No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Catch-22

    I HAD a decent number of dogs scheduled today: 7. Not at all bad for the first January in a brand new animal hospital....

    I ended up grooming 2 and doing one kennel bath.

    One called shortly after I arrived (just after 8 am) and moved her appointment to next Monday...

    I was going to give the other two clients (3 dogs) until 10 and call them, but at 9:30, the office manager came back and said he'd just left messages for them. One called back about an hour later and said she'd reschedule later.... The other called back just as I was releasing the last of the ones that showed (around 11:15) telling the vet they were "just 5 minutes away" and could they still come in? I told the vet no--they can come tomorrow.... The owner didn't like that answer.

    I'm torn here.... I'm trying to BUILD a clientele here and I want them to both like my work and RESPECT my professionalism..... Number one, I NEED to make a living, so every dog I groom is important. Number two, I want to be somewhat flexible with the clients; to a point if they're running behind for whatever reason, if they call me EARLY, and let me know what time they'll be there, I'll still take them. BUT--I don't want them to think that if they call at 8:30 and say they'll be in between 9:30 and 10, it's okay to show up at 10:15 or later.... And I certainly don't want them to think it's okay to not call at all or to EXPECT to be able to come in 2 1/2 hours late....

  • #2
    Still do the late ones for now, but add a late fee. Always SOUND like you are busy, no matter what, because people want what is harder to get. I know it seems like a stupid mentality, but it's true. Sigh and tell them you will have to check how things are going. Put them on hold for a moment. Then come back and say, "I can manage to squeeze you in this one time, but there will be an extra charge of $10 because I am so busy" or what-have-you.
    As for the the people that outright no-show, especially on their first time with you.. well that's just a bad sign and not really important to your client base, because someone who is chronically no-showing is not "building" your business.


    • #3
      If you're having a slow week and having them come later works for you, then do it. But if it's going to throw your day out of whack then don't. Why punish the clients who come in on time and yourself? When it's busier this won't be possible and they'll just have to rebook for a different day nehow. I like to provide flexibility when I can, but people have to respect our work schedules too.


      • #4
        You did the right thing. Respect yourself and otherw wll learn to respect you.
        If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


        • #5
          I don't know one one hand maybe you want to be a little more flexible since you are a new business, then once your clients get used to you, you can be a little stricter. Is your recepionist telling the clients that they need to be there by a certain time or their appointment will be forfeited within 15 minutes, this lets them no how much slack they have if they are running late.


          • #6
            The receptionist and the office manager tell the clients when they book that they need to check in between 7 and 8:30. If that time frame won't work for the client, they know that I'll be flexible (within reason) and ask them what time they'll be in--then they note it on the appointment slot.

            Would staying and taking the two whose owners called back two hours after being called harmed me or messed up my day? No. And if they'd called back an hour earlier, I'd have taken them. It's frustrating, because on one hand, I don't want to lose their business--because they've BEEN coming every 5 weeks since October, but on the other hand, they've been a bit later each time I've groomed them.... The first time, they came in at 9; the second time 9:30...this time, they forgot, despite a phone call, until 11:15???


            • #7
              I'm having this same exact problem at my shop since I'm still fairly new, customers showing up late, canceling at the last minute. I have one customer who absolutely REFUSES to make an appointment for her big hairy goldendoodle who's about 10 mos old. He normally comes in for a bath and brush out, but he's never had a haircut so he takes forever to wash and dry, and there are always some mats. His fur is about 5" long!

              Anyway, this owner always calls on any given day and expects that I can get him in that day...which I was always able to do early on, but once Nov and Dec hit I was pretty booked every day. So one day before Christmas she calls in the morning and asks can we groom him today. Well I said no, I'm booked today but could fit him in later in the week if she wants to make an appt. No, he really needs to get in today. So I said sorry but I'm fully booked. THEN she has the audacity to ask me if I know of any other groomers in the area! As if threatening me with going to another groomer is going to miraculously free up time in my busy schedule to groom her big hairy monster!! But I stood my ground and just said she might want to check the yellow pages. She called me back the next day and made an appt.


