The ask: 

To revamp the customer experience. 

The research:

Primary: for our primary research, we sent out a survey, held interviews and a focus group to test the current costumer experience including web navigation, handouts and offerings, and to test the current customer perception of the brand and the category. 

Secondary: for our secondary research, we looked at consumer and industry databases to explore consumer trends and preferences. 

Findings & insights:

Brain imaging studies have shown that mothers respond to pictures of their pets the same way they respond to pictures of their children. Pets are no longer just pets, they are family. Because of this and the poor reputation of the category, the process of leaving pets at a new boarding facility is filled with doubt, anxiety and guilt. Customers want to make sure they are making the right decision for their family members and they need to ensure the facility they choose meets their personal standards of care. 

After calling both locations, going through the enrolling process and testing the current customer experience with a focus group, we found that the current experience did a great job at emphasizing the importance of the pet, but on the human end, it was falling short. The paint points of the consumer were not being addressed and the current experience was increasing their anxiety by having too many options/ handouts to choose from and by not having a digital component to the enrolling process. Overall, consumers found the process to be long, inconvenient and confusing. In addition, employees were having to fill out physical sheets for each new enrollment, which hindered them from focusing on the customer experience.

The solution:

In order to make the experience more convenient for the consumer, we streamlined the process by reducing the marketing materials from ten sheets to one double sided handout. We did this by breaking down the descriptions to the main points and making an á la carte menu with options to choose from the most popular packages. We also improved the web experience by adding better descriptions of each package, a chat function, a sign-in feature and an online reservation system for booking. The reservation feature includes a quiz that will reduce the physical sheets employees will have to fill out during enrollment and will allow customers to create an online profile which they could access in the future. 

We also wanted to refocus the way the company was communicating to the public by emphasizing on their strengths. This meant focusing their Instagram posts on their partnerships, employees and community involvement, in addition to displaying the dogs and cats staying at the resort. Our recommendations also included events in the area including proceeds nights benefiting one of their non-profit partners and grocery store activations featuring peel to heal displays, encouraging people to donate canned foods for dogs and cats in need. 

After our presentation, we were asked to present again to the corporate team. A few months later, several of our recommendations were implemented:

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Team members: Mark Gozzo (Creative Brand Management), Ryan Conner (Creative Brand Management), Sally Zhang (Creative Brand Management) & Rachel Street (Creative Brand Management); Illustrations created by Ariana Safari (Art Director)