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Frustrating when clients don't have courtesy

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  • Frustrating when clients don't have courtesy

    This week i had an appt set up in a town that is about 20 minutes from the town i live in. Its a mother and daughter and i do both their dogs at moms house. Oh and of course i have the 123 pet software that sends my clients a reminder via text or email a couple of days before.

    Well i arrive and i go ahead and kick on my generator so that my water heater can start heating up water while i go and get my fluffy clients and see what they want done this time. I knock on the door and the son answers in suprise and i tell him that im here to groom his mom and sisters dogs. Well they're not there and hes franticly trying to get ahold of his mom to let her know im here. Finally after 15 mins he gets ahold of here and shes like yeah we'll get them in, in about two more weeks. He offers to even pay and i guess she tells him no. He tells me that she doesn't have the money and she'll get them groomed in 2 weeks.. HELLLLLOOOO! i drove 20 miles one way to come groom your dog and you can't even say sorry? im pretty nice but this is ridiculous and very inconsiderate. Gas is $2.79/ gallon which my truck and generator thats out there running at the moment is using. Whats wrong with people? i don't understand.. I get alot of this from the clients that live out here in Elk city Oklahoma. Theres times i want to pull my hair out and theres times i want to stop grooming cause im so frustrated that i work so hard to make everyone pets look and feel great and even try to have the best of the best for their pooches and they don't care.

    I just want clients that are wanting to keep up with their pets and appreciate my efforts that i put out to keep my mobile salon sanitized and to use the best products on their pets. What do i have to do??!! I get these dirty matted dogs and its this once a year let me call you to do a miracle on my dog and when they get bad again then i'll call for another appt. GRRR! im so frustrated guys and im sorry if i sound like im whinning but ive just about had it.

    I also have a policy i have every client sign stating about no shows and cancellations less then 24 hours and they'll be charged the full groom unless its an emergency. The son felt really bad and gave me $20 for gas but it wasn't his responsibility to do that. Im sending a letter to these clients, im going to waive the fee this time cause im to nice but im going to nicely let them no what the policy states and in the future they need to please be considerate of my time and money loss.

    any suggestions? cause i don't know how to reach better clients, im tired of the ones i keep getting and don't get me wrong i have a few that are wonderful but the majority i could care less if they ever call me back again

  • #2
    Um, every repair service I know of would charge a trip fee even if nothing was done. I'm not sure you are doing yourself any service if you waive the fees and simply ignore the fact that they have no real respect for your services. I don't have any magic answers for you, there are simply people that are not going to get their dogs on a regular schedule. Focus on those that choose to take better care of their pets. Face it, the people that only groom their pet once a year just are not impressed by a sanitary truck and the best products. They just want their dog shaved, and normally don't really care who does it.


    • #3
      Perhaps your should be "booked" when they call. Or, tack the rest of the no show fee onto their next appointment. Tell them up front on the phone before you go. Either way, I think you need to either squeeze them out of your life or teach them how to treat you in a respectful way.

      I find that when you focus your efforts on the more positive, enjoyable aspects of your life (i.e. your wonderful clients), you naturally attract more good towards yourself. Don't allow clients to take advantage of you or your time. If she wants to treat you like a doormat, then maybe you shouldn't be available the next time she calls. She will either learn that she was not very considerate or she will continue to do it to someone else that allows it.

      If financially possible, start cherry picking the folks you feel would make great clients. Maybe state on your message that you are only accepting clients who are willing to keep a 4, 6 or 8 week schedule. Or to be on the safe side so you don't scare anybody off, tell that to the people over the phone after you get a feel of what sort of client they might be. If they are the "poopy" type, give 'em the spiel. Tell them, "I'm sorry. I don't do OAY shavedowns."

      In my opinion, you should kick 'em to the curb & focus on your wonderful clients.


      • #4
        If this happens a lot it may be worth your while to accept credit cards and tell the clients that you require a nonrefundable credit card deposit for all appointments. It's perfectly legal and many businesses do this.


        • #5
          Originally posted by SwissNChow View Post
          Um, every repair service I know of would charge a trip fee even if nothing was done. I'm not sure you are doing yourself any service if you waive the fees and simply ignore the fact that they have no real respect for your services. I don't have any magic answers for you, there are simply people that are not going to get their dogs on a regular schedule. Focus on those that choose to take better care of their pets. Face it, the people that only groom their pet once a year just are not impressed by a sanitary truck and the best products. They just want their dog shaved, and normally don't really care who does it.
          I agree with this... you have a signed contract from them about your policy, that IS your warning. Send them a bill in the mail, there is no reason why you shouldn't... you've just got to remember, you teach others how you should be treated. If you give them a "break" this time, they'll learn they can push you around- and they will.


          • #6
            I am confused about something, you said that each client has signed an agreement stating they have to pay if you come out and they are not at home....SO WHY WOULD YOU NOT CHARGE THEM THIS FEE? Are they such long time, wonderful folks that you don't want to enforce your own policy? You know by not doing this you may be actually encouraging this type of behaviour/attitude from your clients. (sorry if that hurts.)

            You might have to do the phone call reminders on a few clients that have not called to let you know they'd be away when you had them scheduled. It may be inconvenient (especially since you have the computer system), but if it saved you a tank of gas, I'd think it was worth it!

            I have a friend that has told me I need to have more clients and less friends. In other words I'm likely to allow this type of thing or charge less if they are having a rough time, etc, etc....



