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  • Repeat Customers

    Hey Guys,

    The thread about getting a smooth cut on a dog's legs had me thinking about repeat customers in shops. I am mobile. Most of my clients are on a 2 to 4 week basis. The longest I will let a client go is 6 weeks. When I look around my area, I notice that there are many dogs that are 7 stripped. You know that this guy is not rushing back to the groomer any time soon. Here is my question to you all, what is the average length of time between grooms for your clients? If it is longer than 8 weeks, do you strip the dog down? If you did not strip the dog, and left it fluffy, would you see the client sooner? If you left your dogs a bit longer, would your client notice that "Fifi" needs to get groomed sooner than her mandatory 12 weeks? How many of you are willing to try it? When I stopped into a very popular shop in the Orlando area this winter, I noticed that very few of the dogs were stipped. Most were left very fluffy, but neat. These dogs were all on very regular schedules. This may be food for thought for those of you complaining about being slow right now.

  • #2
    Most of mine are on 4/6/8 week schedules, with some shelties and such at 10 weeks (without a problem). My one St. Bernard comes in once a month or 6 weeks max, and I can tell the difference when it's 6 weeks!! lol

    I am booked out 2 weeks right now, 7 dogs a day, 5 days a week. You say you don't see many strips, but what I DON'T see in dogs that are regularly groomed are the many behavior problems associated with a dog that gets groomed less frequently. I had one sneaky owner (She doesn't know she's sneaky, I just call her that, lol) who hasn't been in for over FOUR months!!! So she calls in on April 10th and got an appointment for the 11th---I had a cancellation and this woman got it. Boy was I ticked when I found out. Her dog is such a nasty little thing, I charge $5 more each time just because I "have" to use my Groomers Helper on this dog (LOL), and she always tips me, thankfully, because I am the only one that will groom the dog unsedated. Now, she's not a freak show, flipping and all that, she just gets nasty over her precious toenails and front legs which unnerves me a little bit. Whoopie. But I'd still rather do Mellow Molly than ANGRY ANNIE any day, so I agree about the pre-booking and getting them in sooner!!!

    What I want to know is how do you get people on 1/2/3/4 week schedules? I mention this to SOME of my clients and they look at me with that "Are you serious?" look on their faces, like it's UNHEARD of to get your dog groomed that often! Unfortunately, the clients here aren't quite like those in New Jersey. I am impressed with the quality of groomers I've heard of from NJ (You're one of them), Chuck (Beth) Simons, and many others.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      I have a few clients that are monthly, they all started as 7f cusotmers but I told them how I would LOVE to see poochy in a longer fluffier cut, they normally agree and then I explain with their hair type they would need monthly appts. Many have agreed and have set up schedules.

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      • #4
        You make a very valid point. I have two salons and a mobile: In Mobile my clients are weekly to every month with a few on my maximum 6 week length.

        In my Salon A (demographics, middle to upper middle class, tons of Stay-at-home moms, country club area): Most clients are every other week to 3 and 6 or 8 week intervals very few OAY. We use Comb Attachments on almost all.

        Salon B: Hard working, 2 income family, middle to lower income, many clients averaging $8- $15 per hour incomes. Tons of OAY to Semi-oay, lots of 12 week intervals. Most don't rebook before leaving they just call when it is time. This shop uses 5f and 7f a-o like they are going out of style. I have tried maintenance plans to encourage more frequent attendance and it doesn't work even $25 every other week doesn't work. I get alot of phone calls "can you shave my dog down w/o bathing and would that cut down on the cost" of course the answer is NO.

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        • #5
          Their are some client who do not have the economic situation to be on a every 3-4 week schedule and are good owners knowing that ask for short trim, so they can go longer and keep thier pet at a manageable level for them. Not always the case but for some it is the reality of thier situation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SpikeyTheYorkie View Post
            I am impressed with the quality of groomers I've heard of from NJ (You're one of them), Chuck (Beth) Simons, and many others.

            Tammy in Utah

            Thank you m'am!

            I think you are doing great being booked 2 weeks out. Not too many shops can say that Tammy.

            As far as getting clients to commit to a 2 week schedule - I have anal, Type A clients. They can't stand to have a hair out of place, and God forbid if the dog actually smells like a dog!

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            • #7
              A lot of my clients are on a 4 week schedule, and get a strip every time. Cockers, Shih Tzus, Yorkies, mixed breeds...they get taken right down to their undies every 4 weeks. Most of the poodles get short kennel cuts, too, every 4-6 weeks.

              I do have some that wait until Fluff is fluffy before they come in for a strip, but if I left them longer to encourage them to come back sooner, they'd be back sooner alright; the next day, for a re-groom!

              With a few exceptions, my OAY dogs are farm dogs. They spent the winter in the barn, and they stink. The farmer isn't going to bring the dog in more often, no matter what I do. It's just not going to happen.

