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I still worry over lost customers......anyone else?

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  • I still worry over lost customers......anyone else?

    Has any one here ever lost a customer and let it still bother them months later?
    I had this one customer I had been doing her dogs (2 poodles) every couple months for a couple years. She was pretty nice but had a tendency to drag in late for her appointments every now and again. (up to a couple hours late sometimes) and I'd still manage to squeeze the dog in and get it done. Well, one morning she insisted she had to drop this dog off at 8 a.m. because she had to be to work early. So, I scheduled time to do Lilly from 8 to 9:30. Then, at 9:30 I had 2 more dogs scheduled to come in. Well, I got there early and 8 oclock came and went. She never showed. Well, the phone rang at 9:30 just as my next 2 were rolling in the door. It was her. "I have Lilly here at work with me and was just making sure it was still ok to bring her over. I know she's a little late." Well, as nicely as I could I explained to her that I had been there early and sat there with nothing to do for an hour and a half. I wish she would have let me know! And that my next dogs were now coming in and I had no time for her now. While I was still on the phone she yelled to someone in the back she was working with and said real snippy "Can you take Lilly home? She cant do her today." Like I was being the pain or something. Then, she said she'd call me later for another appointment. It's been a few months now.
    Then, about a year ago. there was this one lady. A real good customer for several years. Picky but nice. I would go out of my way to help her, when she wanted to cancel or move appointments, need certain days, ect. I had even come in a couple times at like 6:30 in the morning so she could get her poodle done in time for business trips.well, one day she picked up a stray. And I went out of my way to help her clean it up even though it was psyco and had clearly never had human contact. Ever. Not to mention it had it's ear ripped off by another dog while at the vet's in the kennel. And got so nervious it almost everytime pooped diahrea (can't spell) when it came in. So, anyways she called to have it bathed because she said it was to chilly to have it shaved. OK. She cancelled that appointment and I rescheduled it for a week and a half later. The day she brought it in I was super busy and she said for me to shave it. But I had only scheduled her a bath like she wanted. well she got pissed and took the dog back home when I explained to her I didn't have time to shave it. A few days later she left a message on my machine and cancelled her poodles appt. for later that week. So much for customer loyalty. I guess everything was kosher as long as I was able to kiss butt! lol!
    I wonder if these people are happy where they're going to now?
    Sorry don't mean to vent. Or write a book. But these kind of things still weigh on my mind. And I end up feeling bad over them.
    Anyone else loose a customer in a crummy way?

  • #2
    I haven't lost this customer in a crummy way, she just isn't calling anymore for appt.
    I use to groom her Schn's for a couple of years. They both died, I moved away then came back. My sister-in-law told her I was back and she called and made an appt. She now has 2 yorkies. I have groomed them maybe three times but now she isn't calling. Haven't seen her sense before Christmas. I don't know if I did a groom wrong or if she thinks I'm charging her too much or what. I happened to see her out walking her dogs last night but I was in the car driving so I didn't stop and talk to her. I don't know if I should call her and find out what happened or just leave it alone. Her dogs are being groomed, I could tell. Maybe she has learned how to do it. I just don't want her to feel like I'm trying to get her business, which I guess I am, but I'm also a little concerned about why she isn't coming to me. What did I do?
    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


    • #3
      I think scenarios like yours have happened to every groomer. I tend to take it personally even though I know I shoudn't, and it sounds like you to . It's their problem, not anything you did wrong. Just remember that there is always someone out there that will replace them. Unfortunately, there are people out there that think everyone is around them to serve their every whim and when they aren't fulfilled they can be rude and nasty.
      don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.


      • #4
        That's why I stopped going out of my way for people. It's always the clients that expect "special treatment" yet never compensate you for it. From Now on if some one wants me to "do them a favor' I charge accordingly.


        • #5
          When I need my hair cut, I go to whatever walk in place is open. I just don't care that much about who cuts my hair. I think a lot of people are like that with their dogs (I'm very picky about who does what to my dogs and my kids...just not my hair). I can think of one client that I did every 6 weeks for years. When I couldn't fit her in one time, she switched groomers. When I check my client list to see who hasn't come in for awhile I wonder if the pet died, did they move, did I do something wrong? Sometimes we never know and think we did something they didn't like, only to find out that the pet passed away unexpectedly. I guess that's just part of doing business.


          • #6
            I look at it this way.......... You have them booked,they don't show,you could have booked someone're out double the groom. If you miss an appointment,I'll work with you to get one as soon as possible but I won't go out of my way and compromise reliable customers......Kapish!
            It's OK to miss now and then but I don't want to sit around for 2 hrs doing nothing.
            Don't worry about losing a customer who is irresponsible and inconsistant in their appointments. I hope she is reading this! Just my opinion.


            • #7
              We had a golden who came once a month. The owner sang our praises left & right, she was sooooooo happy. One day she called to cancel her appointment, told me "it will conflict with something, I'll call you back to rescedule." She never did. The holidays rolled around so I called her to make sure she was ok & if she wanted to book her Xmas appointment. She said "Nope, that's ok." As pleasant as ever, still no clue what happened with her.

              We wondered about it for a little while & then accepted that we'll never know the answer. We didn't do anything wrong to our knowledge & if we did, she should have said so. Maybe she lost her job, maybe the dog died & she can't talk about it, maybe her aunt's cousin's sister's best friend is a groomer, who knows?!


