A virtual veterinarian service inspired by customer service calls

Chewy CEO, Summit Singh, was seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) prior to Chewy Inc.’s IPO. In New York, June 14, 2019.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Chewy CEO Sumit Singh said Tuesday that calls to its customer service line prompted the online pet supplies retailer to speed up its plans to realize The launch of the virtual veterinarian service – Despite the passage of years on the company’s road map.

“We are starting to take calls at the Customer Service / Customer Experience centers where customers will be sitting at home saying ‘Hey,’” Singh said in a virtual interview. My dog ​​just ate chocolate and I can’t get a vet. ”Conference hosted by the National Retail Federation.

The executive said his weekend mornings are spent reading customer reviews.

He said, „The healthy level of anxiety is actually good because it makes you feel paranoid.” „It keeps you on your toes and keeps you in anticipation.”

The Virtual Veterinary Service, launched in October, is one example of how the company has tried to continue building on the momentum seen during the pandemic.

He ignored the idea that pet owners would return to buy more dog food, cat litter, or pet toys in the store after the pandemic, saying that customers had formed new habits.

„We are in a lockdown for 10 or 11 months now, for the most part of the year,” he said. “Clients have had the opportunity to try online models not only with pets, but across a wide range of services whether it be home delivery, food delivery, grocery shopping or pets. This, in my opinion, really provides a mental shift for customers.”

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Chewy shares rose more than 265% in the past year as more Americans adopted pets and online shopping during the pandemic. The company has a market value of more than $ 44 billion.

However, the rapid rise during the global health crisis has made some investors and analysts question whether it can keep up with this pace of growth and retain customers in the long term. UBS cut ratings for Chewy and Peloton to sell on Tuesday. She said the online pet supplies company and its exercise equipment company They are both Covid-19 beneficiaries and can see that tail wind fade away.

UBS has not changed its target price of $ 75 for Chewy, which is about 30% down from where its shares are currently traded. Shares are down about 1% on Tuesday afternoon.

Summit said it is watching trends that will shape the next three to five years, including the acceleration towards more online shopping, the reliance on tools and technology to improve customer service and whether people will return to the office, work from home, or do both.

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