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Do You Or Don't You

More Than 60 Percent of Pet Business Owners Offer a Customer Loyalty Program

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DO YOU HAVE A CUSTOMER LOYALTY PROGRAM?

Yes 62%

  • We work off referrals and word of mouth. If new clients come and tell us who sent them, we give the referee a $10 credit toward the next groom. No limits. Clients love this.  Rachel Diller, Urban Sophisticats, Littleton, CO
  • We use a digital platform called Belly (bellycard.com). It has an iPad at our registers and allows users to earn points for each visit and then redeem their points when they choose for rewards that we select. We have fun things like Top Dog for the Day (which doesn’t cost us any money but people save up their points for it). There is a monthly fee, but we get placed on a map and directory with Belly and it also allows for a completely easy, no mess system. Candace D’Agnolo, Dogaholics, Chicago, IL
  • I have packages for dog training that are discounted based on the weeks bought. I also have a “refer a friend,” where you get one free “Smart Walk” for every friend you refer. Jennifer Wynen, Petiquette Dog Training, South Bend, IN
  • Yes, but with some regret. Ours is all done manually which has been a beast to keep contained. The success we had was way beyond what we imagined. Trent McCoy, McCoy Feed & Pet Supply, Midland, NC
  • We use the Perka app (perka.com), which is a phone app that customers can use to check in when in the store and that allows us to see that they’ve checked in (see their name) and apply their points to their account. If they don’t check in, no problem, a code prints up on a receipt that they can enter into the app to apply the points! Alli McDonough, Fido & Stitch, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Customers can earn up to 3 percent back on purchases or they can donate those points to our Shelter Feeding Program, which allows us to donate over $50,000 a year of dog and cat food to local shelters. Russell Herman, Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore, Rochester, NY

No 38%

  • As a summer seasonal business in a coastal resort town, our customer base is very transient. We are a quick stop for many who have forgotten to pack dog food, toys, etc. Jamie Idzi, Yuppy Puppy, Bethany Beach, DE 
  • We haven’t been able to find one that is affordable for our business. Matt Spivey-Bevington, 2Guyz Boutique for Pets, Elwood, IN
  • I haven’t implemented one but about to raise prices so might be good time to. Trish Elliott, Town & Country Pet Resort, Valley Springs, CA

This article originally appeared in the May-June 2017 edition of PETS+.

 

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If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Eat Lunch Regularly with Team Members?

More than half of you do not.

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Yes: 31%

  • Lunches at our staff meetings always improve morale and participation. — Robert Feller, Verona Veterinary Medical Service, Verona, WI
  • Although I don’t eat lunch that often as I lack the time, I always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with team members eating lunch because it creates great camaraderie between the entire store staff. — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA
  • It allows for informal and casual conversations, which help solidify the team-building process. — Frank Frattini, The Hungry Puppy, Farmingdale, NJ
  • We celebrate five-star reviews with pizza parties! It really keeps the entire team, from management to cleaning crew, invested in our clients’ satisfaction. — Katherine Ostigy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • It gives us time to refresh and finish the day, I only have done this off site with my managers, but I purchase lunch for my staff on a weekly basis. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • I put a new couch in our large grooming room, and everyone congregates there for lunch or short breaks every day. We catch up with each other, talk about the business and laugh about weird clients. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • It’s just me and one team member, so we eat together every day. We eat the same food, treats and cookies for dessert. Our dogs are best friends. Effects? We smile a lot. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
  • A lot of non-work conversation happens when we eat together. Our team is its own little family, and I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to work with these great individuals who care so deeply about animals and what we are trying to do at Fetch RI. — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • Everyone likes their voice heard, and sitting with staff at lunch makes me a real part of the hands-on team and keeps the conversation from getting gossipy. Also, it’s good to hear about dogs and clients from the vantage point of the staffers who spend more time with them. It helps me as an owner be able to strike up conversations with clients, as well as get good ideas from my staff about things that are going well and things that are not going well. They still know I’m the boss, but it makes me seem approachable, knowledgeable, and receptive to input from staff. — Angela antalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • Every Wednesday is our truck day and it gets kinda crazy in here. I have started buying my team lunch every week. We hang out talk and it gives us time to connect. Yes, it does cost me, but the payoff is worth it. I highly recommend it! — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Bakery, Ankeny, IA

No: 69%

  • Who has time for lunch when you own the place? — Tammy Vasquez, Bark Life, Seminole, FL
  • I feel like it’s their time to get away from it all and watch videos, relax and do what they want. Several usually sit together in our common kitchen, so I do walk around them quite a lot, interacting in a fun way at that time. — Suzanne Locker, ABC Pet Resport & Spa, Willis, TX
  • My husband and I eat out every day for lunch at a local downtown business. It’s our time together and away from the store. It helps us catch up, think clearer, communicate the day/week/etc. It also supports small local businesses like ours. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Send Holiday Cards to Customers?