              • #8
                I know you want (need) to build a clientel, but do you need clientel who have no respect for your time? Do you want to live with the constant uncertainty of who will show up and when? You wouldn't show up 2 hours late for your own hair appointment and expect your stylist to still take you, now would you? Do you want to be the dog, or the fire hydrant?

                It's much easier to prevent bad client habits than to try to correct them later. If you don't mind no-shows and people showing up 2 hours late, by all means, lay down and let them walk on you.

                But if you want a smooth running business, make some reasonable rules, and stick to them. Most people will respect you for it. And the ones who don't? You don't need the headache.


                • #9
                  This is a tuff one for me too, becuase this does happen often for me as well. It used to only happen with new clients, but now I'm seeing it occur with my regulars....I want to scream! I don't mind if someone calls to tell me they're running 10 minutes behind or whatever, I'll wait for them and 10 minutes doesn't make that big of a difference to me as long as it doesn't become a habit - keeping it from becoming a habit seems to be the trick here though. Most clients are very apologetic when they're late and don't usually let it happen again. But then there are the few exceptions. Perhaps I've let them get away with it, and now they think it's no big deal. Definitely easier to prevent this sort of situation then to correct it once it has started like Helly mentioned. I understand your frustration...


                  • #10
                    I understand your way of business..don't want to turn people away. But I agree with Helly.
                    Lay down the rules from day 1 and stick to them. Once you allow that one person to walk in 2 hours late and still groom the dog, they will think it is ok everytime. And when you do finally say No..not today. They will probably get an attitude and say..Well, it was OK before.

                    BUT...I don't always practice what I preach (lol) Just today I had a lady show up an hour late...I wasn't busy at all today and I had time to do the dog, so I took it in. But I did mention that she was an hour late, and I normally make them reschedule, but since I had a cancellation she was in luck.. I could still squeeze her dog in. But next time I may not be able to take the dog.


                    • #11
                      I would follow the advice that Helly has given you. I wish I had known of this board when I first started my own business (12-13 yrs). I'm still trying to get people to call if they are going to be late or not able to show up. It would have been so much easier then if I knew what I know now. I was worried I wouldn't have the clients, the income to pay bills so I sat and waited for no shows, for late appointments. I'm finally getting some of my clients to respect me, but it has taken a while.

                      Lay down your rules and follow through.
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


                      • #12
                        I, too, agree with Helly. We teach people how to treat us. I know it's hard when you're just starting out, but the big payoff will come with clients who respect your time as much as you respect theirs. I'm sure if they arrive 2 hours late for their vet app., they don;t expect to get in.
                        Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                        Groom on!!!


                        • #13
                          Maybe you could hang a big sign of rules...stick to a puppy, you have to train them early on. We're not telling you anything you don't already know.....I wish I could stick to my rules but .....when that Chevron bill comes, and that huge Dex phone book add comes I give in for the $.


                          • #14
                            Put Your Foot Down

                            Originally posted by Poodlefluff View Post
                            I don't know one one hand maybe you want to be a little more flexible since you are a new business, then once your clients get used to you, you can be a little stricter. Is your recepionist telling the clients that they need to be there by a certain time or their appointment will be forfeited within 15 minutes, this lets them no how much slack they have if they are running late.
                            I disagree, I opened my in home salon almost a year ago and I did not put my foot down on certain issues

                            #1 Please be on time
                            #2 I am not a doggy daycare
                            #3 Be corteous of my front yard and Please pick up after your pet

                            Yeah right nobody does any of this and that is because I was afraid of hurting feelings and now I have a tough time enforcing them I am getting better because I am getting busier and I need to keep to my schedule

                            good Luck
                            "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"


                            • #15
                              I agree w/making your clients respect you from the beginning is so important for future relations, not to mention your future state of But I also agree w/another post that said you could have told the lady to hang on to "check" and see if you can still fit her in (if you still wanted to do her that day). That way she gets the hint that you are not going to be a floor matt and that you are doing her a FAVOR by getting to the dog so late after the appt. I use this "technique" sometimes on customers that I am aggravated w/for being late, but at the same time don't want to loose. Luck to you on this! I was a floor matt when I first started out, and believe me it is hard to turn that around. It is much easier to start out "training" your clients right, than trying to "retrain" them (kinda like a
                              SheilaB from SC