Pet shop advice and discussion forum is developing on our facebook page.
Following on from the relaunch of our Angell Pets facebook page it is starting to develop past the purpose for which we I set it up. Originally it was so we could inform our customers of what was happening in the shop, what new stock we had in or offers we were running. It has since taken on a life of its own and is just starting to turn into a bit of a general pet shop advice forum.
Contacting your pet shop for advice
Our pet shop staff have always been available at the end of the phone or in the pet shop to give advice where we can on a whole range of issues around pet care. We do not intend this to change but Facebook has given us an additional platform to give interactive pet shop advice.
Our intention now is to give pet shop advice on a whole range of subjects through our blog and YouTube channel and to use Facebook for giving follow up advice on these subjects and on more specific issues people may have. We do recognise that people may want to raise issues they may not feel comfortable discussing in an open forum (where they may feel they have done something incorrectly – usually they haven’t!) and Facebook provides the mechanism for this as well, via messaging.
Of course there is still good old email but there is always the chance your mail will get lost amongst the hundreds we receive a week from pet shop suppliers, banks, spammers etc. Putting up a post is probably the best way to share your ideas or concerns. I can almost guarantee that what you think is a stupid question is just the question half a dozen others want to ask but think is a stupid question so they don’t. You’ll be doing them a favour.
As a pet shop business we will obviously have to have some rules of conduct. Don’t be profane, don’t be insulting or demeaning to others, Do check your question hasn’t already been asked and don’t be offended if its pointed out to you that is has. Don’t bother pointing out my spelling mistakes, there’ll be too many and please don’t post any advice that you are unsure of. Make sure you have direct knowledge of the subject rather than post something you have heard or “read on the internet”.
As an example of how bad some of the “advice” out there can be; a well known person in the pet shop industry was scanning through one of the reptile forums. He came across some advice on keeping venomous snakes. Being very knowledgeable he knew the advice was incorrect so he went about tracing it back to its source. This proved to be a fourteen year old child who had never kept any snakes, let alone venomous ones. Following this advice could well have caused the owners death!
Now, that is an extreme example but the advice promulgated on the internet can be divided into three categories. Good advice, from experienced keepers who just want to help people out. Fortunately there is a lot of this about but unfortunately there is also a lot of bad advice, often I’m afraid to say from people who should know better i.e. pet shop employees etc. They too want to help you out but they are giving you either just opinion, not fact, or just reprocessing old advice that may once have been the norm but has since been superseded by better ways. Sadly there is a third category which is deliberate bad advice.
It’s the internet folks, it gives access to all sorts of weirdos, idiots, mentally unstable, big headed know nothings, well .. you get the picture.
It can be difficult to sift through all this information to find what is good. Following some pet shop “advice” can be costly, some as shown, can be dangerous, some can just lead you to think there is only one way of doing things when actually there are often quite a few options, one of which may be better for you.
Hopefully this pet shop Facebook forum can help with the sifting. Its my pet shop so I will be moderating it and I will take down stuff I know to be wrong or think may mislead people, deliberately or unintentionally. If you see something you disagree with, let me know first before you go commenting on it. It may be that it is just another way of doing something that you haven’ considered. It may be you’re right, in which case we will listen and act. But let’s keep it polite, friendly and objective.
For those of you thinking “he’s opening up to attacks from competing pet shop businesses and dealers” well you are probably right but my view is, if they are spending time focusing on my business then they aren’t spending enough time focusing on their own so won’t be competitors for very long. If they start using some of the advice from us and our customers then that’s a good thing. Maybe their own pet shop customers will start to get a better service than they have been getting! Everyone’s a winner.
Finally, we are a pet shop. Our Facebook fan page does still serve the function of getting information to our customers on what we have available and what offers we are running. This site also does that through our emailing service. Customers using this pet shop service will get advance notice of offers being run, so will get first dibs when there are limited stocks. We will also be offering discount and FREE STUFF from time to time. At the moment we have some FREE venison dog treat bags in the pet shop for Facebook users. Go there to find out how to claim them.