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  • How do you deal with customers??

    Generally speaking anyway. Some examples..
    Quoting prices on the phone? Dematting fees, Special dogs(Chopper ate his last groomer and now wants 2nds)
    Ignorent customers. (We feed only the best wal mart brand there is)
    Rude customers.
    Hostile customers.
    Owners that bring in the Matted Mess only becouse Aunt Sally is coming and the Hell Spawn needs a shave down.
    Aurguing about the price. (We had a deal with the last owner of the shop and s/he only charged 50 for 3 lasa apso full grooms 10 years ago nad you want to get a more reasonable price)
    Nice customers with vicious dogs.
    Price increases....
    "what a $10 dematting fee he was just a little knotted?"
    Or any thing else you can think of.

  • #2
    Shei77,
    I think your answering your own questions....lol
    You know all of the following requests and circumstances are wrong. completely unreasonable!!!
    Get a little stiffer background girlfreind~~
    1) You dont beleive in torture!
    2) That was 10 years ago. different shop, different polocies.
    3) Your shop not theres. Do not let them walk all over you~~
    Perfect example happened this last fri. A freind of my husbands seen me, hes asked me a couple of times how much i would charge for his 3 Schnauzers and i told him starting $35. so he again asked me how much $, and i told him the same, and he about lost it! He said i should get a discount im bringing you 3! I said it doesnt matter how many dogs you have, its still the same amount of work, and i have to set aside the time for your 3 dog all at once instead of booking 3 every 1/2 hour so in essence im still losing money. He just didnt get it. So then he tells me to call him on Wed to remind him. I flat out told him thats not how business works. We are making the appt right now you have my card you call ME if you cant make it!!!
    ok i guess i was a little irratatted..lol
    Cinthia

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    • #3
      Dealing with customer thats a tough one because it depends on the areas you live and the kind of cliens that come in if you deal mainly with blue collar workers then they want the deals but so do the retired and sometimes the wealthy. On phone estimate thats what it is I tell them that in good conditon it x amount and if matted there an extra charge depending on how severe it is. I have a price list on the front counter so then can see the charges they may incure and i check over the dogs when they come in or if i cant ill call them before starting the project in hand and give them a choice either dematte ( which i always never recommed or to shae down which is cheaper and less painfullon there beloved pet. I only give deals to regular customers that book weekly, or bi weekly.
      Rude customer can go bye bye if they dont like something. I dont need the money that bad there no reason for it I left the last place I work and opened my own salon due to the owner was rude to me and the customers. The best thing you can do is talk straight with your customers look them always in the eye if you dont have anything to hide. and explain every thing that involes the porcess there pet goes through. they'll feel more informed and build a great relationship with you. ANd if they every hear someone talk down about you they will correct the rumors ecspecially if you tell a rude customer that you only want a happy customer. dont let them bully you. and remeber. do you got the store and ask for money off your purchase because you dont have alot of money. or what ever the case may be...

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      • #4
        I should mention that I only work at this shop not own it. I agree with getting rid of theas customers but there are so many groomers here that we can uses all the busness we can get or forget paying our bills.

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        • #5
          When they argue my prices, I have had quite a few that do cauze I am mobile and that is new to my area. I just tell them. This is what they are. I am sorry, but I have my own expences. If they don't like it, have a nice day and thanks for calling. The service I offer is not for everyone. I don't let anyone talk me down on my prices. I have a 6 poodle and 2 germ. shep house that I do and They don't get a multi discount. They just hand me the cashhhhhh! That is their deal.
          If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shei77 View Post
            Generally speaking anyway. Some examples..
            Quoting prices on the phone? Dematting fees, Special dogs(Chopper ate his last groomer and now wants 2nds)
            Ignorent customers. (We feed only the best wal mart brand there is)
            Rude customers.
            Hostile customers.
            Owners that bring in the Matted Mess only becouse Aunt Sally is coming and the Hell Spawn needs a shave down.
            Aurguing about the price. (We had a deal with the last owner of the shop and s/he only charged 50 for 3 lasa apso full grooms 10 years ago nad you want to get a more reasonable price)
            Nice customers with vicious dogs.
            Price increases....
            "what a $10 dematting fee he was just a little knotted?"
            Or any thing else you can think of.
            I try to avoid estimating prices over the phone. No matter how you explain it, all they hear is the lowest number, and that's what they think their going to pay. I always tell them I can't possibly give them a price quote until I see the dog.

            Dematting fees? I rarely charge one because I don't do extensive dematting. If the dog is matted and I'm going to shave it down, I figure that into the price I quote them. No surprises that way.

            Ignorant customers live in bliss. They are often not interested in learning anything, and if that's the case, I leave them in bliss.

            Rude customers? Be extremely, deadly polite. Don't stoop to their level. They'll just beat you with experience.

            Ditto for hostile customers. But if they're threatening, don't hesitate to show them where the door is, and don't hesitate to call the police if need be.

            When the matted mess comes in the door, and it needs a shavedown, shave it. If the owner doesn't want it shaved down, and insists that you brush it out, quote them a price that will make their eyes pop out and stick to the ceiling. And insist that they stay and watch.

