Man using his mobile phone to text a pet store about dog food

Customers Love the Ability to Text Your Local Pet Store

Most customers in the United States would prefer to text with a member of a retail store team according to a preference study by HeyWire Business. Over half of the sample said they would like to be able to text a company representative. Additionally, one third (31%) would rather text than use their current form of communication such as the telephone.

“In today’s world, consumers increasingly prefer texting in both their personal and business lives, and they are clearly seeking text conversations as a fast, efficient customer support option,” – Meredith Flynn-Ripley (CEO, HeyWire)

Frustration with being put on hold may be one reason, but the convenience of being able to retrieve important information such as operating hours, especially around holidays when they might be different is likely the driving factor. Younger generations also seem to be more inclined to seek convenience factors. The data support the idea that customers would also prefer to text message a pet store about booking grooming appointments when they can’t set aside time for a phone call to inquire.

It is known that customer communication is key for overall customer satisfaction, and it is important to be able to meet the demands of your customers in order to retain loyal customer bases. For pet store owners, keeping on an open line of communication means that you can get feedback, and answer questions about when a specific brand or flavor of food will be in stock. CBD based products for pets are quickly growing in popularity, and frequently coming into and out of stock. Being able to ask about products availability is important to customers in order for them to make a trip into your store when they know you have what they need ready to go for them, and their pet.

Pet Store Online Reviews Matter

Pet Retailers Requesting Reviews is 34 Times More Effective When Asking a Customer in Person

Reviews are one of the best “ads” that a local business has. Potential new customers see online reviews as credible, authentic, and trustworthy. It is crucial for your business to be getting reviews. When it comes to getting reviews, hope is not a method. Do you “hope” that somebody unlocks the doors to your pet store every day? No way! So why would you sit back and “hope” that your business will get great online reviews? People struggle to leave reviews for two reasons: you don’t have anywhere obvious for your customers to submit a review, and you haven’t asked for a review!

It is very common for store owners to feel like they are being too intrusive, or asking too much of a customer by asking them to leave an online review for their pet store. This is understandable, but it is not the case. Customers are happy to leave you a review, and the best way to ask is in person. In fact, a face-to-face request is 34 times more effective than asking in an email. The best time to ask is right after your happy customer has finished checking out with their pet food, treats, or pet supplies. It makes perfect sense, the excellent experience that they had shopping in your store is still fresh in their mind. This timing also improves the quality of the review. For example:

***** 5-Star Review > “The owner Debbie was very helpful. She answered all of my questions about raw diets and she helped me find some Steve’s Real Food that my dog loved. I will be coming back!”

***** 5-Star Review > “They were helpful!”

This is the difference between an experience that is fresh in the customers’ mind and one that the same customer is trying to remember a few days later, after getting an email requesting a review. According to the study, we are making a big assumption that the customer would leave a review at all after being asked via email several days later!

Imagine that you are putting on an event, you’re hoping for a good turnout to promote some specials that you are offering. Your manager will ask customers to attend via email because she has a full schedule and thinks sending emails is more efficient. Meanwhile, one of your team members is going to help the manager by asking customers to attend face-to-face when they come into the store. The team member has the upper hand in this situation- the customers who come into the store are having a personal interaction with the team member, asking questions, and earning the trust of the team member. The team member only needs to ask 6 people to attend, in order to get the same turnout that the manager would get by sending emails to 200 people. Two HUNDRED emails, so much for saving time!

The same principle applies when requesting reviews from customers. A personal touch makes all the difference. The very best steps you can take are to ask the happy customer to leave you a review in person and follow up on that request by making it incredibly simple to leave a review on a specific site.

Contact NextPaw and one of our industry experts will provide you with a complementary plan of action to help your pet store grow online reviews quickly and effectively.

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