the right tools for the right job. No software will do everything, even with respect to your specific industry. So why not use the best tool for the right job?

Here's a process you might go through:

  • Define your needs. Where is your pain? Is it time on the phone? Data entry? What are most important functions or operations that you can streamline and automate as best as possible? What tool or tools will do the most important functions?
  • You might need several tools to complete a larger task* (i.e, running your business). Have a software toolkit. Use the right software(s) for the right task(s).
  • Have a selection of tools at your disposal in case of emergency*. It's good to have a back-up plan.
  • When a new tool is created that does the task better or faster or makes your life easier, learn about it, assess it, use it if it's the right fit.
  • You only get the full effectiveness out of some tools if use them together* (like a hammer and a chisel to carve a sculpture). For example, we use Zapier to integrate our online forms with our CRM and project management tools).
  • There are more tools than anyone one person could use in a lifetime, but some will become indispensable to your practice.*

(*attribution to Kim Cofino's post at: http://kimcofino.com/blog/2008/01/19/the-technology-toolbox-choosing-the-right-tool-for-the-task/)

In general, I look for solutions that have the following attributes:

1. Automate tasks when possible and appropriate.

2. Empowers other people to enter the data and find information when they need it.

3. Searchable, easy to find information.

4. Simplify my life/work.

5. Easy(er) to learn (full disclosure, I used to be a technophobe.)

6. Replicable and scaleable as my business/activity grows.

 

I feel very fortunate to work for a company that provides a software service that meets the above criteria. We don't do everything, though, and I'm always happy to help a prospective customer identify other tools to help them succeed.

 

What software/apps are you using to help make your life and work easier and more successful? Let me know!

- Andy

 

Take A Break? I'm too busy!

It's summer, a busy time for pet-boarding businesses, so it is especially encouraging when I hear a dog kennel or daycare business owner say "I'm going on vacation". That's a good sign - usually that they at least have good staff on hand to manage the operation while the owner is getting some time off.

A business owner that gets out of 'managing' the business and more into 'building' the business (and taking breaks) is on the path to a sustainable business. (Read days off, vacations, time focused on marketing, retirement, even exit-strategy).

Good hiring of staff is part of this, as are other operational improvements that streamline work-flow and make it easier to train those staff to be successful in providing great service. They'll then be happy, productive and loyal, and your headaches will go down.

I remember the feeling of my first day off after starting my business. It was largely due to the trust I had in a particular employee. (Ahhhh, I was making money and had a day off!)

Back to the point: To get that break (and focus on building your business) you've got to set up operational systems that make YOU less busy in the day-to-day managing of your business, and make it easier to train your staff to do the things you need done independently. Setting up processes (and automating whenever possible) that make the task seamless and streamlined will improve employee success and happiness. Your customers will notice, and they'll be happy too.

I suppose that's why I love my role as sales director for Gingr. I am helping business owners and their team manage a productive dog boarding or daycare business. I am helping them be more efficient so they can focus on what's most important: taking care of their customers.

By helping dog boarding business owners reduce inbound phone calls, automate reminders to pet owners, automate pricing rules to capture the right amount of income from each sale, Gingr just might get a few more business owners on a day off or a summer vacation now and then.

Myself, I'm taking a river-trip with my family in a few weeks!

What's keeping you from a day off or a vacation? Let me know. Send me a note to andy@gingrapp.com and let's see if we can figure out a solution to get you on the beach, on the river, or whatever 'recharges' you.

So, empower your staff, set-up great operational systems, and take a break. You deserve it!

- Andy

 

 

What is your dog-business' (friendly) competitive advantage?

With new dog daycare and pet boarding businesses starting everyday, the industry is growing and well, getting more competitive. That's a good thing.  Competition gets us to 'raise the bar' and get better at what we do. Further, competition in a healthy market can actually increase your business and increase the value of it.

After reading a post by the folks at PetBusinessSolutions about competition ( https://petbusinesssolutions.com/your-competition-is-crushing-youanalyze-that/ ), I reflected on my days as a business owner and addressing the competition (which unfortunately was not very friendly - all they could think of was to lower prices and steal our brochures). 

