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  • Owners quiting you over the phone.

    I'm in the process of raising my prices and know that I'm likely to lose some clients because they can't afford it.I understand that but what gets me is that I had a good client that I've been servicing for about three years just call me and leave me a message saying that monies tight right now and they can't get thier dogs groomed.It hurt that they could not even call me and tell me personally to return thier call.I would never do that to a client.It is the second time in my mobile business that I've had that happened.Why is it o.k for them to do it to us but us not to them.I guess I just need to vent.Thanks for listening.Bye the way I did call them back and tell them on a message thanks for everything and it' been a pleasure.

  • #2
    I've had the same happen in the shop. I had a lady with three Bichons tell me she can't afford me anymore...she didn't rebook. In weeks to come, she did call and book all 3 again, but now she doesn't come as often, so sometimes we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. I only raised her by 2.50 each! I wasn't asking for a kidney! lol

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    • #3
      If I were leaving a long time relationship over a price raise I would probably hope for the answering machine to pick up. It's hard for them, it's embarassing, it's just hard. It's hard when you have to hear it and then find the polite and professional words to say if they talk to you personally on the phone. I feel like whining if it is a dog that I love.
      Love the dogs but the business part wears me out.

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      • #4
        well...if i was having to tell someone something like that..id desperately hope for the answering machine too! maybe they hoped that you wouldnt answer so they wouldnt have to explain over the phone to you...it makes it that much harder...personally...i know its unfair to do that...but hey im the one that got fired through an email LOL!!! how less personal AND professional is THAT! now if she had called me over the phone to tell me that...i would have been yelling back at her...and believe me she would have NEVER told me the things over the phone what she did in the email. plus when i called and left a message for her...she never called back to let me know she got the message.
        personally i wouldnt take it to heart...she might have just felt extremley embarressed about her reason's for leaving your business and didnt want to have to explain it in person. a machine cannot talk back to you...it cannot question you why your leaving or whatever LOL!
        you did the right thing by calling her back and leaving a message like you did.
        Good for you!
        Hound

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        • #5
          Kari, I agree with the others. This really isn't a big dis to you at all. I understand how you feel though. The first couple of times I had people call and leave messages about not being able to use me anymore I felt almost insulted. I mean, really....over $5 every three months?! But people have their cut off line where it is just too much. Maybe they were already stretched but felt it was worth it, and this was just too much. I agree with the others as well in that if I personally have to stop a service because it costs too much I would rather not have to tell that person in person. It is embarassing...I don't want to feel any worse about it than I do. It doesn't mean anything about you, it is all about them. I would pray for the answering machine as well. In fact, If I need to drop a dog because they are biters or a pain, I would rather leave that on a message as well! If I get the machine, I will leave a nice message about being sorry but I can't service fluffy anymore and tell them they can call me if they want, but I hope they don't because I don't want to feel guilty about my decision or talked out of it.

          I have also learned not to call people and ask about why they are quitting me if they don't say. You know what? I don't need to know. If they don't like my grooming all that will do is make me feel bad. I do the best job I can already, I don't need negative input about my skills. I look at it this way...if I am going to take my business somewhere else for whatever reason...I don't expect nor want the beauty parlor, dentist office etc calling me to find out why I am leaving. It seems a bit desperate, also if I have negative comments I would rather not tell them "I think you talk too much" or "your shop smells". Everyone has opinions, tastes, means of payment etc. We can't service everyone to 100% of what they want.

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          • #6
            I think sometimes our clients are embarrassed by the money thing. Hey, we've all been in a tight spot now and then, so no big deal. They may call you again in a few months.

            I have a real nice client that went through a divorce recently, got remarried and had to sell her huge house and move into a smaller place. The utility bills and taxes were eating her alive. I didn't hear from her for a while and knew something was up. I didn't call her because I didn't want to put her on the spot. Last week I groomed her mother's dog and her mom filled me in, money is tight, the ex is being an ass, etc. I told her to tell her daughter I missed her and the dog and to call me whenever they are ready, and if that isn't possible I'd be happy to recommend a shop that is close to the new house. I also told her I remember eating ramen noodles and counting change so I could pay my rent. Poop happens and there's no shame in it.

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            • #7
              I've had a few people leave me due to having to cut back when they did their budgets. I've had them all return to me at some point. Either they got a better job and could better afford me (I'm always the first "luxury" to get back on the budget!) or they took their dogs to PetSomething and decided that I was well worth it not to have their dogs get all stressed out and have to be in a cage all day. My client dogs are mostly EXTREMELY spoiled and my clients will drop their daily lattes in order to have me come out.

              I roll out my price increases slowly and see how it goes. New clients get quoted the new price, if no one seems to blink I start raising the price for dogs or clients who I don't mind losing (biters, chronic reschedulers). Eventually most everyone gets to the new price. I usually start raising prices at times when gas is going up, people seem to understand that without saying.

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              • #8
                Thanks all for you inputes I did have another lady leave me a note with her check with the kids telling me that they would have to call me when they could have thier dogs groomed again.She said she was going back to school full time and was cutting back on exspenses.I don't know if the note was given pryer to me raising the price or not.I just would feel better if clients could tell me personally.I've been charging my new clients these prices since September of 06.The new ones are willing to pay.I've put off increasing prices since Jan.But I figured now is the best time since my shampoo has raised prices and gas has gone up.I'm constantly getting new appointments.I know I can feel the spots it just irks me to be let go like that.I know I would make sure to talk to someone if I could not groom thier dog anymore for any reason.People don't need to give me a reason and I would not try to beg them to stay.I also take very good of my clients and try to give the best service possible.It' like they say when one door closes another opens.

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                • #9
                  Money is an uncomfortable topic for many, including me. If it were me, I too would be hoping for the machine (I'm such a chicken). I would be too uncomfortable to tell you to your face because saying "I can't afford it" is sometimes the same as saying, "Your prices are too high (for me)." I wouldn't take it personally, they don't want to hurt YOUR feelings, or embarrass themselves. It's just uncomfortable for them.

                  Tammy in Utah
                  Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                  • #10
                    Sometimes we "fib" too, don't we?

                    I wouldn't take any of it personally, although I know I sometimes do for a few minutes...

                    However, if I got a message from a former client (who had not already rebooked), asking if I could come back, but I really didn't want to....I could call back and tell her that (A) I'm sorry but I am completely booked at this time and will let you know if I have any openings, but it doesn't look good, or (B) you were 15 minutes late last time, rescheduled twice, and fluffy is a biter who is matted ever time - oh, and you have never tipped!

                    Scenario (A) might be one of several flavors - but it does save the face of the client, doesn't it? I mean, at least the clients aren't calling you saying that you did a poor job!

                    Someone else will be thrilled to pay the extra $5 or $10 ever time for your glorious service.

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