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My customers/my life blood --- Yours?

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  • My customers/my life blood --- Yours?

    Guess we all know there are late, rude, indicisive, picky, hateful grooming clients just as there are these types of people in all walks of life. Customer service can be difficult and we compound that with the caring of what may be our customer's best (sometimes ONLY) friend! I have the most wonderful customers on THIS planet and I want to challenge other groomers to top some of the things they have done for me! They bring Christmas presents, shop decorations, homemade goodies, gift baskets, clothes, and of course cash. They ask if I need help, can they bring me lunch, walk a dog, sweep, wash windows -- you name it my clients have offered it!

    Yesterday, a sweet customer called and asked if I needed any more formica counter top, her husband was doing a re-model and they pulled out a piece of counter in good shape. She had thought of me first. She said they'd run by later in the day to show it to me. Afterwards, I'm worried that it's nothing I'm going to need and they will have gone to all this trouble to come to my shop, how can I refuse this wonderful offer? Well, what a surprise when I look in their truck: IT IS EXACTLY the same pattern as my original counters. It is the perfect 5 foot length I need for an additional counter in my bathing room and it even has a pre-made frame the right heighth!

    My customers are my friends, they know they can ask for favors if need be, the best ones can call my cell phone on my day off, they know I will do everything I can to assist them, and they repay me ten fold! I have often thought I was the most spoiled/pampered groomer in town.

    So I challenge everyone here: WHAT wonderful things have your clients done for you??? and maybe .... you for them?

  • #2
    Great..but not like a F.Flagg book.

    one old sick lady with hubby dieing across street from my mom, called each evening to see how I was, before and after my mom died. I never saw her again...next visit she wasn't home...noone told me she had died! Lisa S. Is one of my best ever. Saw her last Tues. 2nd year invite to Christmas Eve open house. Prior she gave me 2Macy gift cards, 1Steinmart (dept store) 1 Outback restaurant+ cash. + grooming.money. It matched reg grrom price in gifts and cash. I had to call her immed. Lisa, you went wat overboard...noone ever went beyond 1 ben franklin before! Treats me like friend-not a service provider. You still have remarkable clients. Sounds like a small town Fanny Flagg book.

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    • #3
      A Customer gave me someting special

      I was planning on buying a puppy from this couple and went to go get the dog and pay. While the husand is finding paperwork he brings me a flyer from 1988! I had lost track of these people while I moved out of state for several years in the mid- "90's. Then when I moved back to SoCAl and started a new mobile grooming business they found me again. It was special to me that after all these years they had kept my flyer. Then made a copy for me to keep.
      Last year I needed to raise some money and several clients were willing to prepay so I could raise the funds. Plus, tips, gifts and even an air line ticket to go to my daugher funeral. My clients over the years have been the greatest people I know.

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      • #4
        I've only been in business for a little over 6 months now, and have found that my mobile customers are absolutely wonderful, for the most part. At Christmas, I was talking to one of my customers and told her that I was so busy this year that we hadn't even put up a Christmas tree. Before I left she stuck a $100 bill in my hand (aside from the $55 tip she always gives me)and said I was to use it t buy a tree, since everyone should have one.

        I have had customers send me home with toys for my dogs (now how sweet is that), had them make me bandanas.

        When I had my van accident one of my customers, who is an artist, offered to help me find someone to fix it and offered to paint my graphics on the van if I wanted (of course, I denied...I love my vinyl ones).

        All this after 6 months. There are some nice ones out there. Of course I do try to go above and beyond, too. I went out to a customers house on the sunday before New Years, just to look at their dog's anal glands because they were concerned. (There was nothing I could do, but it made them happy), For dogs that are in my neighborhood I have offered to stop and clip nails free of charge, just to keep up on them, and on one I go in between just to do a sanitary (its a sheltie who gets messy if not kept shaved). I don't mind doing it, and I don't see it as losing money, I see it as building a relationship with the customers. Besides, I like visiting with the dogs. It's s nice not to be rushed, and have to be on a strict schedule.
        don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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        • #5
          client appreciation

          My clients are wonderful. I have very few that are a pain and even those aure usually the most thoughtful and caring when needed. When I startedout mobile, I had an elderly dog that rode with me each day. My clients all wanted to meet her and would usually ask how she was doing each tiem I would visit. I got so many cards when she passed away that showed just how much they really cared. They now often ask when I am going to start bringing a new dog with me. LOL I have had clients give me BAGS of dog toys (I only have 8 dgs to play with them. LOL), I have been given 2 near new sealy posturpedic dog beds with extra covers just because they redecorated and they no longer matched the decor so they got new ones in a different color. I regularly get very good tips and at Christmas often get $100 bills for tips. My clients know I use my tips to fund attending trade shows and getting new equipment and are very appreciative of the results they see in my grooming. Some will tip me in cash and also a gift card and say it is because though they do appreciate what I do with my tips, they want me to do something for me too. I have been given 2 brand new ex-pens, they got them for a puppy until she was large enough not to fit through their fence then no longer needed them so gave them to me. I could go on and on about how wonderful my clients are. Yes, I do have a few that can be a pain, but even those are usually very caring people, just particular about their pet.