            Arguing prices? Tell them "This isn't 'Let's Make a Deal'. My prices are my prices, based on what it costs me to do business. You paid $$ 10 years ago? Well, how much did you pay for gas or a pound of hamburger 10 years ago?"

            I saved Chopper, the groomer eating hellion, for last. And this also includes the nice customer with the vicious dog. Please do not feel obligated to groom every dog that walks in the door. Your safety MUST come first. If Chopper eats your arm, who's going to pay your bills? If a dog is too ornery to be safely groomed, suggest they take him to a vet who offers grooming, where he can safely be sedated and safely groomed. Nice clients already know their dog is difficult, and they won't be insulted. Clients who are not nice? Well, how much stress do you need? What do you owe them? And what do you owe yourself?

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            • #7
              Once again Helly said it all....lol.... You mentioned that you work for someone. Don't let that fact make you feel like you have to work on a dog where you are worried for your safety. When I was a newbie I did not know how to say "no" to my boss, and the result was a lot of scars, some of which I still have 22 yrs later. No job is worth your skin, and if your boss is a good one she (or he) won't try to force you to work on a "bad dog" or deal w/a truly "bad customer".
              SheilaB from SC

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              • #8
                Quoting prices on the phone? Dematting fees, Special dogs(Chopper ate his last groomer and now wants 2nds)
                "Goldens run $XX for an average sized dog in reasonable condition. Coats in bad shape or dogs with tempermant issues may be extra."

                Ignorent customers. (We feed only the best wal mart brand there is)
                These people drive me nuts. Smile and bite your tongue; there's no point in arguing with them.

                Rude customers.
                Be ridiculously polite; it drives them batty.

                Aurguing about the price.
                "I'm sorry you're not happy with the price, but we'd rather be known as the shop which offers quality service, not cheap service."

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                • #9
                  I never argue price, it is what it is! Matted dogs are charged $15 per 1/4 hour. Sometimes you just need to say, " I am sorry m'am/sir I can not provide you with the level of customer service you require. Why don't you try XYZ Grooming down the street, have a nice day" and just walk or drive away. Customers like that will cost you in the long run!

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                  • #10
                    Be pleasant and polite, but stick to the prices and policies that you need to uphold. Nobody has to bully you into charging lower than you feel is a fair price, and dogs are not pizzas-no 2 for 1 deals! It's one thing to be flexible, it's another to be a doormat. No matter how much you try to accommodate the general public, it will never be enough for EVERYONE. Believe me. I work 6 days a week grooming; Sunday's my only day off, and I still get people calling and NEEDING Sunday. So my advice is to accept that you can't make the whole world happy and if you attempt to, you will be unhappy. Set some boundaries.

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                    • #11
                      Customers

                      There is no way around these kind of people, your only resource is to protect yourself and cover your ASSets.

                      The following is on a clipboard on my front counter, everyday each client must sign in, they write in their pets name and mark what their pet is receiving: Bath, ears & nails, flea shampoo, mini-groom, full groom, etc.

                      Your pet is very important to us and as such we want to insure that your pet is healthy when he / she arrives and when he / she leaves.
                      I authorize Faux Paws to seek medical attention for my pet. In the event that I cannot be reached, Faux Paws will take my pet to a Veterinarian that they trust. If Faux Paws is seeking medical attention for my pet through necessity but by no fault of Faux Paws, I understand that I will be responsible for all medical costs. Faux Paws takes every precaution to ensure my pets safety if after my pets grooming visit I feel that it is necessary to take my pet to a veterinarian I will notify Faux Paws within 24 hours and be willing to take my pet to Faux Paws veterinarian. Faux Paws uses all natural shampoos that are detergent free. I understand that on rare occasions some pets may have allergies or irritation to shampoo, I am aware that I should call Faux Paws immediately should this occur so that they may make a note on pet’s file for future grooms but in no way is this negligence on the part of Faux Paws.
                      I understand that Faux Paws will do everything within their power to ensure my pet a safe and happy grooming experience. Pets of elderly age, with special conditions and health issues are more susceptible to stress and reactions to grooming. Pets that are heavily matted, infested with fleas or ticks may need to be treated for the health of my pet. Although my groomer will use all precautions during this process, I have been informed and understand there may be skin abrasion or irritations from this condition. I understand these facts and agree to not hold Faux Paws responsible.
                      I have made the staff aware of ALL health, personality and coat conditions concerning my pet. It is my responsibility to pay for my pets groom, I have made Faux Paws aware of my preferences should the total groom exceed my expectations. I understand that failing to pay for a groom is classified as theft.
                      I am aware of Faux Paws closing times, I will pick my pet up prior to their closing. If I am late, Faux Paws will have to retain an employee for my pet’s care and I will be charged $1 per minute I am late per pet, in the event that I am more then 30 minutes late I understand that Faux Paws will board my pet at the rate of $50 per night.

                      One time, I had a client deny her credit card charge because she was unhappy with the groom (didn't call me to tell me just called the credit card company). I forwarded them this sheet with her signature and never lost a penny. I would have happily tried to make her happy had she called me first.

