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Had a Min. SChnauzer come in yesterday....

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  • Had a Min. SChnauzer come in yesterday....

    that was in a cocker clip. I asked the owner if he liked the skirting that high or if he wanted the breed standard. Of course he had no clue what i meant so i shown him a pick which he then agreed to the standard.The dog was a matted mess and was choppy all over from the owner cutting out mats. For some reason the owner said the ear crop was off and to leave the ears full. His coat was sparse and the previous groomers notes said she was taking a 10 to his back. The last time the dog was in was July. I did get the owner to agree to a nail dream, but no shampoo upgrade for his "schnauzer bumps".
    After starting the groom , the little guy understandably was not happy about the brushing. With the different lengths all over I called the owner to recommend just doing a shave down at a longer length and growing it back out for the pet's comfort. He started getting hostile with me over the phone stating how he paid more for this grooming than he has ever and he wanted his money's worth on what he paid for which was a Schnauzer clip! You didn't even know what I schnauzer clip was till i shown you! Grrrrr. I politely replied with the fact that the pet was matted and all different lengths at to leave a "fuller" leg it will be choppy looking. Also that it was more expensive because he add the nail drem. He of course did not care because he stated that it takes forever for the dog to grow coat (which I believed based on the sparseness of it).
    Well needless to say i did as he requested. I did do a 7 on his back though because if I did any shorter he would be bald. At pick up I told him he needed to supplement the dog's diet and talk to the vet as to what might be causing his poor coat growth. To no longer continue taking him so short as it is probably damaging the hair follicle and that I would do carding techniques to each groom to try to help. He needed to reschedule at least every 8 weeks and do a medicated shampoo. He just took the appointment card and said, "ok thanks, I'll call" and left. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to be a better groomer when these are the people I have to work with....."sigh". Well hopefully he'll get home and see an improvement and head my advice.
    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau

  • #2
    Oh, I know how you feel...it makes me so sad to see some of these poor dogs that we truly want to help, and the owner thinks all we want is more money. There are some days, really, that I have had dogs that make me cry. Yet the owner refuses to help them, and it's not like they can't afford it...

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    • #3
      Why do you try? Because eventually you will be rewarded with clients who appreciate you for what you do.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cockerlvr View Post
        Why do you try? Because eventually you will be rewarded with clients who appreciate you for what you do.
        this is so true. I have several clients I've tried suggesting things to and all I get is the good ol blank stare. I figured out pretty quickly not to bother, despite my wanting to help the animal. But yes, you WILL get clients who appreciate you and value your skills and knowledge. For me, one of the hardest parts of this career, is knowing that some dog owners simply do not care about the health and well being of their pet. They want it to look a certain way and that's it. The dog could be a matted mess, covered in fleas and poop with overgrown nails, eye boogers the size of marbles, but "OH DON"T SHAVE HIM! SAVE HIS HAIR!"

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        • #5
          Sorry that I'm taking the unpopular views lately. In this case I think you have to accept the blame on some of this.

          When the owner came in, and you were going over his dog and explaining the difference in hair cuts, it should have been obvious that the dog was matted. At that time the owner should have been made aware of his options.

          Instead, he got a call at home and was told he could pay more or have the dog shaved. I can see why he was annoyed and disappointed. I can see where he felt like this was a bit of a "bait and switch".

          Then when he came to pick up the dog he was hit again with more "suggestions to give me money". He was through with this grooming.

          NOW, I realize your intentions were good. You want to help people out and do what is right for the dog. However, this might have gone better if approached something like this:

          You: how would you like Rover groomed today?
          Client: I'd like a schnauzer trim
          Y: oh, that will look sooooo nice on Rover. I see that he is a bit tangled. I think the best thing to do today is take him down into a short and comfortable trim. Then, let's get him on a schedule and we can get him looking just how you want. How does that sound?
          C: I'd really want to have him in a schnauzer trim. I don't want him SHAVED.
          Y: we can do that. There is extra time involved to dematt his coat. I estimate about 30 minutes. We charge $60 an hour, so that will be an extra $30 on top of his hair cut price. Will that work?
          C: that is soooo much more then I want to spend. The other place only charges me $20.
          Y: and have you been happy with her work?
          C: I was, but they went out of business.
          Y: I'm sorry to hear that. So, let's take Rover down to a nice short trim this time and start him over. He'll look really nice, I promise.
          C: oh, ok. I'll give you a try.

          Notice that all decisions were made by the client before he left the shop. Notice that I kept tossing the ball back into his court. Notice I didn't worry about addressing skin or coat issues. That can be dealt with once he becomes a regular client. Let him just become accustom to the idea of paying more then $20 for a hair cut...that is enough for his brain to handle right now.

