Should I Have GPS In My Pet Sitting Business?

Should I Have GPS In My Pet Sitting Business?

GPS is a very loosely used term in many pet sitting companies. Depending on the client management software system that you use, they all work slightly different. Here are just three companies that currently offer GPS and how it works:

Time To Pet’s  website says: mobile application is fully GPS enabled allowing you to optionally track check-in/check-out times and locations. You can even track step by step the route taken on any given walk.

Pet Sit Click website says: Your customers can now receive an after visit email that can include Walker/Sitter notes, a photo, and GPS check-in data.

Pet Check website says: Pet Check only tracks the GPS path of your staff while they are scanned into a walk. Coordinates are taken every 23 minutes from the staff member’s app to show your customers where their pet was walked or to show that your staff stayed at their residence the entire visit (in the case of a cat visit). Once the appointment is complete, the GPS map is populated for you and your customers to see.

Precise Pet Care website says: GPS Sitter Check-ins to allow you to keep track of how your sitters are progressing through their day. You can view a map for each visit where the sitter checks in. Included on this map are the client location, sitter check-in location/time and sitter check-out location/time.

It is important to remember that this feature should be used for employees only. It is my personal opinion that you should never be using GPS with Independent Contractors as this would be seen as a form of control.

 

gps pet sitters

 

I don’t condone this GPS feature in our industry.

I am 100% against the GPS feature in pet sitting software programs. It is my personal thought, and if used, would go against everything I believe in. I believe in trusting my staff and only wanting clients that extend trust to us. If what some pet sitters are saying is true, that the professional industry is moving towards using more GPS than not, then I will just use it to set myself apart.

I also don’t buy into the argument that GPS can help prove to an untrusting client that we (company) was actually at the pet visit. If the companies relationship with the client has come to that, I would recommend reevaluating if that is a client that the company want. This situation happens once in a blue moon and definatly not enough to warrant getting GPS.

 

NOTE: If you want to be able to track your sitters behind the scenes you could always get Iphones and you can “find my friends” and see their location. Alternatively you can use the app “”Map My Dog Walk” and basically do everything that Pet Check says they do.

In short, here is a list of why I don’t think GPS is right in my business. (Keep in mind, this is my opinion.)

  • Shows I don’t trust my staff to my staff and clients
  • When was the last time the cleaning lady GPSed herself in and out of my home? Umm, never.
  • Just another time suck in my daily working chores. Who has time to check into all of that? (Olivia needs me!) 
  • If you are using it “in case you are audited” The burden of proof is on them (auditor), not you.
  • It encourages clients to be obsessed with the details of our work. Creating monsters.
  • It encourages numbers. When I am trying to sell more value and less price, I feel this puts us right back at nit picking. {Ain’t no one got time for that!}
  • If I won’t be monitoring it every day, what’s the point?

 

To all the all the pet sitters who love the GPS feature:

I want to be fair and show both sides of the coin. Just because I don’t believe in it for my company doesn’t mean that others can’t use it and I can’t help them.

{See? No judgment here. I have my way of doing things, you have yours }

If you are a company that has this feature, why not use it in your marketing and really set yourself apart from the competition?

Why not highlight that you have this feature and show how you are different? In a world where everyone is a pet sitter and business owners are complaining about all the hobby sitters popping up in their area, be the professional.

 

gps pet sitting business

This could be front and center on your website. Be a show off, now is the time! This is all marketing and that clients that is coming to your website, want to feel the reassurance that you “get it.”  Having this feature will help ease their mind.

Now, I have a free gift for you.

 

4 ways you can sell the GPS feature: 

Been Burned By Your Pet Sitter?
Run a campaign about loosing trust in a pet sitter. Then come in to save the day with the GPS features. In fact, if you email clients after the initial phone call, you might want to consider writing an email that talks about this feature to those callers who “My pet sitter canceled on me”  “I don’t think my pet sitter ever came when she say she did” etc.

Know When Your Pet Sitter Is There!
Real time check ins so you know exactly what time your sitter arrived and departed. No need to guess how much time you dog’s bladder has until you are home.

Cancel Your Security Off/On Feature!
Paying extra to know when your alarm is turned on and off so you know when the pet sitter is there? (Come on, you know when YOU turn it on and off, right?) Well cancel that add on and breathe a sigh of relief knowing when your pet sitter is there!

Add On GPS Feature!
This is the tactic you use if you are a dog walking company who wants to earn extra monthly revenue. For a monthly add on, you give clients the option of having this feature turned “on” or “off”for their visits.

 

Back To You:

Now it is your turn. In the comments below, tell me what you think about the GPS features. Do you like it? Hate it? Not sure? Does it work well in your business? Did you switch companies to get it? Sound off below. I want to hear from you!