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Providing pet-sitting services in Newcastle for 25 years. Estd.1992   
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Advice To Visitors

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This is the second of two pieces written for Visitors about Client Relations, taken from an article written for the Paws Indoors Visitor network..


Maintaining Good Relations

A few techniques for developing and maintaining good relations with your client..


(The original version of this article read: 'On The Telphone', well there was no text or email at the time!)

Make sure you respond promptly to any client messages passed to you through your Co-ordinator.

Be clear in your messages, precise and to the point.

Do not double up on calls that your Co-ordinator has made to your client, for example where your Co-ordinator has called a Registered client to confirm a pending series of visits do not then do the same, this will appear unprofessional and will confuse the client.

Unusual Requests: (additional notes)

You may occasionally have to deal with an unusual request from your client. If you are unsure as to whether or not the request falls within the scope of Paws Indoors services you need to be prepared to say so to your client.

Explain to the client that the request is an unusual one and that you are not sure what the procedure is in this regard. Tell them that you can not give an answer immediately and that you will speak to your Co-ordinator.

Make sure you do - and that you promptly get back in touch with the client with an answer.

If the client objects, explain that you do not know if you are allowed to agree to the request under the terms of your Licence. There may be additional costs or risks associated with the request which you need to clarify.

Leaving Visit Reports:

Some Visitors enjoy writing reports for their clients, others may not, just as some clients may request a report and others will not. You must decide what to do. But here are some reasons for writing reports - and they can be divided into two groups, (of course!):

1. The Report is a practical tool for assisting you to carry out your work more effectively:

  • enabling you to assess the well being of animals in your care.

  • providing evidence of your visits and your actions and to assist any other person authorised to enter the property during the period of the booking.

  • 2. The Report is also a tool for demonstrating your professionalism and marketing your business:

  • providing your client with a tangible item (something to hold!), for them to read on their return.

  • providing a demonstration to the client of the professional manner in which you carried out the work.

  • helping to promote your service through word of mouth marketing.

  • assisting your case in the event of any accusation of negligence.

  • (For full details on how to write Reports see Vol. II, #.1).

    Relationship Breakdowns

    Some causes of a breakdown in the Client/Visitor relationship.

    You provide a poor quality service or you are neglectful in your duties.

    You change visit times without prior consent from the client.

    Client changes the nature of a booking without prior agreement on both sides - visit times, tasks to be carried out.

    Client makes repeated changes to the above.

    Poor exchange of information between client, Co-ordinator and Visitor leaving one or more parties confused about arrangements.

    Client expectations raised unreasonably by the Visitor.

    Client is slow to pay for services.

    Client discovers an alternative more competitive or better quality service elsewhere.

    Price Changes

    Introducing new prices to the client.

    This can be a difficult area for the Visitor - especially if by necessity the change is a substantial increase or the client is already having difficulty coping with existing costs.

    Do not be tempted to waive any charges - the prices are set at the levels they are for very good reasons. If you were to cut them, not only would you be storing up financial troubles for the future of your business but you would be in breach of your Licence.

    Additionally you would be introducing discrepancies in costs between clients.

    When a price change is due we will give you at least 30 days notice. Many of your Registered clients will be notified automatically via a notice on their previous invoices.

    Your Co-ordinator will notify new clients and irregular users of the service at the enquiry stage.

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