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          • #6
            Aside from the usual goodies, I have one client who owns a fancy boutique, and her dog regularly gifts me with the best skin care products. I groom two wheatens who's owner also owns a local pizzaria...I can eat there on the house any time I want. One client is an artist who has given me a one-of-a-kind bull terrier sculpture. It was his first attempt at sculpting a bully, and it's a caricature, rather than a life sculpture. Very comical.

            One elderly lady really touched my heart. She was truely indigent, and was skipping meals in order to have her little dog groomed. I just couldn't do it, and told her I'd comp the groom. She wouldn't hear of it. So she started baking me pies, a pie for a groom. The dog was a real sweetie, and didn't take much grooming. I'd have gladly done it for free. But I took the pie, even though I felt like I was taking food from her mouth. It allowed her to keep her dignity. She has since passed away. I sure do miss her.

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            • #7
              I have some awesome clients! My business is about 70% word of mouth, and I love it when someone calls and says" Mrs.Smith gave me your number; she says you're so good to Rex and she loves his trim"; it makes my day! Some have gone above & beyond for getting my name out there. One lady made flyers to put on the memo boards in her apt. building to plug my bus., other people take my cards to hand out to whoever they know. They have been a huge help in getting established. One client who has a small business gave me the name of his accountant to help me sort out taxes. In addition to all the tips, cards, gifts and homemade goodies I get at Xmas, I also had alot of clients bring me stuff from their gardens through the summer, and jars of homemade pickles, onions, and salsa(yum). When their dogs get their pictures done they bring me over one, which I love. I feel very lucky to have had a chance to meet so many neat people. I also want to mention my awesome next door neighbors who snowblow my sidewalk and path, and bring my pets treats when I groom their Shih Tzu. I love you Bill & Tina!

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              • #8
                I agree. I may have one or two clients who can be a bit bothersome but I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such wonderful clients. I am constantly amazed at the things they do for me. When my dog my 16 yr old Austrailian terrier died last summer, one of my clients sent me flowers, a snail mail card, 3 email cards, and made a donation in my dogs name. She also sent me email every few days for a month checking on me to make sure ok no matter how often I assured her that I was fine. I had another elderly client whose 2 dogs I did every other week. One day I was telling her that I was looking forward to a long weekend Id booked myself after the summertime rush. She left and came back ten minutes later with $100 bill. She kept shoving it at me telling me she wanted me to "Go do something fun during my break cuz I deserved it" I kept saying "no" and she kept shoving it into my hands, pockets, even down my shirt. LOL she finally got all teary eyed and told me it would mean so much if Id take it so I finally did.

                I tried to hide from my clients when I had cancer and was going through treatment but when some of them found out (no hair, they asked the receptionist) I started getting cards, hugs, people telling me if I needed to talk... stuffed animals and candy kisses. I think those hugs were the most meaningful hugs in my life. I was so emotional during that time anyway!!

                Ive had 2 clients send me gift cards when THEIR dogs died to thank me for taking such good care of them in their final days and one women sent me flowers in memory of her dog..

                Another customer is always bringing me little gifts she "picked up" here and there that she thought Id like. Thoughtful things. the last one was a book shed read .. a dog story, with a pretty beaded bookmark she made herself

                Thats off the top of my head, the list goes on and on. I too dont just see my customers as customers but I see them as friends. Sometimes I wish I could do more for them then just groom their doggies for all that they do for me! Im a lucky girl

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                • #9
                  The vast majority of my clients are wonderful and appreciative. I had one that I was grooming for free (a KSDS Service dog--golden retriever named Jorge, "J" for short). His owner with whom he'd graduated in 2004 was dying of cancer, and a few local puppy raisers were helping her husband take care of J so he could continue working as a OTR trucker and spend time with his wife between runs. J also spent a lot of time at the hospital with his partner and my contribution (minimal as it was) was keeping J clean for them. No matter what I had on the books, I would take J on a day's notice and groom him straight through. I never met his owner, but heard wonderful things about her. She had a strong will to live, and hung on for several more months than she logically should have. Several of us puppy raisers went to her funeral--with our puppies in tow. J was there, as handsome as can be, in his harness; shortly after the service, his puppy raiser became his permanent owner, as KSDS didn't feel that he should be made to bond with yet ANOTHER new person (sometimes young service dogs are "repartnered" if something happens to their disabled partner).

                  A few months later, Mr C came into the animal hospital with a card for me. The card would have been more than enough. But inside, there was $40 cash and gift cards to both Jones Store and Granite City (a restaurant with a divine Sunday Brunch buffet).


