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The client that won't stay fired

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  • The client that won't stay fired

    Walked out of my grooming room to check on the reception staff only to see a familiar body skulk out the front door.
    The client that created the scene yesterday came back!!
    I thought one of the staff was teasing when she told me that the woman wanted to book an appointment. That was followed by 'she wanted to see a manager'. Went to see asst manager on duty to find out that client made. Special trip in to give her side of events ( still accusing reception staff of lying about her) , and to BOOK a GROOMING APPT. !! ( Client made a deliberate effort to e sure to speak to the only staff member differing from those on duty the night before. )
    Asst manager / head receptionist told the client that I ( groomer) have only fired a half dozen clients in my entire time there - only one was for the dogs behavior the others were all attributable to owner behavior. Woman tried to negotiate by saying that she would only send her son In with the dog in the future and so on

    Told manager I'd think it over and let her know if I change my mind to allow the dog to continue.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated. The dog is sweet but dumb ( consider its environment).

  • #2
    General perspective which includes but is not limited to my business, if I have to dread seeing someone coming, I ditch them. Honestly, I don't put a lot of thought or energy into trying to work through why I feel a certain way about them, but it's most likely going to be because they were a huge pain in my butt. If my first thought upon seeing them or thinking of them is, "ugh, this person," they can go. I would be done with her and be totally unapologetic about it. Just a business relationship that does not work for you is reason enough. Too many sane and pleasant people for me to care about placating knuckleheads. It sounds like she is in a battle of wills and rejecting rejection, like it's more about her calling the shots and getting her way than anything. She is STILL being manipulative and deceptive. Bye, Felicia!

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    • #3
      On the surface, I would say if it was me, I would not take her back. The situation may not always be so black and white, however, so if for some reason you would take her back, I would give her the grooming estimate upon check in, and make her prepay before even touching the dog. This will take away any perceived control on her part, and spare the reception staff her tantrums. JMO

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Totally Clips View Post
        General perspective which includes but is not limited to my business, if I have to dread seeing someone coming, I ditch them. Honestly, I don't put a lot of thought or energy into trying to work through why I feel a certain way about them, but it's most likely going to be because they were a huge pain in my butt. If my first thought upon seeing them or thinking of them is, "ugh, this person," they can go. I would be done with her and be totally unapologetic about it. Just a business relationship that does not work for you is reason enough. Too many sane and pleasant people for me to care about placating knuckleheads. It sounds like she is in a battle of wills and rejecting rejection, like it's more about her calling the shots and getting her way than anything. She is STILL being manipulative and deceptive. Bye, Felicia!
        ^^^this^^^Totally Clips, you explained it perfectly. No need to get all anxious about certain client when you can have nice, pleasant clients (dogs, and their people) to work with.

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        • #5
          I just read your yesterday's story. OMG.. is about all I can say. I, too, really like what Totally Clips said as well. But can you do that in a corporate store??

          Sorry.
          Debbie
          There's always room for another rose in the garden.

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          • #6
            After reading your story, I wouldn't take her back.

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            • #7
              Thanks all.

              I'm not a corporate store but we were bought out by VCA, though I still have control/ final say of who I will and won't do. ( it may be a conceit but I know how much I bring in to the hospital in revenue - and so do they - so I have some leverage).
              My thoughts are leaning towards allowing the son to be the sole contact and still take care if the dog. It's a sweet dog that used to cower on the table snd now stands up like the big strong girl I tell her she is. However, we are going to make mom sweat it out by not telling her of this force other ten days. The stipulations would be spelled out and told to her. ANY violation of the guidelines - only her son communicates, she is not to even come inside or call the desk, and that is the absolute end. Thinking that is she has to sweat it out for 10 days she'll either agree and behave or will go to another groomer.

              And we all totally dread her coming in. She only comes to us for grooming and gets all medical treatment somewhere else.

              I

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              • #8
                If you will forgive input from a newbie groomer so green she hasn't even groomed her own dog yet, (but who is considered an innovative business woman) please may I make a few of comments?

                So often, arseholes like the woman you had such trouble with have big problems of their own which lead them to behave like tossers.

