Sore Paws were faced with a crisis. After being let down last minute by their software provider, they had a large, engaged customer base who they’d fought to help and who they were concerned about losing. With moments to mobilise, they needed to partner with an agile supplier who would go the extra mile, but they had to be confident in the quality of service. From research to recommendation, they chose SmartDebit to hit the ground running.


When you’re responsible for peoples’ pets, you have to realise they are family. We can’t have bad days in our profession, and every experience makes the difference for owners.


Doing things differently


Joint owner, Aaron, identified a logistical challenge in the veterinary space. Based on his career running complex engineering projects, he could envisage utopia but needed to assemble the right team around him to realise it. His unique background means that every day in a new industry has challenges, and some crucial suppliers promised perfection and delivered a disaster. With three days to spare, their software provider broke the news that they couldn’t deliver the software to meet the payment run, leaving Sore Paws in the painful position of having to arrange for payments to be set up manually over the phone.

“We had now been let down twice, so I was nervous”, Aaron noted. “I needed three things: social proof, a trusted referral, and to see the service for myself.” SmartDebit’s presence as a market-leading service provider through TrustPilot was the first thing that Sore Paws experienced. An unconnected conversation through Premier Buying Group, the buying group Aaron belongs to connected the dots to SmartDebit, and he arranged a meeting to discuss his needs.


Reducing friction and payment pain points


Previous experience of payments had caused high cancellations and near impossible resolution, all at a premium cost. “I had notifications of payments being cancelled and no automation to help resolve. When I connected with the payers, they had no knowledge of cancelling,” Aaron explains.

SmartDebit were able to add an automation layer and, importantly, Sore Paws branding from the payment page to the payer’s bank statement, so his customers knew who they were paying and why.


SmartDebit weren’t the cheapest option, but from reviewing the market, nobody could compete with the service and features you offered.


Dynamic pricing means customers like Sore Paws benefit from premium features as standard and fees which reduce as the business grows.


Flexible set-up at light speed


Offering multiple service plans can introduce complexity to an organisation. Hence, suppliers need to be able to handle changes reactively whilst empowering customers to take control, but balancing this with a layer of protection reducing the risk of making costly mistakes.

Since joining SmartDebit, Sore Paws have had guided onboarding, and assistance with migrating and creating payments. Knowing the challenges they faced being let down in the past and time constraints in setting up and notifying payers, is where the SmartDebit Bacs accredited staff training is so important. Being experts about the Bacs rules and guidelines, means SmartDebit staff have been proactively contacting Sore Paws to ensure they have everything they need to meet their collection dates.

Offering their customers a number of optional service plans, ranging from a simple monthly health essentials package, up to premium unlimited appointments, Sore Paws benefit from self-service and named support.


Powerful payments portal


“The audit tab means I have a helicopter view of everything that happens in the account. I see what’s been done, when, and by whom” explains Aaron. This level of transparency means that as the joint owner of a busy business, he can outsource the management of payments to administrative staff and has confidence that the portal can highlight errors, without hidden surprises in the future.

“We’ve been really impressed with the Pulse portal. We found that our previous providers locked us out of lots of features, so we had to contact them continually, and their response times didn’t match our needs.”

The ability to change future payments and put accounts on hold means that as life changes for his customers, he can support them by pausing and restarting subscriptions without losing control.


What’s the verdict?


Delivering for the customer, SmartDebit enhanced the Sore Paws payment process with advanced analytics, powerful automation, and wrap-around support service that is unmatched in the industry.


What differentiates SmartDebit for me is the fact that I feel like I’m dealing with people rather than a business. That’s something incredibly rare to find and the mark of a great supplier in my eyes.