                  I think it's human nature to complain about the bad and just take the good majority for granted. You always hear in business that a satisfied customer will come back, and an ecstatic customer will tell 3-4 people, but an unhappy customer will tell 10 people. In these communities, where we all know that every ONE of us has dealt with the exact same clients and dogs (just different fur coats and different names), it's easy to vent and commiserate about the annoying minority--until it seems that we hate all or most of our customers.... The sloppy puppy kisses seem to be easily forgotten and tips get spent--but a throbbing, swollen bite wound is remembered for several days.... And a bruised ego because a client didn't like/appreciate your work is also hard to get over. Like any other artists, we groomers are an odd bunch in the eyes of "normal" people--and sometimes that artistic temperament flairs up.

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                  • #10
                    ITS A WONDERFUL BUSNIESS TO BE IN WE LOVE THERE PETS AND MAKE THEM PRETTY AND IN RETURN BESIDE PAYING US FOR THIS THEY GIVE US THE BEST GIFT OF ALL FRIENDSHIP. WHO WOULD OF THOUGHT. GET THIS I HAD ONE CUSTOMER WHOS DOGGIE I DONT GROOM MY OTHER GROOMER DOES IT CAME IN AND GAVE EACH OF US 50.00 WHICH THERE 4 INCLUDNG THE BATHERS AND I HAD A LITTLE GAL COME IN FOR A WEEK AND SHE GAVE HERE 25.00 HOW SWEET IS THAT AND ALL THE CANDY,COOKIES,BATH STUFF,GIFT CARDS,MONEY,AND MY FAV. PICTURES OF THE PUPS TO HANG AND MY CHRISTMAS CARDS HOW I LOVE THOSE. I EVEN HAD ONE OF MY UNCLE GARY (CUSTOMER) HELP MY BATHER CLEAN THE X-MAS DECOR OFF THE WINDOWS. i WAS OUTSIDE CLEANING THEM OFF HE KICKED ME OFF THE PROJECT AND CALLED MY YOUNG MAN BATHER TO ASSITS IN THE PROJECT THEY GOT IT DOEN IN 15 MIN. HES SUCH A SWEET MAN I LOVE HIM. MY HUBBY AND I HAVE GONE FOR DINNER. HE HAD US THERE WHEN HE WAS GETTING HIS BOAT SO WE CAN GO ON THE MAIDEN VOYAGE ( COUNTRY CLUB LAKE ) GREATA FRIEND. AND THERE SO MANY MORE TO LIST I JUST SEND OUT A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED ME IN OPENING MY SALON THEY WERE SO GOOD.

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                    • #11
                      I agree with everyone. I have a wonderful relationship with my regulars.
                      I get lots of goodies at christmas, when my children were born I got overwhelmed with baby gifts, they bring me homemade goodies, edible and non. When we lost our beloved pet I got showed with cards. They share out of thier garden, and I share out of mine. It's nice to have these people in your life.
                      Being a farmers wife, I dont get out much. With all the chores to do and two little kids, its hard to just "hang out" with friends. So I just get to hang out with my clients instead LOL

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                      • #12
                        The best thing I ever got from a client was a free Bichon akc champ linespup!I already had two Schn in condo. san mateo co. only allows 3 dogs,condo bylaws..No dogs but no one complained and we did't want to push it. I pet sat and ecen watchedover a breeding.mating. Cruz was from a litter down the road in time. Pet-sitting client-she did all her grooms.

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                        • #13
                          This is a wonderful post!

                          There are too many awesome gestures to mention.

                          Expensive gifts, consistently generous tips, gestures way above and beyond, but I think that I am most flattered by those who have been with me from the beginning of my career and followed me wherever I went.

                          Thank you for posting this uplifting reminder.

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                          • #14
                            What a bunch of wonderful things everyone has to say about their customers. We all have so many fantastic customers. Stephen made me aware of what we say here is so often negative but I know the problem issues are what we seek help for! I am often embarrased by the overwhelmingly kind things my customers do for me, say about me and give to me! I am eager to hear more great customer stories! Thanks to all.

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                            • #15
                              Great thread! Yes, over the many years I've been blessed with the BEST clients and their beloved pets. Gifts and cash and hugs and home-made goodies and crocheted pillows and pickles and veggies and the list could go on and on. Now, some will roll in my garbage container, or pick up my mail. One offered to snow blow my walk. I appreciate each and every one of them

                              One of the most treasured gifts came just last week She had promised some goodies at Christmas, but never got around to bringing them in. She came in with some beautiful daffodils in a vase and an early Valentine's gift- a beautiful angel by Susan Lordi holding a puppy on her shoulder. It will be treasured forever. Every time I look at her, I think about what I do and how my clients and pets feel about me. If I have a bad day or a difficult groom, I just look at this angel filled with love and feel good again. How humbling it is to receive so much love from these wonderful people. I so hope I'm deserving.
                              Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                              Groom on!!!

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