What Zoe’s Vet Has Taught Me About Customer Loyalty.

Zoe & !

By Joanie Ogg CTC, MCC

This is my story about why I am so loyal to our dog Zoe’s vet and the awesome staff that work with him. I am sharing this because so much of what I experience as a loyal customer resonates the loyalty that a traveler has (or could have) with their travel planner. I am sure many of you are doing all if not some of these things to touch your travel customers, but if not I would sure suggest giving a few of them a try.

I have been a pet owner for my entire adult life and our family has been blessed with dogs and cats that have enriched our lives in so many ways. Taking pets to the vet’s office is a task I am very familiar with. It has only been for the last 6 years though, that I have enjoyed spending my money there! You may think I am crazy for saying this, but I have absolutely no regrets when I hand over my credit card to pay for whatever care Zoe has needed. I imagine many of your clients feel exactly the same when you provide them with the care and special handling of their travel dreams.

So, what do they do at ABC Veterinary Hospital to win my loyal dedication as a customer?

CRM  & Frequent Visit Rewards Program

It certainly works to keep me loyal as well as current with all of the needed vaccinations and continuing care my puppy needs. Their use of CRM makes Zoe and I feel special about our relationship with them. I am sure they do not know that I know I am being managed by a CRM, or at least they never would let on to using that means to gain some of my loyalty. The funny thing is, I really admire their use of this business tool to keep their clients happy and ultimately loyal. Here are just a few of the techniques they use on us that keep loyal.

  • I receive a monthly newsletter with pet owner tips as well as some heartwarming stories about other happy customers. I believe in travel we call them “client testimonials”. I look forward to this publication and read it cover to cover.
  • I get pet-friendly postcards addressed to Zoe a couple months before she is due for vaccinations or a check-up. I also get an email reminder.
  • They know we travel with Zoe to Mexico and have marked our record to reflect the history of our recent pre-travel visits. They even go so far as to check with the airline and other authorities necessary to make taking her out of the country as seamless as possible. While I take responsibility to double check what we need in advance, I still appreciate their efforts to help us out. This is true customer service in my opinion.
  • They know us. Hands down, this is one of my favorite uses of CRM. When we walk in the door, the receptionist(s) greets us and by gazing over the counter at Zoe, they immediately know who we are and greet her by name. I always wondered how they did this and finally it dawned on me. Zoe’s picture appears on the screen at their workstation based on the time of the appointment. Instead of just seeing a name, they see her picture. Pretty simple stuff but highly effective.
  • Their newest customer loyalty program is their ABC Veterinary Rewards Card. For a payment of $100 a year, we get four vet visits free (typically a $60 or more fee per visit) and a 10 percent discount on everything we purchase there. This includes all her meds, which I have to add are quite pricey. She is on 4 different medications for arthritis and other issues. Being a 10 year old St. Bernard ain’t a walk in the park!

Yes, it may sound strange but we love our visits to the vet. Zoe gets her belly rubbed by her peeps and they make us feel like they care about us. They do this with the use of technology that enables them to provide dedication their customers and their patients with highly personalized service. Are you doing the same?

JOProPic250pixJoanie Ogg CTC MCC


Joanie Ogg is a thirty-five year veteran of the travel industry and has been involved with the independent contractor evolution since 1988. She is the principal of Joanie Ogg Marketing Group, which specializes in consulting and speaking on the topic of Home-Based Travel. She also provides marketing and sales for wide variety of products under the umbrella HomeBasedTravelAgent.com.

A demonstrated industry leader, Joanie most recently served as the President of the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (NACTA) and TravelSellers. She and her husband Tom acquired NACTA in 1996 and sold it to The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) in 2000. Joanie’s tenure in the travel industry includes owning and operating one of the first successful host agency models. She has owned and operated several storefront travel agencies (both commercial and leisure), as well as a Hawaii wholesale tour company.

Her decades of success have garnered her numerous accolades over the years. Her accomplishments have been recognized by receipt of two Lifetime Achievement Awards from major trade groups, being named as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Travel” by Travel Agent magazine on several occasions, voted as “Travel Agent of the Year” by the readers of Travel Trade magazine, and has been recognized by many other industry organizations throughout her tenure in the industry. In 2008 Joanie Ogg was inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame, an honor held by some of the most influential executives in the travel industry.

Joanie is a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) and a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC). Joanie has co-authored two popular travel industry books for cruise specialists and home-based travel agents and has authored hundreds of travel trade articles. She has inspired tens of thousands of travel agents attending her presentations at trade events, cruise seminars, international trade gatherings and numerous local educational venues throughout the United States. With a time-honored background and forward-looking vision, she is often featured as a speaker at many of the travel industry’s major conferences and events. Joanie’s speaking talents are widely sought as a travel industry emcee by the most recognized travel organizations. She has emceed such events as Cruise-A-Thons, ASTA’s CruiseFest, The Trade Show, The Travel Institute Forum and all of NACTA’s National and International Conferences.