Pet sitters are more than just the “dog lady” who comes by three times a week to walk Fluffy. Oftentimes, they also become honorary family members in a pet’s life. The right pet sitter will be the right fit, not just for pets, but also their owners. That means, they should have the patience and endurance to deal with a wide variety of clients, including needy clients.
Put Yourself in Their Position
As a pet sitter, does it irritate you when you receive half a dozen texts or emails each week from the same client, checking up on how their Russian Blue is getting along? Do you wish they would simply leave you alone to get on with your job? If so, it can be hard to look at things from a different perspective. However, that is exactly what you should try to do.
Do not be quick to judge a pet owner whose primary concern is for their pet. Of course, they may well be checking up on you. But even if that is the case, the motive is normally to make sure that their pet is in safe, capable hands. So if a client anxiously gets in touch and wants a blow-by-blow account of your last visit with their cat or dog, do all that you can to accommodate them. After all, they are paying you for your services.
Many clients are needy due to advancing age and infirmity or bad experiences with a previous pet sitter. Make allowances for situations you know about, and for those that you are not aware of, try not to think the worst. The next time an elderly client checks in on when you are returning, resist the urge to roll your eyes and let them know when you are coming by. Offer to write your appointment on their calendar or to leave a note as a visual reminder.
Even if a client continues to exhibit needy tendencies and will not back off right away, your patience and continued professionalism in providing the very best in pet care can ease a client’s mind and imbue them with confidence in your abilities.
Have a Quiet Word
Sometimes, even after the best of efforts, you will not be able to curb a needy client’s ways. If you are finding it a challenge to work for a needy client and you have not been able to reassure them, you should have a quiet word with them.
Be frank, honest and polite as you mention your concerns. But rather than getting upset, you should ask clients what more you can do to reassure them that you will still be coming by next week at the usual time. Brainstorm some practical ideas together and put these into practice.
Needy clients can be a challenge to work for. However, you should not allow needy clients to make life difficult for you. Try to look at things from their point of view. Look at how you can make things easier on them and do not hesitate to have a quiet word if you feel that all other attempts have failed.
More from this contributor:
Pet Sitters: Are Clients Dictating How You Run Your Business?
Pet Sitters: How to Maintain a Positive View of Clients
Pet Sitters: Should You Chase Clients for More Work?