Alex K James
Alex always wants to help the world be a better place. His background is in software innovation and partnerships, and he also founded a startup that helps to destigmatize mental health.
Covid changed the way animal shelters support their community of adopters, fosters, and volunteers, with the focus on maintaining, or surpassing the number of pre-pandemic positive outcomes, all while keeping staff safe.
As the world continues to reopen, what are the best ways to maintain safe practices through digital engagement of the community? We've made a checklist to show you how.
Craig Janssen of Medium explains that the blend of in-person and digital engagement is now expected across all industries. "If engagement is about the touchpoints you create with people, going hybrid can exponentially expand the reach of your audience. You can build something that creates bigger momentum, energy, and success than you ever could have when limited to either an in-person or digital-only track."
While that may seem like a major undertaking, the truth is a hybrid engagement can really broaden the reach and impact you make within your community. Below we provide a checklist of the four areas where your shelter can deploy such methods to improve community engagement, overall experiences, interest, and advocacy:
1. Contactless Kiosk
Inexpensive tablets can be utilized as a way to seamlessly engage your community once at the shelter. From registration and check in, to sharing information about the nature of their visit. Whether the community member is there to browse, adopt, pick up, surrender, receive a consultation, meet-and-greet, or any other reason, all engagements will be safe, and seamless. Not only will your shelter now have all necessary information to address their communities needs, interests, and concerns efficiently, but you will have actionable data and history of your visitors, allowing you to stay on top of serving their future needs. Visitors will also have a clear understanding on process timing and the important steps needed to get the help they need to meet their desired outcome.
2. Digital Waitlist Management
With the pressures of limited staff and resources, it can be easy to lose track of visitor's in your shelter, when they arrived, why they are there, and who has been helped. A digital waitlist management creates a data-rich system of transparency around every person who is waiting. This way staff can appropriate time and energy to people and tasks organized by need, timing, and clear expectations.
3. Smart Kennel Cards / QR Codes
Kennel cards traditionally display information about the available animal, but don't normally allow visitors to take action from them. With the addition of QR codes, the potential adopter simply scans it and from there they can submit an inquiry, schedule a meet and greet, set a meeting with an adoption counselor, or simply learn more, all from the convenience of their phone.
4. Smart Messaging
Smart messaging brings each area of visitor management together, and shelter staff benefits. Smart messaging allows staff to not have to worry or think about constant communication with the visitor since their expectations have already been set through their Contactless Kiosk check-in, or through actions they have taken from the Smart Kennel Card. Automated smart messages (pre-configured by the shelter) are sent to the visitor's phone via SMS at different points of engagement after check-in for waitlist and appointment updates, and more.
Including technology for a hybrid approach to your in-person experiences delivers an increased level of consistency within the shelter processes. As a result, fewer missed actions, and better adopter/foster experience, while simultaneously freeing up shelter staff time to focus on more important things, the care of the animals. For Adōpets shelters using these features on a daily basis, we’re thrilled to see thousands of manual tasks being automated daily and a more engaged and heard community whose needs are being consistently met.
To learn more about how Adōpets can automate and elevate your shelter processes we invite you to schedule a demo here.