Customer Service 101 in the Grooming Salon

1 Aug

Without customers we would not have pets to groom or money in our pockets. Developing a professional image and reputation will get the customers to come to you, but you need to keep them! It is only human nature to talk more about negative impacts on our lives than it is to talk about the positives. Bad news travels fast! Let's put some numbers into this so we can see how important it is to provide the best customer service we can. Lets say your average grooming is $ 40.00 and this customer comes in every 6 weeks to get their dog done. That is $ 320.00 / year from this one client. The client loyalty expectancy is 10 years. That is $ 3,200.00 from this client. Word of mouth referrals from this satisfied client may be another 10 new clients. That is an additional $ 3,200.00 / year in revenue from that one satisfied customer, and $ 32,000.00 in 10 years! Then if each of these clients referred 10 more clients, and those referred 10 more clients, you get the picture. The numbers are mind-boggling! Unfortunately, this can work in reverse as well. One unsatisfied client can spread the word quickly and could cause you to potentially loose thousands of dollars in business. Do not make the mistake of thinking it is no big deal about losing that one customer. Loosing that one customer might have just lost you the difference between making it or not in this business.

Clients, who walk in the door, have their own needs and wants. LISTEN to them! Take the time to look over their pet. Ask them questions about their lifestyle, what time they devote to home grooming, issues that they are having with their pet. Being able to greet the client and / or pet by name as they arrive does wonders for relieving anxiety. This is sooooo much better than the generic "can I help you?" Statement. From this you can offer solutions to their problems. Never judge or ridicule, or gossip about customers. Help them take better care of their pets. That is why they come to you. You are the professional. Make them feel important! Always smile, be courteous, even if they are being unpleasant. Put yourself in their position and try to understand why an unhappy client is unhappy. Bend over backwards to make them happy.

Remember the scenario above. Exceeding a customer's expectations will go a long way in gaining customer loyalty and referrals. Also, deliver what you promise. If you can not, then communicate this to your client and look for a resolution. I hope that you can start to see that this is all a very complicated dance to take a business to the next level. It is so much more than grooming a poodle well. And finally, thank them for their business! I like to follow up with a phone call to new clients to see if they were completely satisfied with their visit to my salon. Spend a few minutes at check out seeing if they are satisfied with their pets' groom and offer to make changes if necessary. Pet owners want to know how the groom went. Be tactful, not insulting, and never infer that the customer did not take care of their pet well. And if the opportunity presents itself offer additional services or products that will assist the pet owner in caring for their pet. You will build trust by doing this and they will come to you because they are confident in your ability. In closing, I always remember what my grandmother said to me, "treat people like you would like to be treated." I think that was very good advice.

Source by Sandra Gonyea

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