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For Paws (Nikki) and others... phone calls

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  • For Paws (Nikki) and others... phone calls

    I was asked "how do I answer calls all day and still get my job done".

    Here are my tips and tricks that I have been doing for years and hope they help:

    Get a hands free ear piece.
    Get some dry erase markers.
    Get some sticky notes.

    Every day before I leave I write down my next few openings on sticky notes and put them on my dashboard. This way when the phone rings, I can answer it and not have to stop to find my openings. If it is a current client, I can just put their name on the sticky note and enter it into my book or computer when I get home. If it is a new client, I explain that "I am grooming a dog, may I call you back this afternoon, I do have an opening on...". I will then put their phone number on the sticky- voila, they are now my client and won't keep calling other groomers.

    Mobile trucks and trailers have white shiny walls, this is the same material as Dry Erase Boards. If someone calls while my hands are full, I will write their name, number on my walls and call when I get a chance.

    I absolutely HATE returning calls- so, I just answer it and keep it short. I don't get into details, I know my prices and my first availability and that is all most people want to know before booking. If they are truly interested, I will call them back while driving (I use a hands free piece) or while filling up the tanks, doing towels, etc.

  • #2
    Good tips, Kristen.

    I admit I have a different method. I have my husband do the phone answering at home and in the van. He has one of those "radio voices" (he was a radio announcer for years) and he keeps the computer running in the van and at home, he can book an appointment and quote prices for me.

    I enjoy talking to customers, though. When I'm home, he'll toss the call to me. When I'm working, he makes sure all I have to concern myself with is the dog I'm grooming.

    It's not a bad way of doing things if your husband is semi-retired. It keeps him off the streets, and away from trouble and wild women. :-)

    Laura
    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
    Laura Lee Ray
    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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    • #3
      This is a really great idea.. some day hopefully I can use this if I ever get the chance to go mobile!

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      • #4
        Laura, I love my hubby but if I drove around with him all day and groomed, a murder/suicide might occur. What is your secret?
        www.gomobileandsucceed.com
        http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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        • #5
          How do you handle people that want to tell you their life story? LOL

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wet noze View Post
            Laura, I love my hubby but if I drove around with him all day and groomed, a murder/suicide might occur. What is your secret?
            Ellen, I agree- I love my hubby but not all day long...lol.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mitch73 View Post
              How do you handle people that want to tell you their life story? LOL
              Thats what I want to know too!! DH says I just need to take control of the conversation but I dont want to be rude and sometimes when you are waiting for them to take a breath so you can say "OK, lets get that appt scheduled!" they never stop for air! They just talk & talk & talk & talk...........some people have amazing lung capacity..

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              • #8
                I find that it's usually older people that do that. They may be lonley and just want someone to talk to. It's sad so I have a hard time trying to end the conversation.

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                • #9
                  Thanks so much! I thought you were gonna say you just direct them to your appointment scheduling software online and let them book themselves, LOL! You are full of great idears : )

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                  • #10
                    I bought 2 calendars. These are the planner type, one big one small. The small one is in my van & fits in the drawer we made. A pencil fits in the spiral part so I'm not hunting. I keep the calendars up to date. I keep little sticky notes in the drawer too for all the client info. I also have a ear piece but I can't answer while driving, I can't talk & drive real well when I'm trying to understand a client. Goodness I ran a red light (left the line before I had a green light) because I was arguing with hubby on the blue tooth lol. Luckily my light was about to change, no cop, no camera either & no one comeing but man did it scare me. I still chat with hubby now & then while I'm driving but I am more aware after doing that.

                    Today I got a call from a neighbor & couldn't answer it. Got to the new client appt, she was running late getting home so I had a few mins to answer the neighbor's message. He wanted his dog cleaned up because his wife died over the weekend, I was totally shocked. She wasn't very old, 50's or 60's.

                    Shannon
                    The Soapy Puppy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mitch73 View Post
                      How do you handle people that want to tell you their life story? LOL

                      "Hi Mr Motormouth, this is Mitch returning your call. I just have a few minutes between grooms but wanted to call you back asap"

                      then follow up with leading questions..............

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                      • #12
                        I'm a talker. Half the time I'm the one making the calls last twice as long as they need to be. Having kids running around though is usually an easy way for me to politely excuse myself if needed. I explain to my clients and potential new ones that I am at home with my children during the day. None of them have indicated that it bothers them and I don't answer the phone is someone is screaming or really misbehaving. I have a lot of mom's as clients so they don't mind. I do a lot of bookings by email which is great. My mobile walls, since it's a home conversion, I don't think would work like a dry erase board. And I do believe my new one the walls will be covered in stainless steel. I have no problem letting my calls go to voicemail if I'm drying a dog or something where I would have to stop my grooming to answer the call. I always know when my next available appointments are, it's more my employee I have to actually check my book for LOL. When she goes out she takes the book with her. We tried two books but it didn't work well and she does not have internet access at her home. I will write down any appointments I have available and if someone calls, I'll book them, write it down and when she gets back I add it to the book. But I always have her take the book with her because she is great at getting clients to book their next appointments. Much better than I am LOL.
                        Sometimes I really wish I could hire a book keeper, receptionist, cleaning people, van prepper, LOL so I could just groom. But then I'd be working in order to pay for all these people. OK, I am looking for a book keeper.
                        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                        • #13
                          baddog is right on- I usually say "I am grooming a dog right now but wanted to give you a quick return call".

                          Remember, I book for all of my employees- I answer the only phone. I am not a big phone talker (in fact, I HATE the phone- so, get to the point and get it over with) but you need to take control of the conversation.

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