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              • #8
                Tammy is so right about behavour -- even dogs that don't like to be groomed will go along with it if it is part of their regular routine. Almost all of my clients are on a 4-6-8 week schedule (just a few exceptions), usually seven a day, five days a week. All are booked for the year, I'm not accepting new clients at this time, but do keep a waiting list.

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                • #9
                  I have a customer who has me do a #10 strip on her english cocker (including the ears and clean feet). I groom the dog every 8 weeks. I would much rather do this on a dog than try to demat a dog that the owner wants fluffy!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Most of my clients are every 2-6 weeks though I do have some that are 3-4 months. I don't think time between groomings is a good indication of whether or not they need a strip. The condition of the coat itself is that barometer for me. I rarely ever have to do a strip on a dog. If my client is good about maintaing their pet in good condition, I don't feel it is my place to tell them how often they must have their pet professionally groomed. Also, there are a whole lot of people that request very short clips, not because the dogs coat requires it, but because the ownet wants it. They are often people that know they aren't going to be diligent about brushing and want the dog to be comfortable.

                    If I have to strip a dog twice, they are simply told that they will need to find another groomer in the future. I am booked anywhere from 3-6 weeks out depending on time of year, I choose to cater to clients that care about their pets, not ones that expect me to be the bad person in the dogs mind as I am the only one dealing with the coat and that is only after plenty of neglect of caring for it regularly by the owner. They are told of this on the first strip and I am more than willing to offer to help teach them proper brushing techniques and gently guide them toward better upkeep of their pet.

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                    • #11
                      The vast majority of our clients are 4-5 week intervals. Almost everybody rebooks before leaving if they have not already booked out the year in advance. A few are weekly or every two or three weeks. A few six or seven week intervals. Not much longer than that. Even most of the bath dogs don't go much more than 5 weeks. If a dog returns matted we give the owner a choice of shorter cut or shorter time interval. Very few regulars get full strips but even those usually come in every 4-5 weeks.

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                      • #12
                        I agree with Peaster. The economic situation is such in Jersey that people do have disposible income and get Fifi groomed every 2,3,4 weeks. Thats not to say that there are other pockets of the country that are the same way. Being mobile tends to reach out to those clients that have the money to spend.
                        Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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                        • #13
                          Most are semi repeating elsewhere.

                          Just recently I was complaining on another board about the people (75%) who always want the 7AO 3 times a year. I just won't do it anymore.

                          I have really taken to saying "No thanks. Go elsewhere."
                          It's not the short haircut, I am in FL I know.
                          If the dogs were somewhat maintained by the owner at home my attitude would be different. Fleas. Eye secretions so thick the skin underneath is irritated. Feces stuck to the rear end hair. Mats in the pads. Grossly overgrown nails.
                          I offered free nail trims in between full grooms & got few takers.
                          It looks to me like the dog goes home & the hair is not noticed for months.

                          These aren't the poor. They are people who are too cheap to pay for grooming! They paid for purebred dogs! Of the ones I'm complaining about, there isn't one mixed breed!

                          I book by appointment so the dogs get one on one attention.
                          The dogs are clean clean! I use a recirculating bather. I am skin smart, use pro shampoos, rinses & conditoners according to the dogs needs. I file nails. Everyone is hand dryed. No cages. I use a clipper vac. Face blades are not used elsewhere. Prices are not high. I'm gentle & patient. Etc....

                          It doesn't matter.
                          I don't know what else to do.

                          So, I am looking into mobile so I can really cater to those who want only the best.

                          Erica

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                          • #14
                            I really think it depends on the area, and the type of clients you have.
                            Majority of my clients are on every 1-4 week schedules. Few on 6 and maybe two on 8 weeks. Now that I do have plenty of help, we do take call in's also. I don't leave pets longer to try to get them in often, I try my best to do what the client wants. whether short or long. The majority of my grooms are #1 combs in length. Though we do see some #7's for monthly haircutes! I have two poodles I groom every 2 weeks, a full groom, in miami-new yorker trim. (at least I believe that's what it's called) I groom a bichon every 2 weeks full groom, not even that long really.
                            Being from up north, and now grooming in FL. I think dogs just get stinkier down here. The humidity maybe? So they seem to need to be de-stinked more often LOL

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PoodlePal View Post
                              I have a customer who has me do a #10 strip on her english cocker (including the ears and clean feet). I groom the dog every 8 weeks. I would much rather do this on a dog than try to demat a dog that the owner wants fluffy!!!!

                              I have quite a few regular customers that get sevens and tens. It's fine with me, they like it short, and like you I'd rather shave than demat.

                              I have quite a few that will get a shave in the summer, and longer in the winter, but even with the longer style, they will still only bring their dog in every three months. Hence having to demat. They don't think that because the dog is longer they should bring it in more often.
                              Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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