For 30 years, The Pet Loss Center (now, Fond Memories Pet Cemetery & Crematorium) has used compassion and kindness to care for families dealing with the passing of a cherished pet. A family-owned-and-operated company with 11 locations across Texas, they offer cremation and pet memorial services in partnership with veterinarian offices and directly to families.
Helping families facing the loss of a beloved pet requires the utmost compassion and sensitivity. Customers often experience overwhelming emotion and need guidance through a difficult process to reach reconciliation and comfort with their loss. The Center’s brand is built upon trust, dignity, and respect. The business owners were generally concerned about customer service, operating on the assumption that every employee provides the same sensitive, compassionate touchpoints with pet families experiencing loss from their very first interaction. They needed assurance that every employee was handling customers with sensitivity and the empathy owners expected. At the same time, the owners were looking to expand their business to new markets and provide new services. They needed competitive insights to inform their decision-making.
Coleen Ellis of The Pet Loss Center wanted to validate her assumption that the first interactions her team has with potential or existing clients were what she expected after rigorous training on phone protocols. “…you won’t know the truth unless you inspect what you expect. Cheryl and her team are the key to making sure that you truly do have them at hello.” Coleen engaged ARC to design a comprehensive mystery shopping and call analysis program. ARC’s team worked closely with Coleen and team to design call evaluation forms and scoring guidelines to serve two goals:
- Call each of the 11 locations quarterly to evaluate employees specifically on sensitivity to customer needs and empathy, among other call metrics.
- Contact competitor locations in different markets to gather pricing and service data to inform a market analysis for possible strategic expansions.
Coleen was relieved to learn that the customer experience was what she expected:
- Sensitivity to customers’ needs and displaying empathy: 85.7% to 100%
- General communication skills: 89.9% to 96.8%
“Don’t leave this important aspect to chance and assumption!” says Coleen, who used the data to “do immediate course corrections and make sure every phone call was handled in the same way, according to the expectations and deliverables! The ROI is inevitable when you KNOW the answers!” And, as for expansion, in 2017 they acquired a similar company growing their base, locations, and services, rebranding as Fond Memories Pet Cemetery & Crematorium. The Pet Loss Center was acquired by Gateway in 2020 and joined their growing company.