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  • Maintaining high quality when expanding

    What's your best advice for maintaining high quality while expanding? Quality grooms, cleanliness, dealing with difficult customers...

    Third day working for me, my new groomer groomed a matted puppy (which we scheduled as an introductory bath and brush). In an effort to leave as much hair as possible, she took him shorter in some areas than others and sent him in looking an awful mess. The owner called me, upset. I'm about to go over with my groomer and see if we can fix this.

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  • #2
    Comes down to experience. The dog was matted, should have been stripped down evenly. I understand the effort to save the coat, but you cannot trim down matted areas and keep an even coat.

    I have a tough time hiring experienced groomers in my city. Either they are old school groomers who have worked everywhere in town and are stubborn and know it all and act like their own boss, or you have inexperienced groomers who do not have proper training and work ethic. I usually look for out of towners who move here and catch them before they make the rounds through local shops.

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    • #3
      Oddly enough, this is a very experienced groomer with a great record. I'm hoping this is an anomaly. She was working on a matted, tiny puppy who was overwhelmed with too much on it's first groom, plus she was booked tight and this dog, which should have been a half hour bath and brush, wasn't.

      I think we were successful in rectifying the groom and appeasing the client. I also instituted a new policy. When she runs into a situation like this again, where the dog is not as described and will take more time than we scheduled, she can explain to the client that we will need to reschedule in order to accommodate their pup's needs. Plus, I explained that, in future, she should shave the dog to the same length. Better to have a short coat than an uneven coat.

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      • #4
        I think you handled it well, but I'm going to chime in on a half hour bath and brush on a pup. I schedule MORE time for a puppy not less. I don't in ANY way want to rush through the groom and start off on a bad foot. I usually book my puppies at the end of my day so I don't have to worry about rushing through.

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        • #5
          I also book more time for puppies.
          Also, I've learned if they come in in a condition other then expected to say something like "Oh, that style is going to look soooo cute on your dog. We can't achieve it today, but here is how we will achieve it....."
          And then I explain that the puppy is matted, and today we will just brush out for 10 minutes, do nails, ears, trim under his bum and in front of his eyes and we will see you tomorrow for another 10 brushing until pup is brushed out.

          It's just educating clients. They just don't know that the matts don't just fall out in the tub.

          I learned the above technique at a seminar. It works well. It also works well for the people that have a matted adult dog and want a long scissored trim. Doodles for instances...."Oh, that long look is soooo adorable on doodles. And it will look especially adorable on yours. He is tightly matted, so to achieve the look you want we will first need to remove this coat and start a regular groom session with him. He will be short this time, but will be fluffy and adorable in about 12 weeks. Let's get started! "

          Remember that human hairstylists dont get trapped into the "do more then you were booked for". If you are booked for a wash and cut and you sit down in her chair and ask for a touch-up on your color she will say, without batting an eye, "I can't do that today. We can book another appointment for that coloring"
          We need to take a page from their book and not feel like we are obligated to do it 'Now'.

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          • #6
            Thank you for the input. I appreciate it. I have a lot to learn.

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            • #7
              Is your groomer involved with the scheduling or check in process?
              It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
              Henry David Thoreau

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Naturally Furry View Post
                Is your groomer involved with the scheduling or check in process?
                I do the scheduling, for the most part but, if there is a concern, I consult with her. We planned the schedule for this particular day together.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tawanda View Post
                  I do the scheduling, for the most part but, if there is a concern, I consult with her. We planned the schedule for this particular day together.

                  Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
                  So she was aware that a new puppy was coming. The reason I asked is because I have had reception over book unaware of the time needed to do a dog. Example, a Matted, full coated OES booked with two other small haircuts on a 3 hour shift!!!! Needless to say I was at work for a while. Luckily the OES Dad was happy even though he didn't get his dog back till almost midnight.
                  It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
                  Henry David Thoreau

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                  • #10
                    This is mobile, way different than booking a shop schedule. For our mobile groomers, we allow time blocks by the half hour. A small haircut dog we allow 1 hour groom time, 1/2 hour drive time between clients even though some clients may be only minutes apart. They can run ahead of schedule or fall behind some. Bigger dogs could be up to 1 1/2 or 2 hrs. The first visit is a trial run to see if you need more or less time. Once our groomers tell us we need X amount of time for this client, it's easier to rebook.

                    My wife has this down to a science. Can give my groomers 8 dogs and say 5 stops and they are done within the time given including traffic and stopping for gas and lunch. Rarely are we late to a client and it's always better to be a little early.

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                    • #11
                      If behind schedule who calls to advise owner Tom, the groomer or if you have multiple groomers do you call?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 123Linda View Post
                        If behind schedule who calls to advise owner Tom, the groomer or if you have multiple groomers do you call?
                        The groomers are to call clients. Sometimes if there's a problem that's more than just running late, my wife smooths it over and comps any discounts. I also have the ability to see where the vans are through my smart phone with a pay GPS tracking service. Occasionally a client adds a dog to the groom stop, maybe mom is visiting with her dog, so we make a decision if it can be done and push back the other clients a few minutes or we may come back later to do it. Sometimes a 3 dog stop turn into 2 and then it frees up time so my wife may call the clients to see if everyone can move up an hour or not. Some cannot and then we have the groomer take a longer break or whatnot.

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                        • #13
                          It is tricky, since most (well, all for my employee) are still new clients. I never expected a 3 month old puppy to be in that condition. I'd love an app to map all of my clients on for easy reference. That's make it a lot simpler to pick a sensible day to schedule then for. best if it was a mobile app since I'm grooming and scheduling.

                          Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IrishSetterTom View Post
                            The groomers are to call clients. Sometimes if there's a problem that's more than just running late, my wife smooths it over and comps any discounts. I also have the ability to see where the vans are through my smart phone with a pay GPS tracking service. Occasionally a client adds a dog to the groom stop, maybe mom is visiting with her dog, so we make a decision if it can be done and push back the other clients a few minutes or we may come back later to do it. Sometimes a 3 dog stop turn into 2 and then it frees up time so my wife may call the clients to see if everyone can move up an hour or not. Some cannot and then we have the groomer take a longer break or whatnot.
                            What's the gps set up you use?

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                            • #15
                              It's call In Touch GPS. I pay $23 month per device that's installed in the OBD II port under your dashboard. Once you sign up and get the device, then you can get the app for your phone or use the full website on your desktop. It tracks every move the van makes including idle time, engine start and stop times, speeding and many more parameters. You see a live map and can replay the route the van took for the day. It tracks miles and let's you know when you are due for oil changes.

                              I don't use it to spy on my groomers, but originally got it due to a groomer who put many more miles on the clock and I found out there were extra unauthorized stops during the day for "illegal off the books" grooms. Basically she squeezed in her own clients on my dime and kept the money. Once we tracked the van, she was busted.

                              Since then, all groomers are aware they are being tracked and have not had a problem since. Now I only use it to see if they are running on time. I have trustworthy employees.

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