#MakeTheirDay: Pets are a business' best friend

See how pets can make all the difference for small businesses

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

As a small business owner, it’s always beneficial to think about what will make your customers happy.

What will help your business stand out? What can help foster a relationship between you and your customers?

Well, there is real, tangible evidence proving that interaction with pets can boost mood and improve morale among humans. And as it turns out, your customers are most likely humans, too. So, here are some benefits to creating a pet-friendly environment at your business – including some you may not expect.

Happy employees = happy customers

One of the biggest and more unexpected benefits a pet-friendly environment has on customer experience actually pertains to the happiness of your employees. Because pets not only make customers happy, but employees happy, too.

Additionally, in environments where employees are free to bring their pets to work, they can experience real, immediate psychological benefits of having their animal on-site.

Things like having higher self-esteem, being more conscientious and more socially outgoing can all stem from animal companionship in the workplace. And who wouldn’t want their employees to project more of those traits to their customers?

The stats make a compelling argument, too. Because 75%-95% of the time, pet-friendly businesses have improved morale. And with 17% of offices welcoming dogs or other animals at work, this new work perk seems to be catching on.

Loyal pets make for loyal customers

Regular or frequent customers are invaluable to a small business. And in businesses where customers come in regularly, they can get to know the “shop dogs” or other pets of employees.

Not only can this strengthen the relationship between your business and its most valued customers, but it can leave regulars missing the furry face of your business and provide yet another reason for them to go from customer to regular.

Pets make businesses more human

It sounds ironic, but bringing a pet into a business can make interactions between you, your customers and your employees feel more genuine and human.

These interactions can spark positive dialogue and provide an easy topic for conversation between employees and customers beyond the product or service they came for. Helping to create a more meaningful connection between your business and its customers.

Lower the barrier to entry, literally

One potentially obvious benefit to having a pet-friendly environment is making it easier for your customers to stop by. A pet-friendly business means they can stop in during their routine walk with their pet, and even gives them the freedom to do it unexpectedly.

Enabling customers to have their fur baby by their side means they have an excuse to stay longer without worrying about their pet being left alone in a car or tied to a bike rack. Meaning they can stay, chat and shop for as long as they’d like.

Become more than a store

As customers get to know your business’s pets and begin to feel comfortable bringing in pets of their own, your business can naturally develop a sense of community.

Stretching beyond sales and transactions, and into more of a social destination. Even something as small as putting a water bowl or treat bowl out for customers’ pets can show that you care for the furriest extensions of their family, and their community as a whole.

Visit our small business solutions page to learn more about how we can help your company.