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  • client dilemma ...long

    I need advise on what you guys would do, I have a client who has been bringing me her dogs for 9 yrs now. Started out with 2 Grt pyr, now she has 3 Grt pyr and a Saint B. Dogs are okay to do, one hates his feet worked on so it takes 2 people to do, one will bite you if you do her nails and the St. B. drools all over herself, I'm exhausted when i'm done and I usually have to go to the chiro the next day. ....

    I used to work on Sats and did her dogs on Sats but when I quit doing weekends, she was the one who got the most pissed off, and she is a social worker for kids, you think she would understand,. I have 2 young kids who I have to take care of....anyways

    Heres what happened, my bathers husband had to have emergency gall bladder surgery today and the big ones were scheduled today. So I called the owner and told her that I could do her tomorrow at 8am so I can be done by noon so I can get my other stuff done cause I have a hectic weekend. She says, "No, I will be there at 9. " I said, no I want them here at 8. She said no , I cant and wont do that. She wants to sleep in and take her time getting here.

    This lady has no children of her own and has no clue on what its like to get out of the house with "real" kids. She has been bossy and talking down to me for years. She also said, "I have a JOB that I have to work at during the week, and I work 11 hour days"
    For one, I have a JOB too... LOL and she is a govt employee and with all the budget cuts I can guarantee that she is not getting all that overtime.,, also she says she can never get away and she leaves her dogs here all day and cant pick them up till after 5pm. Well, I found out that she goes home everyday twice to let them out to pee.

    I know I'm rambling and might not make sense, I just dont know what to do. I love the dogs, I just hate her. She is demanding, walks all over me, and I'm tired of it.

    fire her? or not fire her? Financially I'm fine so thats not an issue, but she has been a client for 9 yrs, why is this so hard to deal with?

  • #2
    Raise her prices to the point that it's worth it to you. Tell her when you say 8am, that means 8am, period. Tell her if she picks up after you're closed, then its $XX more, period. If she doesn't like it, she'll fire herself. Maybe she'll go around to other groomers and come back with her proverbial tail between her legs. I'm all about treating my clients well and going the extra mile, but you deserve respect in return, especially after 9 years of serving her! If you are doing fine financially, you're lucky enough to be at the point where you can be choosy about who/what you're willing to deal with.
    Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have been sat on.

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    • #3
      First of all, when you reschedule a client, you must be considerate to their needs. Personally, I like my days when I have planned to de-compress. I really need that time. Maybe she does too. Going home to let them out to pee is not the same as going to your shop, then taking them home, and THEN letting them out to pee. You really cannot judge her schedule. I am sorry it is inconvenient for you to have an extra hour out of your Saturday, but if it is not her fault, then don't punish her. I have six dogs from one end of the county to the other tomorrow. I would not usually do this, but my water heater broke last weekend. It sucks the big one, but that is MY problem as the business owner.

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      • #4
        Lucy, I understand where you're coming from. But I don't agree.

        She had the option of taking the Saturday hours offered to her, or not. If not, she can reschedule for a later date, or try to get in elsewhere. But she isn't the one calling the shots, and I think it would be a huge mistake to let her take control, especially since it sounds like she's more than a little on the rude and unreasonable side.

        Angie, if I were in your shoes, I'd call the woman back and tell her "I know you have a job. I have one too. This is my job, and I work set hours. I'm making an exception to come in on my day off, and I will expect you at 8. If you can't make it then, you'll have to reschedule because if you aren't here by 8:15 I'm locking up and going home."

        And I wouldn't let her bully me into anything else. We spend a lot of time discussing how we teach our clients how to treat us. And I think you need to teach her a lesson. This is not how we treat the groomer.

        There's a time and place to make exceptions and go out of your way for clients. IMO this is not one of them.

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        • #5
          My two cents added to Helly's advice. I so agree with her. Be firm,but nice.

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          • #6
            sounds to me like you know the answer. Stand your ground, things come up and she shouldn't be allowed to be a bully.

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            • #7
              Cha-ching!

              I think its hard to deal with because you feel disrespected for so long, your just tired of it. Personally I would start charging fees, PITA fees lol. Hmm, they take you 4hrs and she wants to leave them for 5 extra hours? Can you say daycare fee? Per dog. They are taking up room and a lot of it, where other clients can fill in if they werent there for so long.