Most of you don’t …

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Yes: 33%

  • We handmake for our top clients. For the rest, we typically send out printed ones from Shutterfly with some of our client photos. — Melissa Wiltse, Happy Pooch Styling and Spa, Lynden, WA
  • I don’t customize them, I address and sign every single one, I like the personal touch. To all active customers. — Kelly Catlett, Waggs 2 Whiskers, Bagdad, KY
  • In the past we have done a holiday card, and we turned it into a contest to boost our social media presence. We asked pet parents to post the cutest photo of their dog on our Facebook page and whoever collected the most likes at the end of the contest won a professional photo shoot and was featured on our holiday card. People went NUTS getting friends and family to like their dog’s photo every day. It was really fun to watch! — Amy Zounes, CaNine to Five, Clifton Park, NY
  • We customize our cards, custom print them and send them to all of our clients. — Asha Olivia, Hoby Dogy Pet Care, Hoboken, NJ
  • We try to send personallized cards from the store manager to the top 20 or 30 customers at each location. We’ve done custom-printed in the past, but last year and this year just used boxed cards with a handwritten message. — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • We send out a post card to everyone that has purchased from us over the past year. The post card is simply “Our Gift to You” — a $5 gift certificiate, no minimum purchase. We have them created and printed by a local business. — Michell Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • I send post cards out with a $5 coupon good from January to March, which is my slow time. I had pictures of my dogs running in the snow last year. — Corey Heenan, Corey’s Canine Creations, Altamont, NY
  • We send customized cards featuring one or both of my dogs, a Pug and a Presa, to our top clients. I handwrite a note to them. While it takes more time than using a preprinted greeting, I feel that it is more genuine and would be more likely to be kept rather than tossed. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • We send dog-themed holiday cards to our long-term (6-plus months) training/daycare customers every December. It’s very time consuming and we’re thinking about going to preprinted cards this year. — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • We send them out in several tiers: A custom emailholiday card sent out to our entire client list (thousands), a custom-printed card with calendar enclosed, and a custom-printed card with calendar and framed printed holiday photo of their dog. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • Ours are Thanksgiving cards, and they are customized. We send to our top 250 customers. — Claudia Loomis, Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, Phillipsburg, NJ

No: 67%

  • We send out holiday wishes to our customers via email. — Doung Staley, Pet Palace of New City, New City, NY
  • No time! Christmas is always so chaotic that we can barely breathe let alone send cards. But it would be a nice touch! — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • I used to and it would kill me when so many would come back in the mail because they had moved, or whatever the reason. So we do an email blast, facebook posts, and hand them a holiday card from us by a staff member when they come in a few days before the holiday that has a coupon to use in January. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • No … but we are thinking of doing a calendar this year as a gift for the holiday. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Give Holiday Bonuses to Staff?

More than half of you do.

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Yes: 53%

  • I take the entire staff out for dinner pizza and beer. Depending on length of employment, and their performance, I give groomers $50-$100, bathers $25-$50. I put cash in a Christmas card. — Rachel Malmfeldt, Pampered Pups, Joliet, IL
  • It is included in their paycheck, they get an extra $20-$30 bonus per shift they work on a holiday based on their employee pay agreement. — Deana Deitchler, Dog Paw, Park Rapids, MN
  • We have monthly sales goals which are established by our inventory planning partner (Management One). I take that goal and add 10 percent. Then, all sales above that goal, employees are bonused 25 percent of anything above that. In 2018, our staff rocked it, and each received a $2.77/hour bonus for the month of December. — Michelle Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • Cash. Based on time with us and average hours, plus their dedication to our business. — Dani Edgerton, Paws on Main, Columbiana, OH
  • We give the employees cash in an envelope. We do not do paid vacations, so we try and base it on an average week’s pay for each employee. If we don’t think it’s enough, we add a little more to the envelope. They really appreciate it. — Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • I give all employees 12 months and under $50, 1 year $100, and each year they increase by $100. I write personal cards and then give company logo jackets. — Julie Grounds, Central Pet, Tucson, AZ
  • I give my dog walkers a $25 gas card and a small gift that would mean something special just to them. My groomers get a $100 Visa card and a pizza dinner with all their families. — Kristina Robertson, The Pet Spa at Barkley Square, Falls Church, VA
  • We usually offer a shopping day where more items are available at our employee feeding prices. We do incentives all year long for cash, gift cards and paid time off, so allowing them to shop hard-core for themselves and as gifts for family is kinda cool. — Michelle Pelletier, Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Green Bay, WI
  • For my key staff, they get a bonus check based on a predetermined increase in sales from the previous year. — Mike Murray, Bonnie’s Barkery, Phoenix, AZ
  • I mailed them a holiday/thank you card last year with a $50 gift card Everyone got the same amount. They were all thrilled! — Kelly Catlett, Waggs 2 Whiskers, Bagdad, KY
  • Cash, plus we all go out to dinner. These past few months, I had some health issues, and they really stepped up to the plate. So in September, I planned to take them all to the gun range to shoot some machine guns. Different bonus? Yep! But I appreciate all they do! — Greg Gorski, Cody Pet Depot, Cody, WY
  • Our staff gets bonus gifts: gift cards for movies, grocery stores and a HUGE gift card for our store so they can spoil their pets on our dime. — Connie Roller, The Feed Bag Pet Supply, Grafton, WI
  • We give out gift cards to the luxury movie theater. We want our people to go out and treat themselves after spending all year caring for dogs and customers. We think of our bonus as more of a gift, because it comes with no judgement on performance. — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX
  • I give my staff a check. I base the amount on their hours put in, their reliability, their client base and ability to keep clients, their communication, and the length of time they have been with me. — Ashley Cook, Viva La Pet, Dover, NJ
  • The week before Christmas, my team gets a cash bonus. The amount is based on tenure. My team members get a holiday party in January to celebrate making it through the busy holiday season. — Theresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA

No: 47%

  • I typically host a staff appreciation dinner in late January or early February. — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • We’ve never given bonuses but do pay good wages, and employees get products at cost. Since we don’t focus on the holidays, we prefer to be on our “A game” all year, the once-a-year bonus seems disingenuous. — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delevan, WI
  • Whereas we don’t give monetary bonuses, we do take the entire staff out for a fun night of dinner, drinks and a fun activity prior to the season to get them pumped up. We also have performance goals, and those who hit their goals get gift certificates throughout the season. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Roslyn, PA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

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