I decided that it is better to compete on differentiation than price. Price wars just drive everyone's business down, and in the end customers suffer as well. Develop aspects of your business that differentiate - that give you an advantage in attracting and retaining customers - and your business will grow sustainably.

A helpful exercise for business owners and managers (all employees, really) can be to assess your business' competitive advantage. That is, "what gives us an advantage over our competitors? What helps us attract and retain customers that our competitors aren't doing?"

Competitive advantage can take form in many ways:

  1. Location - that great corner location or exclusive lease in a commercial area.
  2. Facilities and fixtures - physical amenities.
  3. Unique training and certification - get certified as an owner or manager, or get your facility certified.
  4. Operations - Toyota developed a lasting advantage through their operational systems, and yes, some of that was in their software. In other words, they focus on processes - as much if not more - than on product.
  5. Recruiting and retaining great staff. - Empowerment, training and enabling employees to do their jobproductively and provide great service.
  6. Customer relationship 'management'. How easy is it for your customers to communicate with you and ask for what they need? How quickly and effectively do you respond to their inquiries and requests? How can you make this system more efficient and productive?

Now it may be hard-to-impossible to change your location (and that may be less of a differentiator anyway), and expensive to change all your kennels or other fixtures, so you might focus on other differentiators like your operations, staff training and empowerment, and customer relationship management and communication.

I think you might find that much of this is in the way you do business and in the way you handle transactions and relationships that give you an advantage over the long-run.

Consider your reservation systems, payment processes, staff training systems and communication techniques with your customers.

How can you improve service to your customers? 

How can you make it easier and more enjoyable to business with you, as opposed to the other business down the street?

 

 

New Feature Release

We're getting ready to release some (awesome) new features to the app, and we'd like to give everyone a preview of what's to come!

Customizable Registration Form

The new customer registration form is now 100% customizable! You can track any data point you'd like and it will be saved forever. We even provide you a point-in-time view of every change that happens to a record.

You can add and remove fields at will, even drag-and-drop to re order.

You can add and remove fields at will, even drag-and-drop to re order.

You can decide which fields are required for employees or customers and choose where to display information in the app.

Email Not Required & Multiple Addresses

The email address field is no longer required by the system, though you can choose to make it required. You can even add multiple email addresses to your client records and Gingr will CC them on all system emails!

Printable & Customizable Feeding, Medication & Weight Reports

We've re-vamped our feeding and medication reports (and added a weight report). These reports are now more customizable than ever, mobile device friendly and even printable. Our weight report is even integrated with USB scales, wirelessly.

The feeding/medication report now allows you to customize every dropdown and field that it uses.

The new weight report keeps track of pet's weights over time.

 

Other Goodies

  • Gingr now has a link from the customer portal back to your website
  • Automatically charge for feeding / medication for specific types only
  • New run card (preview almost ready!)

We'll be releasing these features to everyone on Friday, March 4, 2016. However, these feature are currently available in our demo app (https://demo.gingrapp.com). If you don't have an account there, email us at support@gingr.freshdesk.com!

Best,

Lee & the Gingr Team!

PS - Our next project is all about e-commerce! Invoicing, ordering, prepayments all online. Coming soon!


Countdown to this release:

What is HTTP/2 and why should I care?

Our development team recently implemented a large infrastructure upgrade that impacts every single user of our application. It's proven to be a big success for us, and we'd love to share more.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a set of rules that define the core language of the internet. These rules are among the most important in the digital world. Without them, tens of billions of devices would be screaming at each other in different tongues a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) times per day.

The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) is responsible for maintaining these rules. HTTP/1.0 was introduced in 1996, and HTTP/1.1 in 1997. This standard has remained identical for nearly 20 years! Anything that can remain identical for 20 years in software is a true engineering feat.

As with most things, time is directly proportional to change. Do you remember the internet of 1997? It wasn't nearly as fancy, pretty, interactive or intuitive as it is today. However, doing all of these things require more code and the weaknesses of HTTP have grown more and more evident.

For a large web application (like Gingr) to load on your device, it must download 40 different files resulting in almost 1 Megabyte of data (that's a full floppy disk!). Each of the 40 files require multiple round-trips around the country (or even the world). Not only does this slow down your experience, it's very wasteful of resources. For example, Gingr's Dashboard page would normally require 160 round trips from your location to Virginia. Enter HTTP/2....

