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Policy for Multiple Requests for the Same Dates?

asked 2015-02-11 11:15:10 -0500

Hi all,

We do not accept dogs from multiple owners at the same time and have had several instances lately of requests coming in for the same dates. We've had trouble figuring out what the best policy is because we've been burned by holding out for the first request and turning down the latter -- twice we've had the first request change their mind before booking.

Our current situation is this: -- We got a request yesterday for a stay next month from a potentially new client with whom we have not yet had a meet and greet. She has requested a meet and greet for next Thursday. -- This morning, we got a request from a repeat client for the same dates. Obviously we know that her pups are a good fit as they've already stayed with us.

So do I go with the first request, hoping that the meet and greet goes well and that they follow through with a booking, or do I go ahead and book a repeat client who was the second request?

What are your policies, fellow sitters?

Thanks!

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3 Answers

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answered 2015-03-18 11:59:02 -0500

I take dogs from multiple clients pretty much every week but if I get multiple requests that pushes me over my limit (5 boarders) than I always book return clients to be sure they continue using me. If all the requests are from New clients then it's a first come first serve basis.

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answered 2015-03-19 14:36:38 -0500

There is a new feature called 'Flexible Availability' on your calendar page. See the attached image here - In your case, you would need to select NO.

image description

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answered 2015-02-11 12:15:50 -0500

Ooh, that's a tough situation. My current policy is that I'll give an owner 48 hours to reply to communications so long as the process is moving towards a booking. So after I reply to their first inquiry, they have 2 days to respond to that, etc. If a M&G is set up, they'd have 2 more days after the completion of the M&G to book (though I'll usually initiate the booking as soon as the M&G ends if we're really interested in watching the dog) and then they'll have until the booking request expires. If the new client has so far been responsive, I'd go this route, esp since the M&G is tomorrow and the stay isn't until next month. I'm sure your return client will be willing to wait a couple days for a response.

On the other hand, generally return clients are easier than new clients since they already know you and your house, and you know what to expect from them, so it would also make sense if you wanted to favor returning clients with your policy. I would still go through with the M&G tomorrow, but use the return client as a comparison and ask which dog is a better fit for your household. If the new dog seems like more of a handful you could politely decline, explaining that he/she just won't be a good match. If, however, the new dog seems like as good, or a better match than your return customer, it might be worth saying yes to them and referring your return client to another sitter in the hopes that you'll wind up with two compatible return clients in the future.

And if this kind of situation is happening regularly, you can always go to your calendar page and switch your settings to only accept return clients.

Sorry this isn't more helpful.. thankfully it hasn't come up much for me yet (though we have two open slots and all of our returning clients only have one dog), but I don't envy your position one bit! Let us know what you end up doing, please!

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Oh, I also meant to add that if I were ever to refer a returning client, I'd be sure to give them a discount on their next stay, even so much as a night free, to ensure they continue to book with me in the future.

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2015-02-11 12:20:44 -0500 )edit

Thanks, Laura! Oddly enough this situation has happened 3 times since we started booking in Nov. We decided to schedule the 1st client's requested M&G for next Thurs (2/19) and told our repeat/2nd request client we would get back to her ASAP to let her know if 1st books or not. Thanks for your help!

Ashley G.'s profile imageAshley G. ( 2015-02-11 15:06:27 -0500 )edit

Yikes! We don't frequently have overlapping stays here (only a couple times in the almost year we've been using Rover) , though we took a break during the busiest months over the summer and this year is definitely looking busier than last now that we have a reputation. I imagine that even with our two slots we'll likely find ourselves in this scenario sometime soon. Thankfully our returning clients book way in advance, so they're unlikely to have to compete for their spots, but as our business grows that may not always be the case. Definitely worth thinking about how we'll handle it sooner rather than later!

Laura R.'s profile imageLaura R. ( 2015-02-11 22:22:08 -0500 )edit

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