My name is Corinne and I'm a manager at Walk it Like a Dog in Philly. I’ve been using Scout since the very beginning. For transparency, my boss is a founder at Scout.
Before Scout, I used another pet-sitting website where I spent a lot of time managing the schedule and trying to keep up communication with staff and customers. Since switching over to Scout, I save a lot of time, which means I get to do what I love: playing with dogs and cats! Here are a few ways Scout helps me do that:
Drag and Drop Scheduling
Drag and drop in the schedule makes it easier to change the time of an appointment and the walker assigned to it. I love being able to compare my staff’s schedules side-by-side in a visually appealing, easy-to-understand interface. All the appointments are clearly color-coded by the different filters you can choose from: scheduled, canceled, late, in progress, and completed.
GPS + Photo Check-In Process
Scout has a great check-in process. First of all, there aren't any special magnets or things you have to search for to check in. Don't even get me started! When you press a button at the front door, the app uses GPS to make sure the walker is at the right location and alerts the walker if they’re too far away.
At this point, if there is an alarm you're about to set off, it pops up on the screen so you can't miss it, and you don't have to dig around for it. This is a real life-saver because there have been many times as a walker I wasn't aware of an alarm and set it off before being able to find the notes. This is about the time when the police show up! Kicking off the check-in process is as simple as taking a picture of the pet! This picture is immediately emailed to the customer, letting them know you’re with their pet.
We really want our walkers to take pictures, but putting this into practice has always been an issue. Walkers would be asked to take pictures of the pets, but it was no guarantee, and I had to remind them constantly. Scout incorporates taking a picture right into walk process, so clients get a picture every time, and they absolutely love it!
Up until now, we always had to manually apply fees for things like weekends, holidays, and late cancellations. This often led to a lot of lost money and discrepancies. It’s so nice that Scout automatically calculates when an appointment is considered “last minute” or is a "late cancellation". The client is charged automatically and appropriately. It saves me a lot of mistakes, awkward conversations about billing and speeds up the scheduling process.
Another nice feature is that Scout requires the walkers to check off individual tasks on the walks and provides easy to find instructions for things like feeding and medication. Always having to type in a free form note stinks!
One issue that we frequently ran into was our walkers wouldn’t see that feeding was needed or they provided feeding but forget to mention it the notes. This led to lots of doubling back, extra administrative work trying to contact the walkers to find out what happened, and frustrated clients taking time away from what they were busy doing. With Scout, it’s impossible to miss a feeding since you have to check it off! If you don’t check it off, the app will remind you to do it, and the customer knows it was done, without question.
Less work, More Play!
Scout has made my work life easier, plain and simple. I started with Walk It Like A Dog as a dog walker because I wanted to spend most of my day hanging out with people’s dogs and cats. When I became a manager, trying to balance the scheduling, staff, and customer service meant I was spending less and less time doing what I had originally joined Walk It Like a Dog to do. Now I'm spending more time with the dogs and less time at the computer and on my phone.