                That's NOT your problem except you become one of many who innocently get in the line of fire. The woman KNOWS she's despised and that people will avoid her in a short time, no matter how much she'll try to argue to justify her position. Poor idiot! BUT, the Poor Idiot has a vulnerable soul in her dubious care, and that's who deserves your focus. The dog you have already helped needs you. She's the real victim in all this.

                Could I suggest you tell the alleged "law-student" that EVERY conversation with her will be recorded, EVERY time, and that when she drops off her dog she will be required to sign a simple document stating she will pay the agreed price of $*** on collection, which will be at *** time (with a $5 and 30 minute variant).

                Another potential way to control this woman - and other obnoxious clients - might be a system of points for members of an exclusive "Regulars Club". Anyone who has used your services three or more times may be eligible to join.

                They have to pay an upfront revolving "Membership Deposit" which is the equivalent of a normal intensive grooming - say $50 for example - which will carry over from session to session. The client STILL PAYS for the day's grooming but they are always "in credit" against the day they can't afford the grooming but their dog needs it.

                In return the client gets certain benefits such as accumulating points worth, say $1 each per every $10 spent (10% discount in other words) which they can put towards a future grooming.

                The terms and conditions could include bringing their dog in regularly, say every 6 to 8 weeks, a $10 "no show" penalty but an extra point for every appointment honoured (positive reinforcement training!), special dog-orientated gifts such as dog food, pet treats, grooming brush, dog shampoo and conditioner pack (give her a hint!) That sort of thing.

                It's complicated to relate here but wouldn't be to implement and may just train that woman and other clients how to behave! We do train our pets the same way after all!

                Or you could tell her to piss-off.

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                • #9
                  Most likely her son won't be the only one dropping off the dog. Believing anything she says is not a smart bet. That's just reality.
                  I'd ask the front desk staff if they're up for dealing with her. If they aren't, then drop her, but don't give any more reasons. Just say you decided to drop her because it's your choice. You've got to have the back of the people you work with. You're a team. You talk like you're a leader. Well, leaders protect the team.
                  Forget about documents, punishing her by making her wait for an answer, and all that. You're dealing with a nasty wacko, not a disobedient child. I know about these people. I live in NYC!! They're our biggest export and import.
                  The dog is nice and needs to be groomed. No one else is going to want to deal with the owner so if the staff is up for it, I'd go for it, with the understanding that she's a pain and will continue to be a pain until death do you part.
                  I do house call so I'd have to drop her because it would be me and her alone in a house. Yikes!

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                  • #10
                    You already fired her........DONT back down.
                    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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                    • #11
                      Accepting this client back with conditions is only asking for it down the line. There will come a time when Sonny Boy was not available to bring the dog in, and good old Gentle Mouth Mom is walking through your doors......are you going to throw her out, in front of other clients.......NOOOOOOOO.......so now all of your "rules" are down the toilet.........and Gentle Mouth Mom is gearing up for another "I'll Show You" battle.

                      Happy staying fired.......FOREVER !!

                      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                      www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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                      • #12
                        Trust your gut instinct. From reading this, I would say no more. If she is coming back to you, it is because she does this to other groomers who have fired her as well. If your gut tells you to keep her, then make it clear that YOU are giving HER a second chance. One more hiccup and you will never consider grooming her dog again. I have fired some clients (because of owner) and only once did I give them a second chance. I was insulted and told I was selfish, but after telling her I have every right to deny a customer for any reason, she begged me to take her back. I took control of the situation and told her that I would give her another chance if a) we could act like this never happened and start on a new foot, b) she would pay the amount agreed to at drop off, and c) she would never be rude or insult myself or any of my groomers.

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                        • #13
                          Some very good thoughts. I will speak with reception staff individually to get their input. Will head receptionist when she's back on duty Tuesday. Will make final decision after that.

                          Appreciate everyone's feedback. Since I am operating within a national Corp system I do t think I can enforce written documents without going through them - and that's just too much hassle. I can fire or make some stipulations (they will not tell to do dogs I'm uncomfortable with but I don't want to push non- issues ).
                          P

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                          • #14
                            In the real word of employees if I fire anyone, I would never hire back. Lots of employers feel the same way. So you have to set a policy like this, either yes or no, do you ever take back a fired client? Hard to say, trust your feelings.

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                            • #15
                              Any customer that requires this much thought and effort and is dreaded this much would not be welcome back to my shop. Once a problem, always a problem.

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