              Whats that? 8 is not good for you, only 9? Sure let me check my schedule.. oh pooh 9 seems to be a popular time this month... Let's check next month...

              You can always give her the option on comming on another Sat since she she refused the available time you made for her, but since she needs to reschedule(cant do 8am so YOU cant do them this Sat) then she will forfeit her after hour discount... You will have to charge her 20 on top of the basic groom to make a special appointment for her during closed hours.... teehee. I think I have covered the bases.

              I have always felt that one should have a repoir with their clients, trying to accomodate them as best as possible, BUT disirespect, bossiness, and unappreciativeness are my pet peeves and I have no heart for those. Ill be a hard*ss for those. Perhaps Im wrong but I dont have time for nonsense.. at least if I work for myself lol.

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              • #8
                I too, have to agree with Helly in this situation. Would love to see her face when she shows up at 9:00 to find no one there. After 9 years she should have more respect for your time.
                Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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                • #9
                  I agree with all the rest...you do want to be accomodating to your clients, well coming in on a Saturday when you normall do NOT work is already making exceptions to your rule. I think this lady should already realize that your day off is not up for discussion.

                  Be firm! Maybe you can save the chiro visit for another time!


                  sittingpretty

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                  • #10
                    i also agree with helly! i had something like this happen to me with a client last year, like you i loved her dog a lab i had groomed for 8 yrs and was the sweetest dog ever! i groomed him weekly and i loved the dog but just could not stand the owner, she never paid on time always wanted to add her daughters poodle to get groomed when i got there to groom the lab and she was just rude and demanding.
                    So after 8yrs of dealing with her i cut her loose and here is my reason why!
                    she was very rude to my son. (he was 19yrs at the time) i was feeling sick all day and i told my son to groom the lab for me because i wanted to go home and rest, he agreed so went alone to groom the dog i had also told him to let her know that if her other dog needed to be groomed that i would go by the next morning to groom her since i had been there the week before and nobody was home so i could not groom them.

                    so my son shows up to the clients house rings the door bell and she hands him the maltese,my son tells her i'm sorry my mom is not with me today can i just get moose (the lab)she rolled her eyes at him and slammed the door on him too! comes back with the lab and tells him i'm going to let you groom him today but i really wanted the maltese done too your mom had to groom her today too! he says sorry again and then she says i'm so FN mad that she did not come and then tells him if she does this again i'm just going to find another groomer!
                    so my son takes the dog to the van and calls me to tell me what she said and he says mom i don't understand why you put up with this lady she wastes your time when we come and nobody is home plus you loose the money! she was not home last week when you had both dogs scheduled and now she expects you to groom the other dog a week later without asking you first i asked him did you tell her i was going by tomorrow to groom her if she needs it done! he said she did'nt even let me talk she was very mean and was yelling at me! i asked my son if he had started to groom MOOSE he said no but what do you want me to do? i said what would you do he said as much as i love this dog and i will miss him i just feel that nobody has the right to disrespect you like that because you are a pet groomer! i told him fine don't groom the dog and take him back and tell her as nice as posssible that we won't be grooming her dogs anymore and to have a nice day! and that's exactly what he did he said she was surprised and just stood there with the dog.

                    i was sad and i still miss that lab, but i don't miss her. everytime i had to deal with her she would riun my day and i would always try to avoid her and that's not good for you or your health.

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                    • #11
                      What Helly said, and stealing from smp, KANK to the curb! Respect must be earned, she has none for you, so you should have none for her. jmo
                      ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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                      • #12
                        Do not let a client dictate how and when you work.....fire her

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                        • #13
                          especially with HUGE dogs

                          If it's too late to deal with her, and she's showing up tomorrow at 9, then it's probably best you be there, BUT... have a policy sheet ready with all the "add ons" say things, like appointments my need to be rescheduled without notice due to groomer illness, or family emergency, etc... as well as your extra fees for all your trouble.

                          If she wants you, she'll abide, otherwise, say goodbye.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks guys, you all are great. .....I havnt spoke with her yet about tomorrow, we have been playing phone tag all day. I was with no bather so I had my hands full. The doors will be locked in the morning. Dont know if she will show up or not.

                            I will keep you posted on how it goes............

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