GPS Tracking: Should We Track Our Dog Walkers Every Move?

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wellie

Today’s topic is one that makes me mildly terrified of alienating a prospective client. It helps to remind myself that we’re proudly not for everyone. Rover-Time isn’t striving to be the Walmart of dog walking and we’re not afraid to draw a clear line in the sand from our competition.

But we can’t ignore that a lot of our competitors are getting into GPS tracking. So, should we??

I see the advantages from a business prospective but I also know my client really well and I know how busy your days are. I wonder if you actually want one more thing to compulsively check throughout your day. Has your inbox craved an additional daily email from your dog walking company? In a world dominated by endless automated phone prompts and sad, soul-less customer care, when your walker is running late, do you want one more an automated message? Right now, our protocol involves me personally reaching out to you and I think that’s more human.

Dog-walking technology is a nice idea but it also makes the assumption that everyone using it can afford the data plan that you need to support it. I’d rather hire the right person for the job, not hire based on the phone they carry. I’m also concerned about how much the walker has to interact with their phone while they’re on the job. I want my walkers focused on my clients’ dogs, not an app.

It also gets me thinking about the quality of our current team. They’re high performers. They do great and honest work efficiently. And they do that now, without the anxiety of being closely monitored. Since trust is fundamental in this job, does GPS tracking effect morale?

For now, our team can go without. I’m not afraid of change and I’m okay with being wrong. One day we might take the leap and add this to our job.

In the meantime, I have a really good solution that I think would make a bigger impact on your life than your walker having a fancy technology on their phone. Look into pet trackers. Tagg is my favorite brand and it does more than just monitor your dog’s activity levels during the day. It can find your missing pet. This technology empowers you to locate them quickly and bring them home in addition to providing detailed reports on where your dog went with their walker.

On a scale of 1–10, 1 being “No way. You don’t get it,” and 10 being, “Did you tap my phone? You sound like me,” rate my opinion on GPS technology in dog walking. I won’t be hurt! The more of you that disagree the more likely we’ll make changes quicker. Tell me if I’m just being stubborn or if you think I might have a point.

Thank you, as always, for sharing and commenting with such kindness and enthusiasm.

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Comments (3)

Elise

I'm with you on the GPS tracking. I trust you completely and know that Ginger is well taken care of when you come by, and I don't need a GPS tracker to "prove" where you walked and for how long. Some companies have really high turnover, and someone might have a different person who they're unfamiliar with walking their dog every couple months - in that case, I might have a different opinion, but I know that's not what I'm getting with Rover-Time. :)

Lauren

As a fellow dog walking company owner (hi Julia!) that has GPS tracking, I can tell you that it has its advantages and disadvantages. We have found that our customers love looking at the GPS tracking but in the same token, the GPS doesn't always work properly. It is technology after all. In general, I would say if you are a company that has more than twenty walkers, then it is very beneficial. It is a very efficient and effective quality control mechanism (one of many) that you can use. We always tracked our dog walkers, but didn't find GPS necessary until we reached a certain size. So for now, I recommend doing what you're doing, because it's obviously working:) Hope to see you soon!!! xoxo

Sara

I agree with you, no GPS needed! I'd feel weird if someone were constantly checking on me as I worked, and I'd feel weird doing the checking. I sometimes wonder where Mouse goes when he's out with Rachel, but when we leave for walks together, he wants to show me. He knows the route, straight to the park! I have no doubt he has a great time out there.

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