              • #8
                It seems to me you went out of your way to accomodate these people, the good soul that you are. You have better things to do then sitting and waiting for them to show up. Who needs customers like these? They make your life miserable and add stress. Who needs 'em. Don't give it another thought. And don't feel quilty. Look for those customers that treat you with respect as in showing up on time and understanding that when you're busy, you're busy. That's basic. You're not on this planet to be at someone's beck and call. Send them over to Monkey Noze- I'll give them a good talkin" to!! lol


                • #9
                  I lost customers sometimes, I do my best and if that isn't what they want, I lost them, my damage control is not to lose too many. A certain degree of losing customer is the nature of any business, I think. It is like shoes, different styles, different buyers, and we do change our styles from time to time, does that make sense?
                  Sometimes I even lost customers b/c I don't say neg things about others and the dog owners seem to think I knew nothing or simply stupied. For example, a dog was boarding for three months, it came back with urine coloured coat and smell, also skin problem on tummy, I thought it was caged in a dirty small cage and lying in its own urine. If I said something, then I was accusing whoever boarded it, and I wasn't a vet, so I pointed out the skin problem and told her to go to the vet. Owner asked why, I said I didn't know, never seem her since. I guess she either thought I did something wrong, or not experience enough to groom her dog. The same way I won't say negative words about other groomers.


                  • #10
                    Sure do. We did an old cocker for yearssss. The owner always had a billion instructions on him which we always worked with. When the dog boarded with us we went so far as to put a night light in the room, lol. Well, they repeatedly showed up late for appointments, or no showed. One time the husband showed 20 minutes late for appointment, and this was last straw. We were totally packed crazy that day, so we had to turn him away. He freaked out in the waiting room. My boss was pretty upset. We'd been grooming the dog forever, and he was OLD, and like I said we really worked with them, and they just kinda freaked out on us. The wife called and talked to my boss about it, and explained the situation, and from there my boss explained her take on it. The conversation ended well. But we haven't seen them since!!!
                    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


                    • #11
                      I had a client just this past week, thats been coming in since 2003. She missed her Monday appt and showed up on Tues. I already was overbooked for the day. She said can't you groom her today? look at her, she can barely walk!( it had been 3 1/2 months since last trim) I said I really can't do it today unless I stay til 7 o'clock tonight and I don't want to do that either! I had 11 haircuts scheduled already! I added her to an already booked following Friday...she left a bit miffed. Didn't show up for that Friday appt and I haven't heard from her since! Its not our fault they don't remember when they are suppose to be there, and I don't have time to babysit them. so, imo...let them go someplace else..I stopped killing myself to please people a little while back. We are not the door mat for the world. Don't let them drag you down to that level either!! stop worrying and keep clippin!


                      • #12
                        I had a customer lost today. I called to confirm a Bichons appointment for tommarow. The owner told me that she did not schedule the appointment and she had already taken her to a shop to get groomed. I know she made the appointment and she has been a customer for 1 1/2 years. I don't know why. Maybe she was disatisfied the last groom. I can't do anything about it if they don't tell me.


                        • #13
                          Briarpatch- Me Too!

                          My haircut sentiments exactly!
                          Just last Thursday, I just go around to whoever will get in me. I never -would ever complain about the price or that they didn't get my cut perfect. I just accept that it will or it won't.

                          Many of my clients don't get it.
                          I'm sure some people think I'm *itchy when I don't bend over backward to get them in. I try to keep a running list of my regulars who call & want in the same day & I always keep a slot or 2 open for them!
                          The dog owners who only want in when they start to smell an odor when their poor dog appears can go elsewhere permanently.

                          I had a price increase in Feb & when I called to tell a very price conscious (nice way to say cheap *##) client whom I had not seen since before Christmas, He pulls a no show!
                          OK whatever.

                          Don't sweat the small stuff- most of the time.
                          Remember I was whining several weeks ago when one of my regulars went elsewhere when I was ill. I got over it.



                          • #14
                            Yeah, THE TWO CUSTOMERS are probably BOTH happy where they're going now. But the poor groomer is probably wishing they'd go somewhere else!

                            You know what, you took way too much crud from these people who treated you like a doormat. Yes, every now and then having an emergency is OK, but to show up early to do HER (the first one) a favor and she gets rude because you couldn't take her in later? GIRL, feel no guilt!! Feel FREE! You are free of that client, free of "wondering" if she'll show up or not, free of the PROBLEMS that come with clients like that.

                            And the other one? Oh my gosh, she cancelled over THAT? Was your response curt or does she really thing that you're supergroomer and can physically do more than your fair share of dogs each day? I have to explain to people sometimes, "It's not that I don't want to get you in today Mrs. Dimplebum, it's that I PHYSICALLY cannot do more than ___ dogs a day, and the receptionists actually scheduled me one more than that, a dachshund, and I'm already pushing for time."

                            If I were you, I'd not be feeling guilty, I'd be throwing a party!!!

                            Tammy in Utah
                            Groomers Helper Affiliate


                            • #15
                              Hope you don't keep feeling that way

                              You didn't lose a customer, you lost a pain in the you know. These people did not respect you or your business. Be glad they are gone.

                              Now the situation with mijothewonderdog would really bother me. I would be thinking what went wrong? I would try to tell myself that the person's cousin started grooming or something like that.
                              Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.