HTTP/2 is the latest standard from the IETF, published in 2015. It is designed to solve many of the problems we've encountered over the past 20 years. Instead of making 160 round-trips around the country, it now only takes 20! The cloud remembers what you've already downloaded and can even predict what you are going to download next and send it to your device before you even ask for it! These improvements allow engineers to worry less about performance optimizations and worry more about the user's experience.

This new technology is helping usher in the next generation of web applications and Gingr is on the cutting edge. Between October and November 2015, Gingr's Dashboard page load time has decreased from 1.8 seconds average to 700 milliseconds average (61%)!

Over the coming months, you'll see some of Gingr's core functionality (file uploading and credit card signature capturing in particular) speed up dramatically as well.

We're very excited to take advantage of this technology to deliver you the best possible experience. We have lots of great features planned for you over the next 6 months and can't wait to tell you about them!

Who Benefits from Complicated Pricing Models?

Pricing strategy is the lifeblood of your company’s revenue.  Customers who easily understand your pricing are more likely to spend more money at your facility and those businesses who continue to offer tons of discounts will get left behind.

Every day, Gingr talks to potential and existing clients about their pricing.  I have included below two examples of how different facilities price their services.  Which one makes more sense to you?

Option 1 

  • Standard boarding costs $19 per night if your pet weighs under 30 lbs., add an extra $10 per night if your pet is between 31 and 60 lbs. or add an extra $20 if your pet weighs more than 61 lbs.   
  • Daycare costs an extra $12 for the first four hours or $20 for the entire day.
  • If you have daycare package credits, you can apply those toward boarding, which then reduces the price of boarding by the amount you paid for the credits.
  • Any pick-up between 12-4PM is an extra $10
  • Any pick-up or drop-off on Saturday or Sunday is an extra $10, but we will only charge you one of the weekend fees, not both.
  • Any additional dog in the same family and same room receives 10% off and additional dogs who do not share a room are 5% off.
  • If your reservation is for more than 7+ nights we take an additional 10% off, but this discount is applied on the subtotal of the multiple dog discount.

Option 2

  • Standard boarding costs $39 per night and includes daycare (dogs who cannot participate in daycare receive two walks per day and a potty break before bedtime).
  • Any additional dog in the same family and same room receives 10% off.
  • If your reservation is for more than 7+ nights we take an additional 10% off.
  • Pickups after 11AM incur a ‘last day daycare’ charge equivalent to a single day of daycare.

These two pricing models are quite different.  The second model is pretty straightforward and easy to understand (Customers like this, a lot).  Yet, in our industry, which is full of discounts, and multiple tiers of pricing, you would be surprised how many facilities have pricing components similar or identical to option 1.

Is the pricing strategy in option 1 bad?  Not necessarily, but if your staff can’t do the basic math on the total cost of the stay without using a graphic calculator, you may want to revisit your pricing.

 Do not feel like you have to discount everything just because your competition is doing it, or even because a few customers ask for more discounts.  Your loyal customers are willing to pay a premium for the trust and peace of mind you offer them by providing excellent care to their pets and, often, lower pricing makes things seem less valuable.  If you answer yes to any of the questions below you may want to reconsider your pricing for the upcoming new year:

  • Do you offer additional pet discounts for boarding in the same room that are greater than 25% off?
  • Do you offer multi-night discounts for pets boarding anything less than 10 days?
  • Does it take you more than thirty seconds to explain your pricing to a customer?
  • Do your employees often make mistakes when checking customers out?

Please contact us if you want to discuss your pricing further or have any comments to add to this post.

 

Build Trust and Watch Your Business Grow

While the $5Bn+ pet services industry continues to grow, more competitors are entering the pet industry than ever before.

A pet services company’s business strategy often relies upon having a great location and a great reputation.  Unfortunately, we all know that a competitor can open up across the street or a customer can leave a bad review, hurting your business.  It is no longer enough to hope your customers continue to return – you must continuously improve.  You need to take advantage of new technologies and focus on training your staff, as this is what your competitors are doing.  The most important thing though is to build trust.