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                      • #12
                        nice owners/grouchy dogs

                        we have one client that comes in...she has a grouchy old crotchy shep x. she came to us as the last resort. she told us flat out that he is older (i believe about 12 or so) and he has arthritis in a hind leg and a front leg. (she did tell us which legs also). she just wanted him shaved down and did say that she suggested that we muzzle him as he would probably bite. so we did. i said should we muzzle him for the bath? boss said i dont know lets see how he is...everything is going fine...then i reach for that one leg...here comes the teeth and i go okay. put on the happy mask (or party mask LOL) and he's totally fine. he is a good dog just old and crotchty....and then we found out it takes 2 people to do him. one to hold his head while he is getting his nails clipped and when she is doing that front leg...it must hurt him something fierce....even with the muzzle on he still swings towards you for it. i help her groom him...basically i hold his head so he isnt swinging it and smacking herin the face with it...and i help hold him up so she can do his back leg area. and when hes all done he is as happy as can be and your best friend! he would bite you for the grooming process...but only certain parts. but since we DO know his little quirks its easier to just leave the muzzle on through the whole groom(body and feet) and then take it off when we are done and she can do his head than to keep taking it off and putting it back on. and he dosnt mind the muzzle at all. if the dog is bad...see how bad the dog is acting and if you think you need help just ask for help with the dog. (if your able to). this dog is a sweetie when he is done...and he dosnt put up any fight for the muzzle at all. he went and made friendswith my fiance' when he was done last time. just walked right up to him and sat down and leaned against him for some nice petting! the owner was escastic when she came to pick him up the first time...she was so happy she could come back! he really isnt that difficult to do...just need a little help.
                        Hound

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                        • #13
                          Hmm good questions!!
                          Quoting prices on the phone? I let them know in plain Engligh that my price is a quote, final price cannot be determined till I see the size of the dog, conditio of the coat, the dogs behaviour and any special treatments such as shedless or flea baths...prices start at such and such...
                          Dematting fees, I don't unless you want to pay me $60 hour and it may take several hours...
                          Special dogs(Chopper ate his last groomer and now wants 2nds) I will try...but if I feel I cannot I will stop and you will have to take him to the vet...
                          Ignorent customers. (We feed only the best wal mart brand there is) Be polite...try to SLOWLY teach them what I can and explain why....
                          Rude customers. Be really polite...it really ticks them off..
                          Hostile customers. be even more polite, stick to my policies, never back down when I know I am correct...
                          Owners that bring in the Matted Mess only becouse Aunt Sally is coming and the Hell Spawn needs a shave down. Shave it down and charge em!
                          Aurguing about the price. (We had a deal with the last owner of the shop and s/he only charged 50 for 3 lasa apso full grooms 10 years ago nad you want to get a more reasonable price) Oh I know! Pop used to cost 25 cents and now almost 2.00! But prices change...grooming costs more as does eveyrhting else in the economy...if you prefer that rpice go back to them!
                          Nice customers with vicious dogs. Do your best but don't get eaten!
                          Price increases....Good news I got a raise, bad news them prices went up $1.00!
                          "what a $10 dematting fee he was just a little knotted...hand them the pelt, and give them a comb to go through it...offer to take the fee off if they can...

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                          • #14
                            Quoting prices on the phone: I say "Depending on the condition of the coat, matting, behavior, and size, it will PROBABLY be $xx but could be more or less."

                            Dematting fees: I explain it will cost extra to brush out, if the dog needs to be shaved down I say it can't be humanely dematted. I usually charge $5-$10 dematting, but if its a time consuming job I time it and charge $1/min.

                            Special dogs: I work at a vets so if I have to I can get consent to have the pet sedated.

                            Ignorent customers: I do my best to explain and educate them, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

                            Rude customers: Lucky me, in my past two jobs the receptionist or shop owner dealt with them. Since I started my current job in Oct, I've only had 3 complaints. Two were because I took the dog shorter than they wanted and the 3rd was because a kennel tech brought a clean white cat up but didn't check the carrier to see if it was clean. Anyways, I never offered freebies but I apologize profusely and in the case of the dogs being too short I explained I did it so they dog would be easier to maintain because it had matting.

                            Hostile customers: I've never had any get hostile. (Knock on wood)

                            Owners that bring in the Matted Mess: If it needs to be sedated I get a consent to sedate, otherwise I explain the dog will be very short but I'll do what I can.

                            Aurguing about the price: After I give my price, if they start with the "we go to a lady that charges $3/dog" type of thing, I just say "oh really?" lol I never know what to say in response, but I don't back down.

                            Nice customers with vicious dogs: Consent to sedate, its nice working at a vets! lol

                            Price increases: I haven't had one yet.

                            "what a $10 dematting fee he was just a little knotted?" I've never had someone complain about the dematting fee (they pay up front so the receptionists deal with that) but if I did I would just explain its more time consuming and time is money.

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                            • #15
                              Maggy, when someone says "we go to XXXX and they only charge XXXX, my reply is "then why did you leave?".

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