They Came, They Saw… But Did They Adopt?
I am so excited about the plans being developed by the ASPCA $100K Challenge contestants! From changes in customer service and social networking to new RTO programs and much more… the wheels are turning and more lives are going to be saved!The energy is rippling, and many non-Challenge contestants have been reaching out to me regarding changes in program – many focused on increasing adoptions. Measuring adoption increases can be fairly straightforward – but how do you know if you are increasing foot traffic or increasing the number of folks who walk in and end up leaving with a pet – or both? I feel pretty strongly that if someone has made the decision to walk through our doors, we should be working our tails off to make sure they leave with one of our shelter animals! We call the rate of those entering your facility vs. those that leave with a pet the transition rate. I have mentioned transition rates before in my blog – and since some of you have asked how to best measure it, I thought I would share some tools that both Challenge contestants and others implementing change can use to help measure this rate.
To measure this rate we first need to get a picture of who is walking in your door. This handy greeter survey works wonders for this task. Ideally, the greeter survey is conducted during all open hours for at least 1 full week, ideally two weeks. Avoid conducting this survey during holidays, as this may skew your sample. In shelters where I have helped implement this survey, volunteer greeters signed up to fill the hours needed. Be sure your greeter is courteous and to the point. We do not want to hold your clients up at the door, we just need to welcome them and find out what brought them to you today. You will be tallying daily those who came to either look at or potentially adopt a pet. The other services (to buy a license, to find a lost pet, etc.) may or may not be relevant in your facility.
Next you will need a daily adoption log. At the end of each day, a staff member should complete this log that tallies adoptions by both species and age group. Now you have all the information you need to figure out your transition rate. Count the number of folks in the greeter survey that reported they came to your facility to look or with the intent to adopt a pet available for adoption, and count the adoptions conducted that day. You then divide adoptions by the number that walked in the door. You can break this down further with this survey to look at:
- Potential adopters walking in your door interested in dogs vs. cats
- Potential adopters walking in your door interested in puppies or kittens vs. adults
- Foot traffic on certain days, and certain times of day (a city facility recently used this information to support the need for more staff at certain hours, as the foot traffic vs. the staff number indicated they were woefully understaffed in the mornings)
- Transition rate by species
- Transition rate by juvenile vs. adult