Time Limits and Waiting Lists?

asked 2015-08-15 09:51:42 -0500

Due to the high volume (for me!) of requests I got for boarding last Christmas, I started using a waitlist. Basically, the client would have 24 hours to respond to my offer for a spot, before I archived their request and moved onto the next owner on the list. Make sense? I haven't had to implement that system since then, but I'm wondering if any of you set an...expiration date in your initial response to the client?

Quick answers from clients only seems to be a need if you've got last minute requests (less than one week) coming in, and a day or two of lag could mean the difference between getting hired and getting passed over.

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To clarify: You are contacting previous clients, extending them the opportunity to utilize your services over Christmas (or other holiday). You are going down your client list one by one and giving them 24 hours to respond before asking the next client. I just want to make sure I understand because I may use something similar this holiday.

Carmen C.'s profile imageCarmen C. ( 2015-08-15 14:19:58 -0500 )edit

Not quite. Say Suzy requests boarding Dec 20-28 (peak travel season), then Bob asks for 21-26, and Jewel asks for 23-31. Suzy goes silent during initial communication, and I risk losing either Bob or Jewel if she doesn't respond, and I can't give them my availability.

Leighann H.'s profile imageLeighann H. ( 2015-08-15 15:51:08 -0500 )edit

Ah! Now I understand! Excellent idea!

Carmen C.'s profile imageCarmen C. ( 2015-08-15 17:42:56 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

answered 2015-08-15 23:21:35 -0500

I guess I haven't gone this far, but I do operate on a somewhat "first come, first served" basis, and let clients know when other requests are pending. For example, I currently have 3 pending requests for Labor Day weekend. I have a meet-up scheduled for the first, and have told the second and third that I'm meeting with a potential client soon and will let them know if that falls through.

Good, regular clients will book far in advance. I've had two regular clients message me about Christmas week already ((1) it's AUGUST...thank you for planning as much as I do :) (2) which, unfortunately, I am out of town for). I told them I was unavailable for Christmas specifically, but am in town for Thanksgiving and New Year, so if they are going to be needing a sitter for those, book them ASAP so they "beat the crowd."

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answered 2015-08-15 17:48:31 -0500

Now that I understand the question, I think it would be a great idea to let holiday/busy season clients know up front that the opportunity for you to host their pets has an expiration period.

Something along the lines of, "Thank you so much for contacting me! I would be happy to host your pet; however, due to the busy nature of this season, please confirm your reservation within 24 hours." - Then, if you hear nothing, follow up a few hours before their 'expiration' to remind them.

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