Stop This 4-Letter Word and Have More Peace in Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

by Kristin Morrison on June 27, 2014

in Dog walker business tips,Dog walking business tips,Pet sitter business tips,pet sitting business tips

right textFor the past couple of years I’ve been hearing a 4-letter word that causes so much stress for pet sitters and dog walkers.

Here is the word: TEXT.

Texting from clients (at all hours of the day and night) and texting from staff (also at all hours of the day and night) infuriates many pet business owners.

And of course the pet owners expect an instant response because that pet care provider has responded at all hours of the day and night in the past. It’s hard not to. Can you really just sit there at 11pm and NOT respond to a text you’ve read? It’s tough.

But training your clients and staff is like training a dog: you have to train people on what works for you and what doesn’t. When you respond to client and staff texts at 11pm, it causes your clients and staff to send more texts at 11pm (or later, egads!)

Here’s the thing with the texting: Many pet business owners keep allowing it to happen, even though they dislike it so much.

They (mistakenly) assume their clients will leave them if they stop offering texting as a method of communication. They (mistakenly) assume that as a business they have to offer texting as a form of communication to their clients and staff.

Nope. You don’t.

And if you stop allowing your clients to text you, you will be AMAZED at how much more peace you feel.

I promise.

Here’s how to stop your clients and staff from texting you:

1. Alert your clients and staff via email that starting today, texting is no longer a viable form of communication. We’ve all had the experience of texts getting lost or not delivered to the right person so you can use that as an ‘excuse’ if you need one. Let them know you can be reached at your office phone number or email. Remind them of your office hours.

2. When clients or staff members do text you (and they probably will as it’ll be a habit especially if they’ve been texting you for years), don’t text a reply. That just reinforces the ‘bad behavior’. Call or email them to remind them that you no longer accept texts and to please email or call your office going forward.

3. If, after a few weeks, large amounts of your clients can’t seem to stop texting you then I recommend looking into changing your cell phone number and getting a business landline or a new cell phone. (They don’t need to know it’s a cell phone. In fact, if they know, you’ll be recreating what you just worked so hard to change.) Obviously, changing your business number is a last resort but one that will work very well if the texting is out of control and you see no light at the end of the tunnel even after you’ve done the steps above. You can then send out an email stating your new number and that it will not accept texts going forward. That will nip it in the bud.

4. If you feel that you simply must keep texting your clients and staff (and it annoys you that you must) then set firm office hours and put your cell phone in the closet during non-office hours.

5. If you do need to get a new phone line (or simply upgrade the one you have), I highly recommend this phone service: Ooma.com. It is fantastic! Here’s some of what I love about it: it’s super easy to set up, the Ooma box plugs right into your wall jack and Voila! You are ready to go.

The business phone service is under $20 per month (the personal phone service is only $4 a month!) There are too many great features that Ooma offers to mention here so I recommend that you check them out if your current business landline is too expensive (mine was over $100 a month before I switched to Ooma) and/or if you need to create a new phone line.

Wishing you a wonderful (and text-free!) weekend,

~Kristin

Share Button

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethsfriends August 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I love the advice you’ve given-very smart! I do NOT love, however, the fact that you’re promoting a specific phone company (Ooma) when thats not what petcare companies do! Ive owned my petcare business since 2005, & I would never promote (publically, on my website) any other business, regardless of the area of work. If you have a friend, family member or client who specifically shows interest in that area, THAT is the proper time to suggest said company for their services…thats my opinion. You had a very interesting site…right up until that point.

Reply

Kristin Morrison August 6, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Hi Beth,

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I respect your opinion and value your feedback and appreciate you taking the time to write.

I wanted to share with you that I VERY rarely promote companies and even then, only if I believe in the company and the product wholeheartedly.

I have personally tried the Ooma phone and am a believer in Ooma! It’s easy to set up and has saved me over $100/month in what I was paying in phone charges.

That’s why I highly recommend it on my blog and to my pet sitting coaching clients. I referred to Ooma as a possible option in my blog post because I was writing about phone services and wanted to give pet sitters an option that I believe in and know will be of use to them.

I included Ooma in my blog so pet sitters could be educated about that option if they feel the need to explore a different phone service than the one they have. And they can also save a lot of money in the process. 🙂

Wishing you much success in your pet sitting business and again, thanks for your comments, Beth.

Kristin from http://www.SFPSA.com
PS-I received nothing from Ooma for promoting them in my blog.

Reply

Kelly Hall August 7, 2014 at 8:44 am

Kristen, I want to thank you for this article. I use text mainly as a way to provide a quick daily report to vacationing clients. I have set office hours (8 am-8pm) and do not answer text except those hours. So far it has not been a problem for me. I can see value in emails because they are easier to print out, and the need to get away from the phone! Mentioning a good alternative to regular phone service was a brilliant idea! In many of the pet sitting groups I belong to on Facebook, we freely share with each other specific things may help each other. Thank you for your valuable advice.

Reply

Kristin Morrison August 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Hi there, Kelly! Sounds like you are running your business in a very smart way so you are running your business rather than your business running you. Setting those boundaries with office hours is so empowering and allows you to have a life. Good work! And thanks for the comment about sharing resources. As I mentioned in my earlier comment, I only do it if I believe 100% in the product or service that I’m referring to pet sitters and dog walkers. Who and what we refer reflects back on us and I aim to have all my referrals be something valuable and helpful for pet sitters. 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: