Pets at Home helps more owners create a happy home for their pets with Salesforce.

Pets at Home helps more owners create a happy home for their pets with Salesforce.

Time to read: 6 minutes

Pet ownership in the UK has hit an all-time high, with 62% of households hosting at least one animal companion. As a result, consumer spending on pet food and related products has also soared, reaching an annual value of £9.6 billion in 2021. But the pet care industry can no longer take future growth for granted. The cost of living crisis is putting owners under greater financial pressure, with the RSPCA reporting a 24% rise in pets being abandoned during 2022 as people struggle to feed and care for their animals.

Pets at Home has always prioritised affordability – and it’s now doubling down on this strategy. To avoid passing price increases on to customers, Pets at Home is putting even greater emphasis on efficiency as it strives to proactively manage the inflationary pressures impacting its operations. “By continuing to invest in digital technologies, we can unlock new efficiencies and new opportunities to drive growth,” said Lisette Boyd, Director of Customer Services and Digital Operations for Pets at Home.

Pets at Home is already blazing a trail in using technology to help boost productivity and profitability – especially within its customer care operation. For example, it has implemented an AI-powered chatbot that helped reduce contact volumes by 50,000 in just three months. And there are more innovations and efficiency gains to come: Pets at Home hopes to free up time of 12- 18 full-time equivalent team members for other value driving customer facing activities, by introducing robotic process automation.

Read on to discover more about how smarter technologies, simpler processes, and richer insights are helping Pets at Home drive efficient growth and delight millions of customers across the UK.

Lisette Boyd, Director of Customer Services and Digital Operations, Pets at Home

Achieving stronger growth with greater digitalisation.

Pets at Home has an impressive track record in driving efficient growth: in just 30 years, its footprint has expanded to include 450+ stores and hundreds of Groom Room salons and vet practices across the UK. And the company wants to maintain this momentum by helping more pets and their owners enjoy happy lives together. “Pet welfare is our top priority and at the heart of everything that we do,” said Boyd. “Through our unique combination of products, services, and expertise, we make pet care more rewarding, convenient, and affordable for millions of owners.”

The Pets at Home combination is not only unique, but also very popular: the retailer attracted a further 1.2 million new puppy and kitten customers in the year ending March 2022, which contributed to a 15.3% increase in the group’s revenue. The number of active members in its VIP club, which provides access to special offers, trusted advice, and lost pet alerts, also hit a record 7.6 million at the end of 2022.

Pets at Home’s digital transformation has played an important role in boosting its customer base and balance sheet – and will be critical to driving future growth. Implementing a single trusted CRM platform was an important first step in Pets at Home’s digital journey. “We needed a new CRM system to deliver on our customer care strategy,” explained Boyd. “We want to empower our colleagues to have value-added conversations with customers that span their entire relationship, not just a single transaction.

Pets at Home implemented Salesforce in May 2021 with support from Salesforce Professional Services, part of the Customer Success Group. And it’s become much more than just a CRM platform: Salesforce also helps Pets at Home boost operational efficiency, safeguard the wellbeing of its staff, and accelerate innovation. “Thanks to our partnership with Salesforce, we can be relentless in our pursuit of delivering the best outcomes and the best experiences for our colleagues and customers,” said Boyd.

Lisette Boyd, Director of Customer Services and Digital Operations, Pets at Home

Providing personalised and proactive customer services at scale.

From automation and AI to chatbots and knowledge resources, Pets at Home is constantly finding new ways to blaze a trail in customer service excellence and efficiency. Service Cloud is at the heart of the company’s customer care operation and has helped Pets at Home streamline the customer experience. For example, it has cut live chat average handling times by 85 seconds per chat in 12 months and reduced the volume of weekly contacts by around 5,000. “We want to make things easy for both our customers and our colleagues,” said Boyd. “With Service Cloud, we can free up our people to spend more time providing support to owners and their pets when they need it most.”

The 90-strong customer care team manages around 90,000 cases per month, with an agent handling an average of nine contacts per hour with an average speed to answer of 30 seconds for phone-based contacts. The customer care records in Service Cloud are combined with VIP club profiles to provide visibility of purchases, marketing interactions, as well as pets’ names and ages. “With Service Cloud, we can build an instant rapport with a customer,” said Emily Dickinson, Crisis Escalation and Executive Resolution Leader for Pets at Home.

To boost service quality and agent productivity, Pets at Home is increasingly using automated workflows and digital channels across its customer care operation. As a result, it can now provide an automated response to 18% of customer care contacts. “With Service Cloud, we can encourage people to use the channels that deliver the fastest response, highest satisfaction, and lowest cost to serve,” said Boyd. Live chat ticks all these boxes. The company’s Trustpilot score rose from 2.7 to 4.2 within four months of the launch of online chat, which is powered by Service Cloud’s Live Agent. Agent satisfaction ratings also increased from 4 to 4.2. “With live chat, we can provide customers with a richer experience. It also presents us with more upselling and cross-selling opportunities,” added Boyd.

The customer care team handles around 9,000 live chat contacts per week – many of which are now picked up by an Einstein Agent chatbot. The introduction of live chat made it easier for Pets at Home to respond to peaks in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic as it meant agents could handle multiple customer interactions at the same time. “At one point, we were receiving 40,000+ contacts per week instead of 25,000,” revealed Boyd. “We set a target to reduce our contacts by 75,000 in a year; we hit 50,000 in just over three months.”

To help colleagues find the right answer faster, Pets at Home created 500+ knowledge articles in Service Cloud. “We can now locate information in a few seconds instead of having to spend several minutes referring to different sources,” said Dickinson. Service Cloud’s knowledge features also make it easier for Pets at Home to share information about product recalls and company initiatives, such as the launch of its new VIP mobile app.



of customer care
responses automated



contacts eliminated in
three months with chatbot



reduction in handling time
for some customer cases

Boosting visibility and value with one trusted platform.

Pets at Home uses Tableau to help visualise the 23 million customer records captured in Service Cloud along with VIP Club information and other operational datasets hosted in the Google Cloud. By combining the power of Tableau with its own algorithms, Pets at Home can predict customer preferences and responsiveness to specific campaigns and identify those most at risk of churn.

Consolidating and in-sourcing its CRM data has helped Pets at Home increase the average customer spend, identify new value creation opportunities, and drive 70% growth in subscription plans since 2020. The number of subscription plans across the group, which provide owners with essential pet care at a low, fixed monthly cost, hit 1.6 million at the end of 2022, generating over £135 million in annualised recurring consumer revenue. “Richer insights enable us to identify new ways to better serve our customers,” said Boyd.

Pets at Home also uses Service Cloud’s analytics capabilities to interrogate customer data and generate operational reports. This means customer care team leaders can evaluate agent performance and productivity on a daily basis. “With Service Cloud, we can allocate the right resources at the right time,” explained Dickinson. “It helps us minimise response times for customers and keep track of our SLAs.”

Lisette Boyd, Director of Customer Services and Digital Operations, Pets at Home

Increasing colleague productivity and wellbeing.

Pets at Home wants to ensure it maintains a balance between the productivity and wellbeing of its 15,000+ plus colleagues and joint venture partners for veterinary services. “For many people, pets are an extension of their family. And that means there can be a lot of emotion attached to customer interactions,” said Boyd. “We need to ensure our people are supported.”

With Service Cloud, Pets at Home can share customer feedback with vet practices at the right time and screen any inappropriate comments. “We receive customer emails 24x7. With Service Cloud, we can send an immediate acknowledgement but only pass the message on to a practice during working hours,” explained Jo Mitchell, Partner Communications and Client Care Manager for Pets at Home.

With the vet group accounting for one third of the company’s overall profits, customer satisfaction and retention are also a big focus. Pets at Home has a dedicated team of veterinary nurses that handle around 2,000 enquiries and complaints per week. Service Cloud has helped automate how these cases are logged and resolved. For example, online chat queries are categorised and routed using a chatbot, while web forms are automatically linked to a customer’s existing record.

Prior to deploying Service Cloud, the team had to enter customer data multiple times in multiple systems – this took around 11 minutes for every email contact. New contacts are now logged almost instantaneously. “With Service Cloud, we can respond to owners more rapidly, which can be critical if a pet’s health is at risk,” said Mitchell. “It helps us achieve more with the same resource.”

The data captured in Service Cloud enables Pets at Home to track trends and case volumes for its veterinary services more efficiently. “Instead of relying on spreadsheets, we now have a dedicated dashboard that enables us to pinpoint and address issues that might impact the wider business,” added Mitchell.

Joe Mitchell, Partner Communications and Client Care Manager, Pets at Home

Accelerating innovation and continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement is embedded in the Pets at Home culture – especially within customer care. “Every case generates around 30 data fields that we use to run reports and identify opportunities for improvement,” explained Boyd. These insights have already prompted Pets at Home to improve how it categorises cases to enable faster resolutions. But this is just the beginning.

With changes released every two weeks, there’s a raft of initiatives in the pipeline – from establishing a stronger link between the in-store and customer care experience to implementing robotic process automation (RPA) to provide customers with real-time order updates via live chat. “With RPA, we will be able to provide customers with a rapid response without needing to involve an agent,” said Boyd. “It will help lower our cost to serve.” Boyd estimates that using RPA for order enquiries could free up between 12 and 18 full-time equivalent team members.

Pets at Home also uses Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, to understand how to better leverage technology within customer care and expand the team’s Salesforce and CRM expertise. When a new initiative goes live, the customer care team is the first to know if it’s been a success. “The data captured in Salesforce enables us to see how a change, such as the introduction of a new delivery partner, impacts the customer experience,” explained Boyd.

To help achieve its continuous improvement objectives, Pets at Home works with Salesforce Professional Services and Salesforce partner CGI. “For us, improving the customer experience never stops,” said Boyd. “Salesforce Professional Services helps us explore new ideas and implement new features. We’re not just a customer; we’re part of a community that adds value and shares best practices.”

Lisette Boyd, Director of Customer Services and Digital Operations, Pets at Home


By unlocking greater efficiency, Pets at Home will be able to maintain its reputation for quality and affordability. “The UK is a nation of animal lovers, and we want to ensure we continue to make pet care as easy and convenient as possible,” said Boyd. “With Salesforce, we can expand our data and digital capabilities to deliver greater value to millions of pet owners.”

More Resources


Do you have questions? We help you on your way.

Ask about our products, prices, implementation or anything else. Our experts are ready for you.