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idea - good or not?

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  • idea - good or not?

    I have a home-based business - about 9 months old. Not much in the way of rebooking. (Lots of customers return, but don't reschedule until they want to come back!)

    I have an idea for a program to encourage rebooking. I would sign people up - we would agree on an appropriate grooming interval - I would give them a new appt each time they come - every tenth appt would be free - also free nail trims as long as they're in the program. They would have to maintain the schedule to stay in the program - (within reason considering family emergencies etc.)

    Has anyone else ever done anything like this at home or in a salon? I know that my corporate job has a similar program, but I didn't know about others. I have asked people if they want to rebook, but they just say they'll call back, and I would really LOVE to get those appointments in the book! LOL!

    Am I hurting or helping myself with this idea? Lots of feedback would be very welcome. Thanks!

  • #2
    Good question. I was wondering the same thing. I do side grooming a home and have 2 other jobs so I would like to get people to have an appt for the next time so I can plan around it not last minute well I don't have that day off but we could do this day and they would be like well I can't do it that day either. It's annoying.

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    • #3
      I don't know

      but I know the corporate that I was at gave a free groom after 10 grooms, not for the 10th, but after the tenth only in a rotating year. They slipped in the 10 grooms in one year in fine print. That meant the dog would have to have been groomed aproximately every 5 weeks. It was a clever way to get some people regular, but mostly people never read the one year deal, and would think they got a free one after 10 grooms.

      Their free bag of the same dog food bought also is a rotating year, so that your 10th bag would have to be within a year of the first of those 10 bags.

      I think many groomers give a discount if in by a certain amount of time. I don't and I'm glad, because most of my customers have their dogs groomed often.

      I was thinking perhaps a first time customer, set it up, but not ongoing? Your idea sounds similar to a discount in the end and might get people on schedules. Wonder if you'd feel tireder knowing no money for that one free groom though?
      Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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      • #4
        Yes that is a great idea but I wouldn't groom for free. You will end up having some the day day or week for free and not be getting any money. I give $5 off for 3/4 weeks, BATHS ONLY, when they get clipped it is full price, then it goes down from there for 1 & 2 weeks but the discounts are per pet not breed/size. The more they come the better they are it seems. I book them for the year and give them a card, cuts down on rescheduling time and they seem to like it. We just pick a date and time that works for them and if it is open they get it. I have a ton of people doing it. It is how I got so busy so fast. PS. I charge full price for the first time and if they no show thier price goes back to full price until they get back on schedule.

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        • #5
          We did a program like this in my shop location, it worked, but clients did try to take advantage...and the problem becomes that if you have several 'free' groomers for any given say it really takes a whack at the gross for the day.

          At my shop we gave the 10th groom free, IF the client re-booked before they left the shop each time. Some clients were on a schedule. It's a way to motivate clients to get in to the habit of re-booking.

          Now with my mobile...I just book them an appointment, usually 4 weeks. If they go longer, they pay more and run the risk of not getting in when they call.

          When I was in an area that was not into regular (heck a regular dog was one that I'd be lucky to see in 3 many 4 months) I dropped my price if clients would get on my monthly program...30 days or 4 weeks...no exceptions...boy it sure worked! With in a year, I had clients all year long (I was the only shop in town that did)...and when you figure $30 every 3 months as opposed to $17 every month...$51 in that three month time frame...it actually made more money for me, every month, and time frame was super fast for doing the groom...

          It has to be the mind set of the groomer too. It depends on what you let clients get away with, booking on their schedule or yours. OK, maybe that sounds a little harsh, but I know lots of shops that book this way and have waiting lists!