          Clients can be a challenge at times. It's mostly because they just don't know. Our job is to gently teach them.
          I often think that I'm "that client" when I talk to tech support people. Oh, I know I can be frustrating because I don't understand. And those tech support people are soooo patient with me. I'm sure they throw the phone and yell and stomp when they are done talking to me. "That. Woman. Just. Doesn't. Get. It!!!"
          So I try to remember that when I get frustrated with my clients. They just don't know and just don't want to feel stupid.

          Have a nice weekend.

          namaste...dogma

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice Dogma, but I think you may have misunderstood a few things. I find I'm not always clear sometimes though. So first, the role play you did is almost verbatim what I do genuinely do at check in as I am looking the dog over and feeling his coat. At first glance I only seen a couple of small knots in his legs that I knew would brush out easy so I did not say they was any extra cost for dematting at drop off due to this. He is a regular client to the other groomer on staff and has been coming for years but it was the first time I had meet him and his dog. The other groomer is actually the GM for the kennel I work at and only started grooming out of necessity as her previous groomer left. She's great if you want a kennel clip and her customers have become use to her style of grooming which is basically take a blade over everything, scissor the feet and face and send it home.
            When I called to request the shave down it was not due to the dog being so matted, it was due to the dog looked like **** from the owner cutting mats out at home and he was all different lengths. Plus my own pride of not wanting to send a dog home that was sub-par and i knew I could make this dog look better. I never said that there was going to be an extra charge for dematting at this point either. So no, I did not do a "bait & switch". I was concerned he would pick the dog up and then complain the cut was choppy and as he put it, "didn't get his money's worth". He didn't realize I think that when he agreed to the nail Drem that that was extra thus him paying more.
            I got the impression he's one of those customers that no matter what you say or do there's always something wrong. Also I wanted to make it perfectly clear to him that I am not my GM, and my style of grooming is more thorough and technical. Some people love it and love how their dogs look. Others just want to keep the simple kennel clips. When I talked to my GM today about the dog, she said that's the norm for him and she has even tried to talk some since into him because it's the fact that he's putting vanity over humanity. He wants the fancy haircut but doesn't want to bring the dog in regularly and pay any extra. She said she normally would take a 5 down the legs with a 10 on the body and call it good!
            I attached a pic of the dog halfway into his groom. as you can see it's not very nice, but it was the best he got.
            I always talk to clients in a way to not belittle them. This wasn't that.
            When I talk to tech support it's actually the other way around for me. I end up telling them how to do their jobs ! Saved myself $3000 once because tech support gave me bad info and i had the supervisor review the recorded conversations. They ultimately gave me my refund because their tech support was proven negligent.Click image for larger version

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            It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
            Henry David Thoreau

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            • #7
              Oh! That makes more sense! I thought he was coming from another shop.
              When you said "he was a matted mess" I was under the impression that that had been noticed at check-in.

              Ok...carry on.

              And, can I call you for tech support? I bet you could teach me a thing or two there.

              Over and out...dogma

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Naturally Furry View Post
                that was in a cocker clip. I asked the owner if he liked the skirting that high or if he wanted the breed standard. Of course he had no clue what i meant so i shown him a pick which he then agreed to the standard.The dog was a matted mess and was choppy all over from the owner cutting out mats. For some reason the owner said the ear crop was off and to leave the ears full. His coat was sparse and the previous groomers notes said she was taking a 10 to his back. The last time the dog was in was July. I did get the owner to agree to a nail dream, but no shampoo upgrade for his "schnauzer bumps".
                After starting the groom , the little guy understandably was not happy about the brushing. With the different lengths all over I called the owner to recommend just doing a shave down at a longer length and growing it back out for the pet's comfort. He started getting hostile with me over the phone stating how he paid more for this grooming than he has ever and he wanted his money's worth on what he paid for which was a Schnauzer clip! You didn't even know what I schnauzer clip was till i shown you! Grrrrr. I politely replied with the fact that the pet was matted and all different lengths at to leave a "fuller" leg it will be choppy looking. Also that it was more expensive because he add the nail drem. He of course did not care because he stated that it takes forever for the dog to grow coat (which I believed based on the sparseness of it).
                Well needless to say i did as he requested. I did do a 7 on his back though because if I did any shorter he would be bald. At pick up I told him he needed to supplement the dog's diet and talk to the vet as to what might be causing his poor coat growth. To no longer continue taking him so short as it is probably damaging the hair follicle and that I would do carding techniques to each groom to try to help. He needed to reschedule at least every 8 weeks and do a medicated shampoo. He just took the appointment card and said, "ok thanks, I'll call" and left. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying to be a better groomer when these are the people I have to work with....."sigh". Well hopefully he'll get home and see an improvement and head my advice.
                Hang in there, you did the right things, and if I can only help 50% not 100%, and that's a lot of the time with some people, well, it mattered.

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