Rover versus pet sitter

Why Rover Is Beating The Professional Pet Sitter

In May, we talked all about Customer Service and Experience in the Mastermind. As we do with every month, we have guest experts come in and speak with us. This month, it was Dan Gingiss. He simply blew us away with all his knowledge and his reflection on what professional pet sitters are really competing with when it comes to Rover. I was so moved by this idea that I wanted to dedicate an entire blog to it.

 

Here Is What Dan Said:

You see, Dan basically said that the pet parent doesn’t even get to EXPERIENCE our business or how “great” our services are because our entire intake neglects the user experience. The reason why it is so easy for Rover to get the business isn’t because of the low price (what we tell ourselves) but rather the quick and easy process of signing up.

 


I took what he said to heart when I was recently talking to my next door neighbor. She confirmed everything that Dan was saying on the hotseat in the Mastermind. Here is her story:
Rover beating professional pet sitter

Kate Needs A Pet Sitter For Marley:

Marley is a 5-year-old mixed breed who is used to having family and kids around. However, Kate recently separated from her husband and had a work trip coming up. Marley would normally be taken care of by her husband and kids, but this time her kids were going to be at her new husband’s home.

Having many balls in the air in her life, Kate had known about this app named Rover and thought she would try it. In a few minutes, she was signed up and 60 seconds later she found out that her neighbor four doors down was listed on the app.

She sent a request for service via the app and had a consultation scheduled with Karen in less than 30 minutes.

Kate didn’t have to call anyone.

She knew the prices.

She saw the social proof of what others had said about Karen’s experience.

Kate felt confident knowing that Karen was her neighbor and that she had experience under her belt, and by the sight of her picture appeared to be a baby boomer. “How convenient,” Kate thought.

They met the next day for a consultation where Kate told Karen everything about Marley and just like that, a new relationship was formed. Karen did mention to Kate that once they established their relationship, she would be willing to take it off the app.

Rover beating professional pet sitter

What About This Intake Prevented Kate From Going Elsewhere?

I was really interested in this conversation I was having with Kate. What I left out above is that I asked her if she considered a google search before going to Rover. She said she did.

Kate had searched for “pet sitters near me” and “pet sitters Phoenix.” She went on to tell me that she clicked on their sites and they either looked like they were a “fly by night” sitter or it was too complicated to sign up. She didn’t want all the back and fourth of calling, emailing, or texting. She wanted the path of least resistance (her words, not mine) and to get this task taken care of on her list amongst all the other personal things going on in her life.

The Path Of Least Resistance

The sales process is such a delicate little flower, touch the wrong petal and it will wilt and die. Many of us think our sales process starts when we get to talk to the customer but in actuality, 60% of the sales process is OVER by the time we speak to them. (Our hotseat expert in April, Mark Schafer told us that!)

If you think about it, if people can’t:

  • See themselves or their problem on the front page of your website above the fold
  • Know where to go to sign up
  • Have an easy time signing up
  • Feel like they have signed up and checked it off their list
  • Get to speak to a human or get a fast response when requested

Then they will move onto the next provider. I would even argue that many new clients who try to find a sitter on Rover contact more than one pet sitter at a time. I would also venture to say that the first person who gets back to them or that they like during a consultation would be the one they choose.

It was only two or three years ago where that face-to-face meeting was the most important thing in the process and I can hear many pet sitters thinking, “But Bella it is!”

But you are wrong.

Stay with me… I am fighting FOR you…

While the consultation was so important just a few years ago… now you won’t even get that opportunity if the beginning of your sales process is preventing people from signing up.

There were many predictions this would happen and it is here. The experience that a consumer has with your business before they even meet you is paramount. It is why Rover has been winning. It isn’t because of the professional or non-professional service.

In fact, you would be lying to yourself to think that all professional pet sitters are great or all Rover sitters are bad because that just isn’t the case. Rover, as you know, is a tech company. They will keep winning every time because of the experience on the app. That is what draws people to sign up. It is familiar to download an app. It is accomplishing to know that you found a pet sitter or dog walker for your dog.

So How Can The Professional Pet Sitter Win?Rover beating professional pet sitter

I thought you would never ask! In order to start winning more you MUST change your mindset. You also MUST build your team because you are going to need people to help you accomplish all of what I am about to say.

Are you ready for me to spill the tea?

  1. If you use a software app tell people to download it RIGHT AWAY on your front page.
  2. Know the problem you are solving. It isn’t dog walking and pet sitting. It is trust, peace of mind, and guilt.
  3. Enable the feature to allow people to sign up right away. Doing so will only allow them to feel like they have accomplished something and they have something invested with you. Don’t adopt the stinkin’ thinkin’ of “But Bella, I need to meet with them and approve them first.” I agree! That is what the consultation is for. Let them feel like they are getting somewhere with you.
  4. Talk EXACTLY to your avatar on your website. If I can copy and paste your website onto someone else’s site, you are doing it wrong.
  5. SHOW ME what it is like to sign up with your company and use you as a pet sitter. Don’t tell me. Telling me was so 3 years ago… this day and age you must SHOW people!
  6. Never change your website again without using the data you can get from your website via Hotjar and Google Analytics.

These changes should really set you apart from the competition. It should appeal to your exact audience, draw them in, and get them interested. Words like “professional” don’t mean much but when you talk about areas in your community, how easy it is to sign up, manage their expectations, and follow through on your promises – you can be way ahead of the game.

Get your systems flowing perfectly so you can attract the masses, qualify them through your processes, and sign them up in record time.

I know this works because I have helped countless companies make this switch in their messaging. I have seen how talking to everyone doesn’t work and addressing your target does.

When you know that your target is a busy professional, they want pet care checked off their list. When you know that your target is a busy mom or someone in the middle of a big life change, they want pet care checked off their list. They don’t want to receive instructions on how to sign up. Or to sign up a little to then be told 24 hours later they need to fill in even more info. Give the people what they need.

You have to remember that sales are a HUGE umbrella that covers a lot of things. You need to make sure that none of the “things” are preventing you from making the sale.

 

3 replies
  1. WaltG
    WaltG says:

    Being a Rover sitter and walker, this blog hits the mark with many valid points. Why do clients pick Rover over independents, they see the ads all over social media and the ease of finding a sitter, setting up a meet and greet and the rates for the service are always in the forefront. plus payment is easily made. Sadly this is not the case with many independents, so take this as a call to action!

    Reply

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