Most dog walking companies start based on a love of animals, but many times these entrepreneurs are challenged with creating a scalable model that allows for continued growth after experiencing small business success. In 2011 when James Woller and Craig Pollack took over Release the Hounds, a small yet successful dog walking company, they realized that in order to expand the business quickly they would need to move away from paper based processes. Release the Hounds was using handwritten timetables and spreadsheets to manage client records and track neighborhood walks, making it difficult for each walker to have the most up-to-date schedule and regularly left them with extra capacity on each walk. The new owners saw an opportunity to ditch this outdated process and embrace technology to create a closer connection with their walkers and four-legged clients while maximizing their growth opportunity. Release the Hounds turned to Salesforce to create a fully integrated database of customers, scheduling and billing to limit time spent on administrative tasks. They created a profile on each dog using Chatter that allowed walkers to access information such as, veterinary records, medical details and behavioral notes right from their mobile device. Easy access to this information helps dog walkers pick the right trails and create a tailored experience to suit the individual needs of each furry friend.
To ensure each walk is as full as possible, Release the Hounds uses Salesforce to identify which walks have available spots and then sends out a weekly special offer via email to customers nearby, which drives client satisfaction and maximizes attendance on each route. Now walkers can easily access their schedule and make updates to client profiles in real-time using their mobile device. Moving from a paper based system to a digital hub on Salesforce has allowed Release the Hounds to simplify their administrative and logistical processes giving the owners more time to focus on their vision for the business and passion for pups. “Just as humans have different needs and preferences, so do dogs,” said James Woller, Operating Partner, Release the Hounds. “Salesforce helps us cater to these individual needs right from the trail, where each walker has access to information that helps us create an unparalleled experience for our customers. The result is that we are better connected with our customers and our business continues to grow at exponential rates.” In less than two years after implementing Salesforce, Release the Hounds has doubled their daily number of dog walks making it one of the largest and most trusted dog care companies in Vancouver. Salesforce has helped transform this pen and paper based business into an industry leader with a scalable business model and vision to expand across North America by integrating sales, service, marketing and finance into one platform, accessible from anywhere on any device.