Maximize peak season dog boarding occupancy and revenue

Maximize peak season dog boarding occupancy and revenue

Dog kennel owners plan how to maximize occupancy and revenue during peak boarding seasons.

Managing change in your business

Managing change in your business

This blog article looks at managing change in your pet care business.

Tracking Phone Calls in Gingr

Gingr can now keep track of phone calls! There are 2 main reasons you may want to use this feature at your business:

  1. You want reporting on the volume, duration, and types of phone calls your business receives and makes. This can help when determining staffing requirements.
  2. You want to track the efficacy of an advertising campaign that uses phone numbers as a call-to-action.

Reason #1 is pretty self explanatory. Employees can quickly record a call in Gingr, choosing whether it was an inbound or outbound call, how long the call lasted, and the reason(s) for the call using tags.

If your current telephony provider supports "outbound webhooks" then the logging of phone calls can be completely automated. If your provider does not support outbound webhooks, you can "port" your phone number to a provider like Twilio (which does support outbound webhooks). Porting a number means you get to keep your number but move to a new service provider. This can be a drawn out process, but may be worth the hassle to automate phone call logging.

Reason #2 is a lot cooler, so let's go into some depth. Let's say you want to run an advertising campaign on Facebook, Google and in your local newspaper. Ideally, you want an automatic way of tracking the efficacy of each of these ads so that you know where to focus your ad spend on the next round.

Using Gingr's integrated telephony provider (Twilio), you can generate 3 different telephone numbers (all in your area code) and use 1 number on each of your ads (Facebook, Google, local paper). When someone calls the phone number listed in your ad, Gingr will:

  1. Create a call record in the app. The record will automatically know which phone number the caller dialed and record that in Gingr. If the caller already has an Owner account in Gingr that will also be recorded.
  2. Connect the caller with your facility by forwarding the call to your facility's main line.
  3. Show a pop-up in Gingr that there is an incoming call. If the caller's number matches up with a record in Gingr, it'll display their (and their pets') names.
  4. Clicking on this pop-up will bring up a window allowing the user to modify the call record. For example, the user could "tag" this call as a Current Customer calling about Daycare. Naturally, tags are customizable by your business.

You would then be able to use the Calls Report to view charts and lists of calls which can be filtered by various criteria.

We'll be rolling this feature out to apps in the coming days. If you're interested in using this new feature for ad campaign tracking, submit a ticket via your Gingr app or by email to support@gingr.freshdesk.com !

Why Cats Love Mercury in Retrograde

Why Cats Love Mercury in Retrograde

What? Mercury in retrograde again????

Loyalty programs for dog daycare (part 2).

Loyalty programs for dog daycare (part 2).

Here we discuss practical loyalty programs for dog boarding and daycare businesses.

Loyalty programs for loyal companions? (part 1)

Loyalty programs for loyal companions? (part 1)

Learn about how loyalty programs and dog daycare and boarding businesses and software.

Receiving & Organizing Vaccination Records

Receiving & Organizing Vaccination Records

Starting this week, Gingr will be able to receive vaccination records (and other files) via email and fax!

Getting over the fear of going paperless

Getting over the fear of going paperless

Read about how you can transition from 'paper-heavy' to the freedom of paperless.

Getting ready for flea and tick season

Getting ready for flea and tick season

Discover ways to manage the risk of fleas, ticks and lyme disease among your pet-guests.

Preparing for Spring Break

Preparing for Spring Break

How are you preparing your dog daycare and boarding business for peak-season?

 

 

Best in Show of Dog Myths

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?    Do dogs eat grass only when they are sick?

 

Of course there are safety-related myths, like "my dog will be okay in the car if I crack the windows". We all better know the answer to that one, and have a role in letting our customers know the facts.

There's "all dogs are colorblind."    Reportedly, "the canine retina indicates that dogs can see some colors, primarily blues, yellows, greens and shades of gray"1.  (http://www.petful.com/misc/20-ridiculous-dog-myths-debunked/)

 

My favorite is whether "a wagging tail means a happy dog".  My family commonly refers to our dog Gregor's 'wag-o-meter'. We're pretty sure that the more wagging, the happier he is.

 

 

Here's the Mythbusters video on the subject:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAv7czgIl0Q

And for more reading, here's a link to Cesar's Way blog on the subject: https://www.cesarsway.com/about-dogs/dog-myths/taking-a-bite-out-of-a-dozen-common-dog-myths  

 

What dog-related myths do you ponder?

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Continuous cash-flow with recurring payments

Pet care businesses can benefit from establishing recurring subscription payments for dog daycare services.

Recurring, or 'subscription' payments are automated, scheduled credit card payments for services.  Just as with the magazines, recreation memberships and software subscriptions, pet-care services can offer 'subscriptions' to customers for doggie daycare.  One-time setup of a series of payments from your customer increases your customer service level and creates recurring, low-transaction cost revenue.

Benefits of recurring billing:

  1. Ease for customer
  2. Fewer, yet higher-value transactions
  3. Less errors
  4. Low-transaction costs - save on per-transaction processing fees, less staff time.
  5. Increase retention

Any payment service that adds value to the customer is a win-win.  The customer feels less 'transaction pain', and so does your business.  Save your customer time, and they'll a sense of great customer service.

With fewer transactions, you are saving staff time, leaving less chances for errors, and you will pay less per transaction-fees.

 

Examples of recurring billing in dog care businesses:

1. Renewable monthly day-care package

2. Memberships

3. Payment-schedule for group class or multiple months of private lessons

 

One risk of recurring billing is losing some 'touch' with your customer. Use your time saved partly to ensure engagement with these customers. Ask them how they are liking your services and thank them for their regular business.

 

Take a look at how you might establish recurring billing into your services. Many of your customers will love the convenience, and you'll enjoy the steady stream of 'easy' income.

What recurring payments are you considering?

How many hats do you wear?

Automation and delegation can help dog daycare owners shed some tasks.

Using Online Technologies to Increase Revenue, Efficiency, and Customer Loyalty

Watch the webinar! This includes engaging graphics and a real-time demonstration of integrating online software technologies.

Introducing Employee Time clock

Today, we're releasing an employee time clock to all Gingr customers. It's super easy to use and available at no extra cost.

How does it work?

First, an employee logs into Gingr with their password, Google account or alternate means (Yubikey, employee ID card, etc..).

Then, it's as simple as clicking on the big blue Clock In Button!

The circle icon (visible on all pages) will appear green if currently clocked in.

The circle icon (visible on all pages) will appear green if currently clocked in.

When clocking in / out, the system will record:

  • Time
  • IP Address
  • Device Type (User Agent)
  • Device Fingerprint
  • Webcam image (currently not supported on iOS devices)

For more information on this feature, be sure to check out our documentation!

Using Flow-Diagrams to Streamline Your Pet Care Service Operations

Using Flow-Diagrams to Streamline Your Pet Care Service Operations

Learn how flow-diagrams can help you organize your dog daycare, boarding and grooming business and help you configure your software.

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

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