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          • #6
            I totally understand what you're saying...I'm trying to figure out something along these lines for myself too. I have some clients on a schedule like Pam suggested that she did - they get a discount groom if they book monthly. But others I just can't seem to get them to book their next appt. when they're picking up their dog (no matter what) - so then it's easily 8 -10 weeks before they come in again. They usually all come back, but don't want to book at that time. One thing that worked good quite a few times, was when the client called back to book - I was full. One client in particular had to wait 3 weeks and she wasn't happy. She now books all her appt.'s 6 months in advance. Still with several different methods I'm struggling with rebooking the majority of my clients.

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            • #7
              Don't give away free grooms!!!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by baddog View Post
                Don't give away free grooms!!!!!
                My thoughts exactly!!!!! Maybe a small discount but not a whole groom.
                "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                Diane

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                • #9
                  question

                  My question is if a dog got shaved with 7F, they won't need to be groom in 4 weeks. So does most bath dogs, most people don't bath their dogs every 4 weeks. How can you ask them to book every 4 weeks appointment?

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                  • #10
                    We used to use a program like that and it became a nightmare, clients would be matted, come-in and decide they didn't want a full groom this time but wanted an even better discount.

                    So, instead I had postcards made that say "Your Next Appointment Is ON:_____________ at:_______.

                    To Thank you for making and keeping your next appointment we want to pamper your pet for FREE! Bring this card and we will add a Teeth Brushing and Blueberry Facial ($15 value) for FREE.

                    Coupon has no cash value, expires on day of appointment, may not be combined for any other discount.

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                    • #11
                      I've know of a couple shops that use the "Frequent Fido Program". They reduced the price if they make an appointment once a month, and if they missed an apt. the price would go back up. It really worked!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bell View Post
                        My question is if a dog got shaved with 7F, they won't need to be groom in 4 weeks. So does most bath dogs, most people don't bath their dogs every 4 weeks. How can you ask them to book every 4 weeks appointment?
                        Either they want a nice/clean pet and save money at the same time or they don't, I offer the discount and also have a sign up, but don't push it. I have alot of 4 week, 3 week, 2 week and even 1 week clients. PLUS, the bath includes ears, nails, & pads also which should be done more frequent.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by azoci View Post
                          At my shop we gave the 10th groom free, IF the client re-booked before they left the shop each time. Some clients were on a schedule. It's a way to motivate clients to get in to the habit of re-booking.
                          This is what I am thinking about - the client and I would decide on the grooming interval and they would receive their next appt when they leave. The agreement card says, "We know that occasionally things happen to interfere with our regular schedules. If an emergency arises, please call as soon as possible to change your appointment. If a pattern of missed or delayed appointments becomes evident, Dog Hair Everywhere reserves the right to cancel this agreement."

                          Baddog and Pixie, in your opinion, would it be better to offer 10% off the regular grooming price instead of the 10th groom free? It probably works out close to the same, but a free groom just sounded more enticing!

                          Thanks everyone, keep the ideas coming - so far I'm leaning toward implementing some version of this idea.

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                          • #14
                            When I give pricing to people, I explain that the "base" price is based on a 4 week grooming schedule. And then I explain that additional coat, matting, size or temperment issues will alter the base price.

                            I have weekly, bi weekly and monthly dogs. The only enticement I give if they re-book is that they get the time and day that works for them. Otherwise I'm usually booked up and they have to be more flexible or wait for an opening. Which ends up costing them more.

                            I have worked at a salon that gave a flat $5.00 discount on prebooked appointments if booked at the time of departure and within a 4-6 week period. That seemed to work for them.

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                            • #15
                              I just started a promotion. That after 5 visits, they must have a full groom, or bath, brush out, they will get a free re-moisturizing treatment. I made this up on business cards and I give one to everyone. I punch out each time they come in and it is also set up on my comp. program to notify after 5 grooms.
                              I also made up cards for them to fill out when they come in, if they are new. At the bottom I wrote "would you like us to re-book your next appt. for you?" "If so, how many weeks?". I have them fill this out when they first come in and if they say "yes" to it and put down how many weeks, I re-book before they come back and hand them their appt. card.

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