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Never Miss a BONE.
6 Ways to Say "Thank You" to Your Customers
thank you to customers through kennel software

As a business owner, you know that your loyal customers are what make your business. You literally could not do it without them. They allow you to do what you love and it is important to make a point to share with them the gratitude you feel.

People like to feel appreciated and and your customers come back because, alongside your amazing services, is a warm and welcoming attitude. Trust is a foundational component to any customer-business owner relationship. No loving pet owner would leave their furry family member in a foreign environment unless they truly believed their pets would be in good hands.

Genuine gratitude through “thank yous” and small gestures of kindness can help to build that trust. This is why we want to stress that it is important to invest in your customers because they will keep coming back and telling their pet owner friends about how wonderful your company is.

Here are a few ideas for ways that you can show your customers appreciation:

1. Customer Appreciation Event

Have a customer appreciation event. Highlight that one of the great joys of working in this industry is the community you create around you. Often the best gift you can give your customers is to allow them to share in that community and meet other like-minded, animal loving people. It could be a "yappy hour" where people come for some appetizers and mingle or it could be a week long event where you give everyone who visits a little something special like a homemade dog treat or polaroid of them and their dog.

2. Hand-written greeting cards

Send out cards and emails during the holidays. Hand-written ones are the best, especially for your regular customers. Bonus: Buy dog treats in bulk and tie them to the cards with ribbon. Written well wishes to the owner and a small gift for their pet is sure to win over your customer!

3. Discount Cards & Family/Friend Referral Specials

Any holiday can be made into something special, especially when you are running a small business, which means you know each and every one of your customers. Run a discount special, like 30% off one night boarding for current customers or 20% off for their family and friends. This will make the current customer feel appreciated, give them an incentive to come back, and give your business a list of prospective clients among their family and friends. Make sure your customers know about your referral program, so that they will have more of an incentive to tell their family and friends about your business. A free daycare or night’s stay for each referral should do the trick! Market any promotion with the PawLoyalty email marketing kennel software feature so you can conveniently send one email blast to all of your current customers.

4. Useful Merchandise

For marketing purposes, you should be thinking of handing out freebies so that loyal customers can tote your logo around. Just make sure you are giving away useful items that won’t just end up in a junk drawer or as a chew toy. A few things might be a tote bag or a water bowl for the dog on-the-go.

And who doesn’t like a free Starbucks card? Did you know they have desserts for dogs too? It’s called a puppacino! This is basically whipped cream in a small cup that Starbucks employees give out to dogs. Ask for it the next time you need a sweet treat for you and your canine companion.

5. Photos of a Dog’s Stay

Snap a few photos of the dog’s day and share them privately with your customers or ask them for permission to post on Facebook. Even just a quick text or image sent to a customer while their dog is in your care will brighten their day. Customers will love seeing pictures of their dogs, which they can also share with their friends as well. This is a great way to market your business on social media and keep pet owners knowing that you are giving special attention to their dog!

6. Extra Time & Advice

Customers may want advice on products, tips on training, or just to chat about their dog’s day. Encourage your employees to share something meaningful with at least one dog owner a day - that is a business practice that just takes a minute or so a day but will have a huge long term impact on your company’s reputation of really taking a moment to show you care.

If you like to write, you may also consider starting a blog that you can update with information your customers care about whether it is at home grooming tips or what the coolest new puppy merchandise is. You could also ask a knowledgeable employee to answer questions that they frequently hear asked by customers.

There are many special occasions which you can use as inspiration to send gifts of appreciation:

When a new dog is adopted or when a mother has just recently had puppies.
Congratulate these pet parents! This is a chance to say “Here’s a free stay to welcome your new pup to our family too!”

When a dog has fallen ill.
Your Pet Health Record will come in handy when a customer reports that their dog feels sick. You can keep record of their illnesses for their parents to be able to review and through your dog daycare software you can send out “Get well” emails!

When a family has just lost a pet.
Give condolence cards to families who have just suffered a loss. This will especially be hard on the kids so you may want to send a card to the parents and if you have pictures that you’ve taken of their dog at your business, send them over as well. Take time to let the family that you understand the pain of their loss and that you are available for support.

When a dog has a birthday.
If you don’t host birthday parties at your facility, you can still send a birthday note via email or snail mail. PawLoyalty kennel management software makes it easier for you to keep track of your customers’ birthdays and automatically sends out a greeting email to them on their special day.

When it’s their anniversary at your facility.
It’s a big deal of a dog has been coming to your facility for a year! Thank them with a free stay, a gift card, or a doggie bag filled with merchandise and treats.

When there is a holiday.
Holidays and peak seasons are times when most facilities increase their boarding prices and set a minimum amount of days. This is a time when customers will pay more for your services. With your increase in revenue, use a portion of your budget to say “This holiday season, we’re thankful you chose us!”

  • Halloween - Send your pups home with their own jack-o-lantern pails filled with treats. 
  • New Years & Fourth of July - Owners want to have fun, but their dogs are feeling tense and paranoid. Have a plan to keep dogs feeling calm and happy like hosting a scent-hunting activity that will keep them occupied. 
  • Christmas & Thanksgiving - These are times when customers will be expecting a treat or two from you. Don’t leave them disappointed. Bring homemade cookies with dog-safe icing! 
  • Dog-specific Holidays - From “Take your pet to work” day (usually falls anywhere between June 20-24 annually) to National Pet Week (first full week of May), be sure to be aware of any special occasions that you can plan for something special or even to wish your pet owners are happy holiday through Facebook! 

Overall, it really is the thought that counts. It doesn’t matter how much your gifts cost or how often you send them, but that once in a while you take the time to send kind words and a gifted reminder of how thankful you are for your customers.

Throw Us a Bone!

What are some creative ways you thank your customers?

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