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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,163

    Default Requiring mobile customers to book year round

    I was chatting with a mobile groomer on FB and she blatantly requires after the first appointment they book for a year ahead. Sure they can cancel. But she won't come back otherwise. I don't blame her in a way. I asked her shouldn't they know beforehand that you only give them one chance. She said not really. She will consider a second chance. I was glad to hear that. She can do it so it is good news for mobile grooming we have the demand. Does anyone else require and that's the point require full year booking to take a new mobile customer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    SE Wash St
    Posts
    5,203

    Default

    Not mobile, but I know several do this. I'm curious. How do you handle the people like I have who need to change dates because they're going away, family is coming and they want the dog to look nice, and a myriad of other reasons why they need to reschedule? Seems like it would be a nightmare.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,063

    Default

    I am not a mobile, but I basically have all my customers (well, 95% of them) on a schedule, like Wednesday every 4 weeks, or Friday every 5 weeks, etc. It’s “pencilled in” for the year, and I can make adjustments in most cases, but in general, I have my schedule set for the year. I don’t require it per se, but everybody knows if they don’t get on schedule, they might not get an appointment right away if they call “when needed”. And that’s how I know my schedule is full and I can’t take any new customers at this time,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2,449

    Default

    We try to get clients on a schedule of up to 8 weeks. They can request their tentative dates for the year, but there's no guarantee it holds perfectly. We have many clients who either have vacations or unexpected events, pet illness, etc that upends the schedule. But to *require clients to commit to a full year is asking for too much and is a bit aggressive on the groomer's part.

    We cannot hold anyone to a set schedule. We hope they keep it. Sometimes finances get in the way and they skip or delay a groom. I'm not judging anyone. We all have things come up, it's life.

    If clients do flake out on their schedule, we kick them off the rotation and they can call when they need our services. We don't want to lose them, just need to keep reliable scheduled clients on the rotation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    608

    Default

    I am mobile and have all of my clients booked for the year, and in perpetuity. Starting in October, I give all my clients scheduling cards to fill out as to their preferences for the next year, and in November, I start sending out schedules in batches. If someone has a conflict, I switch them out with someone else in their area on another day. My clients have learned to be flexible as some day, they might need someone to give up their day for them. Because I work in about an 8 mile radius from home in different cities, I simply can't waste time driving across the county all day. Here in SoCal, traveling 5-6 miles may take up to thirty minutes, and I don't make any money while driving. I schedule clients by area and group them together to the best of my ability and within their flexibility. When I first started and had to say yes to everyone, I didn't have the luxury of scheduling by area, but now I can.

    After 2 or 3 visits, I started telling people that they should think about being on a schedule so they could always get their pet groomed when they wanted, as opposed to when I had time. I didn't have many people that didn't want to be on my schedule, and they quickly got with the program when I got busier and didn't have a spot for them when they wanted one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,808

    Default

    When I talk to a potential new client I tell them my schedule is booked for the year. They don't have to do it, but if they don't, it's highly unlikely they will get an appointment when they want it, if at all. Most don't mind committing to the yearly schedule. What do I do if something comes up? I simply switch them with another client. It's usually not a big deal. I also don't mind if they want an in between grooming if company is coming etc. My clients are awesome, I don't mind working late one or two nights a year for them.

    The last year I've been showing my dogs has been a bit of a trial because I don't really know what shows I'm going to until they come up. I've had to switch a lot of people because of it, and yep, I end up working my days off to make it up. My fun, my problem, not theirs. Normally one or two weekends wouldn't be a big deal, but I am honestly getting tired of it right about now. Fortunately both girls are almost finished.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cockerlvr View Post
    When I talk to a potential new client I tell them my schedule is booked for the year. They don't have to do it, but if they don't, it's highly unlikely they will get an appointment when they want it, if at all. Most don't mind committing to the yearly schedule. What do I do if something comes up? I simply switch them with another client. It's usually not a big deal. I also don't mind if they want an in between grooming if company is coming etc. My clients are awesome, I don't mind working late one or two nights a year for them.
    And this is the great advice cockerlvr has given before and that I followed when I was starting. It's worked very well for me!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Marysville, Ohio
    Posts
    3,369

    Default

    I book out a year in advance in my appointment book, but I do not give the dates to the client until it is the "next" appointment. If a client needs to change an appointment date, then I try to accommodate them and sometimes I work later than I like......but each time a client has asked to be rescheduled, it has always been a very good reason,.....vacation, dog being boarded, pet is sick,...etc. Since I haven't taken a new client for a couple of years, I'm much more flexible squeezing them in to the requested week.

    Happy Squeezing them in

    Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The Nuthouse
    Posts
    316

    Default

    When I worked for a mobile business, pretty much all clients had standing appointments every so many weeks. This was pretty much already set into place before I took over the grooming for the business owner. She had them "trained" pretty well about getting it set up that way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Socal
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I am pretty much like Cockerlvr. They know I prefer to set them up as regulars and if they didn't ask about it I bring it up at the 2nd appt. Shows me they are more serious.

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