            • #7
              Oh yeah I had this happen about a month ago. This lady had a habit of being late or forgetting or something all the time. So this particular day I drove 40 minutes to her home to find out that not only is she not there but neither was the dog. I had called the night before so I know she knew I was coming. Yes, I was furious. She had already had a record of being disrepectful and arrogant to me so I told her that I had folks waiting to get in and I just slipped one right into her slot and cut her loose. The money was good and the dog was wonderful but I'll be darned if I'm going to let someone treat me like that. Keep on booking those appointments I'm sure you will start getting a better sort of client. Maybe you could leave some business cards at your local vets offices. I get the most referrals from vets that already have groomers because there are many dogs that simply can't make it into a shop and mobile is perfect for so there really isn't any competition. Hope things get better for you and HAPPY MOBILING!!
              "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."


              • #8

                Seriously, by the description of what you say many of your clients are (OAY), you do not sound like you are in a ritzy area. You want ritzy, you gotta be where ritzy is. At least enough ritzy to keep you busy and be able to say "tata" to clients you don't want.

                Can't make a beautiful dog and a great, frequent clientele out of a no-money area....if that's what type of a place you are in. Grooming and having fun don't come from that type of area, in my experience. So you have to assess whether there are enough of the type of clients you want for you to have the business you hope for there.


                • #9
                  Good Points!

                  Elk City, Oklahoma isn't really a ritzy area.. Everyone tries to act like they are but they don't keep up with their dang dogs like they should. Oklahoma City area which is an 1 1/2 hours from where i live is the place to be. And i seriously think if i want to run my mobile shop the way i lwant thats where im going to have to go. Im tired of the area im living in and its so frustrating cause i really want to do more of the pampering type of grooming and this is just not the place to do it. I don't want to do those OAY shavedowns anymore!

                  I feel like i live in hillbillyville! (no pun intended) Everyone of you that have posted something is absolutely right.. I should enforce my policy and stop waiving fees for incondsiderate clients. Im no longer going to make myself available for people that can't have some common courtesy. And No More clients that aren't going to schedule 4-8 weeks! why waste my time getting these pooches in tip top shape and then having to do it all over again in 6 months to a year! I lost my job before i became a groomer and still found a way to get my dogs groomed every 4 weeks..

                  Oh and btw! I got a voicemail today from someone wanting me to do thier chow that needs alot of work and is matted. What does that tell you? Going to be another OAY shavedown? Tired of messing with pooches like this and at the same time i feel sorry for the dogs.

                  Thanks Everyone for your advice and input, I will really be thinking about what everyone has said.In the meantime Please pray that god will open the doors for us to move to OKC one day


                  • #10

                    Sorry if anyone already mentioned this but in some industries you pay before you get the service done. In an area like yours I would demand payment for long trips ahead of time, and I unless there were some really special circumstances that warranted it, I wouldn't accept cheques. That must've been really frustrating, I agree-clients have no courtesy.


                    • #11
                      New clients that do this, I just don't go back unless they pay my cancellation fee. Period. I do make exceptions for good clients but not always.
                      I'm pretty strict. Clients that are not home after you send reminders are so frustrating. I've been there. Just don't put up with it. Hold out for the good customers if you can. Also, occasionally , I do shave downs (small dog only). I charge accordingly. I only do this once. If the customer doesn't get the dog on a maintenance schedule after that I don't go back. If their style is to get their dog shaved OAY they can find someone else.


                      • #12
                        I have started calling the clients before I leave my house for new/infrequent clients; had two cancel this week; one was the second/last time; won't take her again.
                        I cancelled one, was way out of my area, when I called before I left, no one answered.
                        She called back about 20 minutes later. I told her, sorry, it is too late now for me to come, you will have to reschedule. Not travelling an hour without a confirmation before I leave the house.
                        I am trying to tighten my area, only have a few that are far away, and am going to have to drop those soon.


                        • #13
                          There's that "nice" word again...


                          • #14
                            There are several things you can do:
                            1. Have pre-printed receipts made up for cancellations, have self addressed stamped envelope and leave it with the bill. Make sure to highlight your cancellation policy on the receipt so they "get the picture".
                            2. If they do it once they will do it again unless you make changes- after the first time we require access to the home (key or code) and a credit card on file or we DON'T come again. I will charge the FULL price if they don't provide access to the dogs and cancel or change with less than a 48 hour notice.
                            3. I do email reminders and for new clients I do reminder calls the night before as well.
                            4. Charge them more when they do reschedule "tell them your prices are based on pets that are groomed every 6 weeks or less and that they now have gone an additional 2 weeks".

                            Unfortunately this won't be the last time this happens.. adapt and get revenge :-)


                            • #15
                              I went 20 miles out of my way this morning to a client that insisted he wanted his dog groomed 1 x month. I groomed him last month and a month later (today) ..... he wasn't home !! I always ask if I should give a reminder call and he said "no", and not to worry, he would be home. Well, he wasn't. I waited 20 minutes before leaving. I have a stipulation on my website and on my business card that there will be a charge for missed appointments, but no one ever pays, so I will not go back. I'm still missing not only my appointment fee, but also the missed appointment fee. The part that really stinks is that I really liked the dog and I hate the fact that I will not go back until he pays me my missed appointment fee, which I highly doubt I will ever see. I left a card at the door and being 10pm now, I still haven't gotten a phone call, apolgy, excuse for missing the appointment or anything. This really stinks. I can't stand ignorant people, and unless there is a really really really good excuse, the heck with him. I'm still out the money though and I really like the dog alot.....