For most dog boarding and kennel businesses, summer is peak season. This is the time to maximize your revenue - without maximizing your time on the phone or email or duplicating data entry.
Don't let summer own you and your staff! Integrated online reservation management will save you time, help ensure you remain at full capacity, increase your income and cash-flow, and help you get back to some barbecuing or time on the beach.
Gingr customers see up to 90% (some even do 100%) of their reservation inquiries and requests for boarding reservations happen online, saving them HOURS PER DAY of staff time.
Many pet-care software programs tout online booking functions, though all are clearly not equal. Here are things to look for:
1. High level of branding-customization. Several cloud-based pet-care software programs will support online reservations, but the branding is centered around the software provider, not the business. We think that's wrong. We want to support your relationship with your customers!
Does the customer experience enhance your brand-relationship? Your online portal should at the minimum support your logo and branding, and enable you to further brand with your own css and java-scripts. See a couple examples here:
Bed Bath and Bonz and with some custom scripts: Disco Paws
2. High level of customization of forms and settings to make it seamless and easy for your customers to enter data you need. The trick here is to encourage your customers to enter as much information about themselves and their pets as you need, without creating 'barriers' to successful self-registration and reservation requests.
A couple of our competitors have some visually-appealing customer portals (aside from the branding aspect above), but it turns out their online forms and reservations leave a lot to be desired in terms of flow and ease of successful completion of reservation-requests.
For example, Gingr allows specific fields on the owner and animal forms to be required for specific reservation types (say, boarding as opposed to daycare). If a customer requests a particular reservation type (i.e, "Boarding") and has not filled out some required information, the system will bring up the form that needs to be completed, without navigating away from the booking page.
In contrast, one software program, in allowing customer to view or interact with the reservation form, they are first prompted to go fill out additional information. Once they fill in that information, they are not redirected back to the booking page, but have to navigate back to it themselves. (Software company) has no way of specifying that particular fields are required for particular reservation types. There are only blanket requirements. This leads to confusion and is a barrier to successful completion of the reservation-request, often leading to a phone call. It seems small, but can really add up in impact on your staff.
3. Up-selling Add-on Services. One of the great benefits of online reservation systems can be the 'pre-sale' of add-on services. In fact, Gingr's online reservations with add-on services amount to an average $24 increase in the reservation value (and that includes single-day daycare reservations!). This is a great way to boost your income.
4. Is it mobile-friendly? We noticed one software customers' online reservation page has to warn people that their portal is not mobile friendly. Ouch! 70% of online activity is from a mobile phone. Gingr is designed from the start to be mobile friendly. Make it easy for your customers to engage with you online!
The trick though is to make those add-on service options very clear to your customers, especially with respect to frequency. Do they really want you to play fetch with their dog every day, including the day of drop-off and pick-up? Get it wrong, and you either over-deliver and have an upset customer paying too much, or you undersell and miss out on income.
Gingr allows the customer to select from many frequencies, such as "every day," "every other day," etc., while other software online reservation systems provide no ability to select frequency of additional services.
Online reservation and pet-care software can streamline your operations, saving you time, money and boosting cash-flow. As you can see, 'it's all in the details', so ensure you find the right solution to help ensure your success in getting your summers back!
Want to learn more? Reach out to schedule a quick chat and get setup with a free demo HERE