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How to get clients to rebook for their next appt. before you leave their house

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  • How to get clients to rebook for their next appt. before you leave their house

    I would like to get your suggestions on how to get customers to rebook at the time of their current appt. I started mobile in December and I think I am doing fairly well for being open for such a short time. For the month of May I groomed 58 dogs. My problem is I have several clients that say they would like to get their dogs groomed in say 6-8 weeks but they don't know what day they will be available so I put a note in my book and call them around that time to remind them it has been so many weeks and would they like to rebook. Most of the time I leave them a message and ask them to call me back but in many instances they don't. They wait and call at the last minute. For now it is not a huge deal because I can normally fit them in within a day or two but I don't like doing this because it lets them know they can call me whenever and I will get to them within a few days. So how do you get the hardcore clients that don't know their schedule in 6 weeks to go on and commit to a date in advance. Also to you mobile groomers out their do you thinik grooming 58 dogs in one month when you only be open 5 months is good or am I beow average. And any suggestions on how to get more new clients faster would be great.
    Thanks for the info.

  • #2
    If your clients are not used to re-booking, I've learned that they won't do it until they have to. If you are determined to have regular schedulers, either make them wait longer than they want for an appointment when they call, or tell them that you are getting full and they won't be able to get in unless they re-book.

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    • #3
      I'm not mobile but booking is booking no matter how you look at it.

      At first I tried to get people to pre-book here and there but I didn't have a real "reason" because I wasn't busy---they could get in almost any time. But as I started to get busier and busier, the openings became fewer and fewer and the demand became higher and higher, forcing the bad clients out and the good clients automatically started pre-booking their appointments. And guess what? Their dogs are among the best to groom, too.

      So what I did was this:

      "Would you like to pre-book your next appointment, I am starting to get a little busier and not too far down the road it is going to be more difficult to get in." If they say yes, fine. If they say no, that is fine too because you'll have your "payback" later when they try to get in but have to wait 2 weeks and you have to shave Precious with a #7 all over.

      Tammy in Utah
      Groomers Helper Affiliate

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      • #4
        I'm mobile and all of my customers (except 2 or 3 with very easy dogs) are scheduled through the end of 2007. I will accommodate changes in appts if I can; however, my customers plan their other appts around the groom appts since those are put in their calendar at the beginning of the year. They know I am very busy and it is hard to reschedule to another time convenient to the customer. The only time I book within one or two days is if there is a cancellation that I need to fill and I make sure to let the customer know that.

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        • #5
          Agree with Tammy. Many people won't prebook until it hurts them not to do so. Even with that, some people are resistant. I have a client who falls into this category. Every time they have to wait 3 weeks. This past time she said "oh i want to prebook this time because it was so hard to get in". By the time i finished the dogs (who were woolly and overgrown and matted and i was pissed off even tho I raised their prices due to this situation) she says "oh, i will just call you next time" and waves me off. Well.....I am at the point where I am strongly considering telling her when she calls that I can't fit her in at all.

          And your question about your numbers....you really can't compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone's area is different in regard to demand and how the market grows. If you are grooming dogs, you are doing well!

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          • #6
            When I do my initial phone interview with the client I will say something like "after I come and groom the first time, if you and your pet are happy with me and my service, I would suggest booking your next appointment at that time as I am very busy usually booked 2-3 weeks out. I have some people that are prebooked through the entire year" I have set the thought in their head. I was in the same situation as you. I started last May. They don't know how booked you are so make them think you are very busy. When I go to do the groom and am finished, I go back to the house with the book and say would you like to book your next appt. I only have a few that just call, and they quickly realize they can't get in that quick. As far as how many dogs you groomed in May, it depends, how many days, hours, I think I did about 85 dogs in May but that was by my choice. I had taken quite a few days off and also taking it a little slower since being back from back surgery. Good luck
            What does a dog do on it's day off?

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            • #7
              Offer a "discount"

              One thing you could try is to tell your clients you are offering a $5 discount for prebooked clients. Of course you should up your price for $5 first so it doesn't impact your bottom line negatively.
              Good luck!

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              • #8
                re-booking

                although i am NOW the busiest groom shop in my city, i have had horrible problems getting clients to re-book ( because I was always too accomodating!). Recently I raised my prices ten percent, then I hung a note on my door, "If you REbook today, you will get TEN percent off your next groom". I am not kidding you, problem solved.

                Liz

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                • #9
                  Most of my new clients have to wait almost a month to get on my schedule unless I get a cancelation and something opens up sooner, so by the time I do get to them, they are ready to prebook.

                  If people aren't sure if they'll be home, I tell them only their dog(s) have to be home. I explain that many of my clients aren't home when I groom their dogs, that I keep keys in a locked box in my van labeled with their pet's name. I can also let myself through their garage if they have a code box on the door that opens it. Almost everyone is thrilled to take advantage of that and come home to a nice clean dog while they go about their business.

                  It works great for you too because if you are falling behind or running early you can use the houses where no one is around to be able to stay on time for those where people are waiting.

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                  • #10
                    Like others have said. As long as you are willing to accomodate last minute calls, they will continue to prefer to call you last minute. Even when I first started, I decided my first available appointment when someone would call would be a minimum of 2 weeks away. This got them to have to think about planning ahead right off the bat. Now I am prebooked 3-5 weeks out so if they don't want to wait, they know they need to call well in advance or book the next one while I am still there.

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                    • #11
                      Be honest, tell them you book up about 2 months in advance. If a client doesn't prebook then I don't get them in for 2-3 weeks.

                      How about offering FREE teethbrushing for prebooking this is what we do in my salons.

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                      • #12
                        I would also rephrase the way you are asking people to rebook. I.E. say something like this: In 6 weeks I will be in your area on Tues and Thursday, which day do you prefer to schedule your next appt.

                        This way you are asking for a positive response and you are establishing your route at the same time. You really aren't making the re-book an option.

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