Always greet the pets and the clients with a smile, enthusiasm and show that they are appreciated. Develop a relationship with your clients and this will keep them loyal. You can do this by greeting their pet by name first and then greeting their owner by name. Even if you don’t know their names you should pull all appointment cards or the appointment sheet before you open and even if they are new you should already have the basic information. Ex. Name of client, Phone #, Name of dog, Breed of dog and arrival time that way you can pretty much guess correctly their names and greet them warmly. By addressing their pet first assures the owner that you really care about their family member and are happy to see them.
If you have a computerized system and a new client: write out the info on some form of ticket that will go with the pet on his or her cage so there will be no mix up on haircuts, time outs, etc.
If the client has been there before ask if they would like the same bath/haircut as they had before and repeat the instructions to the client to make sure you and the client know that they are the correct. A lot of times the client will wish to change the instructions especially in the Spring and Fall seasons to a shorter or longer haircut. Make sure they were happy with the last grooming and if they would like anything changed. Ex. Ears trimmed Shorter or Longer, Tail length.
When greeting the pet first it is a good time to pet them and talk to them but just be careful and keep your face away from the pets face. They are protective and brave with their owners. Be aware but don’t let it be obvious to the client.
By greeting the pet first you are accomplishing 4 things:
1) Making the client feel good about how you feel about their family member
2) Gives you the chance to feel them for any matting or tangles, behind their ears, legs, hindquarters, chest, face and tail. If the pet is matted or tangled and it requires more than 10-15 minutes brush out inform the client about the matting and estimate the extra charge (usually you would estimate the charge to cover the time you would be able to groom another pet) You may meet resistance, ask them if they bathe their pet at home, if they do this is a good time to explain how important it is to brush and comb the pet before the bath. Be kind and considerate. Always give the client 3 choices:
a) You can brush out the pet with an extra charge. If you can safely brush out the pet, sometimes the matting will be too bad as to be unsafe and or painful for the pet or unable to de-mat. You Never Harm the Pet!
b) You can use a blade to go underneath the matting but always explain to the client how short the area will be (use you look book or a spot on the pet to show the shortness Ex. top of the dogs muzzle if it is short haired) so they will have a clear understanding. You may want to have the client sign a release form informing the client that you are extremely careful but there can be a chance of nicking the pet where the mats are close to the skin.
c) You can show the client how to brush and comb check (always good to have some extra brushes and combs on hand to sell to the client) and they can brush them out at home and bring the pet back for grooming.
It is always better to give them the choice.
3) You can notice any lumps, bumps and or moles that will need to be noted for the groomer (safety) and let the client know if they are not aware of them.
4) You can also look at the coat and offer any special treatment that will usually be a add on charge. For ex. desheding, oatmeal or any special spa treatment you offer.
If you haven’t already educated your client on oral hygiene (see Oxyfresh Handout) flip back the lips gently and show the client the tarter build up and let them know by working together you can help solve the issue (if severe it may require a base cleaning by a Veterinarian but if you have them use the Oxyfresh Oral Solution for 3 weeks before their base cleaning it will soften up the tarter and make the cleaning an easier process on the pet.
There are many information fact sheets on oral hygiene you can print out to educate yourself and your clients. Go to www.goldenpaws.com and click on Pet Professionals that will take you to the Oxyfresh site. You can also view the Business Tips on the Golden Paws Program Review DVD. If you choose another product just make sure it actually works so you can sell it with confidence. You are making a healthy difference for the pet and solving bad breath issues for the client. Good oral hygiene will add 3-4 years to the life of the pet and create more comfort. You can also go to www.goldenpaws.com and click on Resources and then click on Radio Show Archives for my discussions on Add On Services. Always be honest with your clients. By being honest they will sense your sincerity and professionalism. You are there to solve their issues and help the pet look its best and in doing so you will be rewarded by a loyal client and the extra services can really add up at the end of the month. You need to make use of multiple streams of revenue and add on services because it is a great way to solve client issues, keep their pet beautiful, healthier and you become the professional they are loyal to and will refer other people to you!
For New Clients and Receiving Pets:
Keep complete information on customer card:
• Information on the client: Last Name, First Name, Address (inc. zip Code), Hm Phone, Cell Phone, and or Wk Phone(always have 2 numbers to reach your client).
• Information on their Pet: Pets Name, Sex, Color and or Distinguishing Marks (helps with knowing who is who), Age, any Special Needs or Health Concerns.
• Confirm Contact number and what that number is. (Wk, Hm, and or Cell)
• Write down what time pet arrived. (round to the closest time-8:00,8:15,8:30,8:45) this also helps to know that by the afternoon that the earliest to arrive should either be finished or in the process of being finished. Call the client as soon as the pet is finished.
•Always ask the client if they need their pet out at any certain time- If they need their pet out early and you have a lot that already needs to be out early make sure you can accommodate their request if not just explain to the client you are very sorry but already have so many that need to be out at that time and ask the client to please specify next time when calling for an appointment if they need an early out time. (You should ask at the tome when the appointment is made)
•Double check if Bath or Haircut.
•Get ALL grooming information! Start with body- Ask the client how much length they want left. Make them show you! Never accept a vague answer! Remember your inch is not always what the client thinks is an inch! If the client just wants a neaten up all over make sure they understand when you “just neaten” it means you are barely taking anything off and it is still considered a haircut and will be a haircut charge. To make sure you get the right length hold the hair between your fingers whether it is the body, face, and or tail and ask if they want that much off. They will either say shorter or longer and you can move your fingers up or down. This almost always guarantees you will cut the hair to the desired length! Always ask if the client wants any length off ears and or tail never clip them without asking. Always ask the client if they would prefer the eyelashes and or whiskers lefts on the face.
The most important thing is to develop a system so the pets safety is always #1 and there is no misunderstandings on the pets grooming. You need to be able to communicate with your client, be professional and show you care for their pet.