When people talk about “building a business,” they don’t usually mean literally building it from the ground up. But after an electrical fire burned the original School for the Dogs studio space down in December of 2013, that’s what professional dog trainers and School for the Dogs co-founders Anna Jane Grossman and Kate Senisi had to do.
“Right around when we were making the switch to Pike13, our studio burned down,” says Anna Jane. “The dog-training space was part of my home, so I had no place to live. We had to find a new studio space that was going to work for us, and a new home for me. It was not the best time.” Fortunately, they soon found a funky new space that suited their and their clients’ unique needs and, with the help of Pike13, were able to keep their business up and running.
Anna Jane and Kate first discovered Pike13 at the Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference. Anna Jane says prior to making the switch to Pike13, they found their software to be very frustrating. “I think in our first year, we logged over 80 customer support calls with MINDBODY, and each call took about 20-30 minutes,” says Anna Jane, “It was annoying because there were so many things about using the product that were difficult to understand.”
Setting up their Pike13 business was a walk in the park, especially compared to the MINDBODY experience. Anna Jane tells us that the onboarding process was much simpler and the Customer Success team was great to work with—helping School for the Dogs get their account up and running in a way that was customized to their business. “It felt like Pike13 was delivering a product that was made for us rather than us having to try to just make some other product work,” explains Anna Jane.
Once settled in their new space, Anna Jane and Kate used Pike13 to manage schedules for multiple trainers, allow clients to register for accounts, and book appointments directly from their website. The duo received many compliments from clients on the new process and noted that using Pike13 “made it seem like we’re bigger than we actually are,” which was a good thing as their client base grew.
In addition to online scheduling and booking, a Pike13 feature Anna Jane and Kate find crucial to their financial success is the ability to take credit card information and allow people to pre-pay for sessions. Because they require a credit card to create an account, Anna Jane says that they have a very low cancellation or no-show rate–3% according to their Pike13 report–which is hard to do in their industry.
“It felt like Pike13 was delivering a product that was made for us rather than us having to try to just make some other product work.”
They also like that clients now have the ability to browse trainers’ schedules depending on their specific needs. For instance, someone with a puppy could search specifically for puppy-training availability. Anna Jane says that 90% of their return customers book their next visits online—saving time and increasing efficiency for both parties.
With Pike13 giving dog owners an easy way to discover, register for, and manage their pet’s training, School for the Dogs can focus their attention on delivering great, personalized service to their canine clients and their owners. That kind of behavior is so good it deserves a treat.
Anna Jane likes using Pike13 to make owners’ lives simpler: “I think what’s missing with a lot of trainers is that their entire focus is on the dogs,” explains Anna Jane. “Our business doesn’t overlook the human experience—the dog owners are not an afterthought.”