Unlike a hotel, where consumers often look for the cheapest rate on hotel aggregator websites, pet boarding facilities and doggy daycares are not selected by price alone.  Many customers drive across town for the best (and a more expensive) pet boarding facility.  While consumers may give price and location consideration, trust is the dominating factor in selecting a place to care for a pet.  If you as a pet parent did not trust the business to care for your pet, would you leave your pet in their care?  Would you pay a little more to know your pet is receiving the best care possible?

Great facilities have great staffs.  Before you can earn and keep your customers’ trust, you need to build your relationship with your team.  Customers will quickly become comfortable with your facility once they see that you, as a facility owner or manager, can trust your staff and that your staff can trust you to always do the right thing in caring for pets.    This is where the synergies of your team keep existing customers returning and opens the door for new customers through word-of-mouth advertising. 

As you prepare for the upcoming holiday season here are a few things to consider as you grow your business:

1.     Continuously train your staff.  Even your most tenured employees “who know everything” should be striving to improve on handling pets, reading pet body language, learning customer service skills, etc. 

a.     TIP: Consider going to a pet industry conference to learn industry best practices.  Here are a few to consider: IBPSA’s Conference (www.petcareconference.com) in October or the Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo (www.petboardingexpo.com) in November and May.

b.     TIP: If you do not have the time to make it to a conference this year, review the plethora of online video content aimed at staff training for the pet services industry (ask us for more info).

2.     Inform your customers about how their pets are doing, even if that means you have to give a customer bad news.  Keeping staff and pet parents informed of a pet’s health and behavior is critical to building trust. 

a.     TIP: Document any abnormality, as you may not realize something is wrong until a pattern has been recognized and observed. 

b.     TIP: Praise your staff for finding any pet abnormality.

c.      TIP: Share photos, videos or text message updates about your customers’ pet while the pet is in your care.  Nothing builds trust or gives peace of mind to a customer like going above and beyond with a photo update of the pet.

The competitive forces of the market continue to grow stronger by the day.  Those who continue to build trust through educating staff and communicating effectively with customers will continue to see their businesses soar.   If you are looking for ways to continue educating your staff or are in need of additional staff, please reach out to Sean (sean@gingrapp.com) for help.  

Why We Do What We Do

The pet services industry is changing.  For many years, pet facilities served only as places for pet parents to drop off their pets while they went on vacation.  Today, pets are doing yoga, taking hydrotherapy classes, and participating in all forms of socialization and competitions, such as dock diving, agility training, and more. 

Three years ago, I quit my corporate job to help my family run its pet boarding facility that they have been operating for several decades.  I was impressed by how well the company was running but I could not believe that we were in the 21st century stuck with 20th century software.  You would get a headache if I listed out the number of problems we had with our then existing software, not to mention the time the server went down during the holidays and a few hundred dogs were checking out!  I asked myself, if the industry is advancing, why is the software not advancing with it?  There had to be a better way and, after seeing very talented and smart staff struggle with our software, I set out on a mission to find a better solution.  Unfortunately, there was nothing else on the market that was able to do what we needed (I’m sure you can relate!). 

In my search, I came across three talented individuals with the same mission and goals and today we encompass the founding team of Gingr.  We did not want to be just be another software company, but rather a committed organization focused on helping other facilities solve the same problems we had, and building a solution for facility owners by facility owners.  Today, Gingr is the only web-based solution on the market that has experience owning and/or operating full service pet boarding facilities. 

Since we first beta tested our solution less than a year ago, we have listened to your needs and we will continue to do so – and that is why today Gingr is rolling out features the other software companies, who have been around for almost a decade (or some for almost two decades), have not even considered.  These competitors thought they could get by without listening to their customers and, now that they have seen us enter the market, they are scrambling to catch up (they are even copying our features!). 

Having deep roots in this industry, we want to see everyone succeed through the use of better software and from the knowledge we collectively gain through talking with all of you about best practices.  We appreciate your support and your willingness to test our latest and greatest features.  We are working around the clock to provide you the features you need, to help you manage your business so you don't have to – it is about time you took that vacation you promised yourself! 

This is just the beginning for Gingr.  We are ramping up for a long journey ahead by adding additional support staff and developers to provide you best-in-class service and features that our competitors could only dream about.   Thank you for joining us on the journey.  We could not do this with out you.

Thank you #GingrNation

Save Money & Accept Tips with Gingr

Introduction in-house payments, tip collection and electronic signature capture. Unique for the pet care industry.

Welcome Aboard!

As Gingr gains increasing interest and popularity from the pet care community, we're adding additional staff to help meet the needs of an industry sorely in need of help. Today, we're pleased to announce the addition of 2 new staff members to the Gingr family!

Lee Acker is a web developer by trade and a animal lover by nature. Prior to joining Gingr, she had been building content and data transfer scripts for Gloo, a personal growth application. She is excited to join the team and help shape the future of a product that she has a very personal interest in. Residing in beautiful Boulder, CO, you can often find her frolicking through the woods with her two dogs, Neville and Luna, or enjoying a good book.


Jeremy Granger was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas and lived most of my childhood a few minutes away from the University of Arkansas. He joined the military at 17 and has been doing it ever since. He's traveled to 42 of the 50 states and has visited 12 countries. One of his favorite memories is working on helicopters for President Bush. Jeremy is married to Amy Granger and has two precious little girls — Honora and Breckyn. They also have two mutts named Poe and Asia, a beta fish (affectionately) named Fish, and two fire-belly toads named Cheese and Copernicus. Jeremy moved to CO in July of 2011 and doesn't plan on leaving any time soon! His hobbies include gaming, spending time outdoors, and tinkering with anything that has screws and circuits. He loves programming as well! His favorite part is using code to solve complex problems. It reminds him of a strategy game! Jeremy is very excited to be working with the Gingr team, and hope to contribute to a very cool idea! 

Exciting New Releases!

What a busy year it has been so far! We're only 2 months into 2015, and we've already released 12 awesome new features!

Here's some highlights:

Daily Notices

Daily notice is a new section on our dashboard! You can create, tag people and comment on event notices right from the dashboard! It will only show notes dated for today (you can create a note on Monday to appear on Wednesday), or if you "pin" them to the dashboard. You can mark them as read. Best of all? Everything hooks into our notification system, and can be sent right to your cell phone.

Group Classes

A great new feature catering towards group training classes! This is perfect for a pre-scheduled set of training classes, where more than one dog will attend.

Returns (Including Credit Cards!)

You can now process refunds/returns through Gingr. Choose whether to return the item to inventory, where to refund the money to, as well as a customizable refund reason.

FAST Barcode Scanning

We've upgraded our barcode scanning capabilities for retail items. Scan up to 5 per second!

Receipt / Cash Drawer Integration

Gingr now supports most receipt printers and cash drawers.

PetDetect Integration

We're now fully integrated with PetDetect! Choose between 6", 12", 18", 24" and 30" label. The labels are 100% customizable, per reservation type. We'll even automatically print labels at check in (you pick which types of reservations).

Weather Widget

Our dashboard will now show you the current temperature, conditions, and the low and high for the day. Celsius or Fahrenheit ... your pick :).

New Group Permissions

User access is becoming more finely tuned every day. We've added a few new group permissions to control which users get access to which data.

New Reports

We've built 6 new reports this year, and have many, many more coming!

Report Card Enhancements

We worked on simplifying the report card creation process, including uploading of photos/videos. We're happy to announce that it's easier than ever to create a photo report card for 100 dogs.

New Shopping Cart

Our nifty shopping cart was re-written from scratch to provide a superb user experience. No page loads, no lag, just click and go.

Internationalization

You can now customize how you like your dates formatted in Gingr. You can customize how you like your telephone numbers formatted. You can even customize the money sign to use!

Employee Notes

We added a mini-icon to the dashboard to list Employee Notes. These are private notes for employee's eyes only. Can your customers see your screen in the lobby? We built a system preference to toggle it on/off.

That's it?!?!

Don't worry, we're busy working on a whole bunch of amazing, new, user-friendly features. Our next release is due on March 15. Stay tuned to see what we'll think of next!

Best,

 

Lee Salminen

Co-Founder

Gingr

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