Asking the right questions on the phone with a potential client is imperative to determine whether they would be a good addition your client base, and if house call is the right fit for this dog and customer. Some house callers perform an in-person consultation to determine this. For many this works well but personally, I ask very detailed and specific questions over the phone to save money on gas and time. Here are the questions I ask clients to get a better feel for the type of client and determine how best to move forward. I will also explain with each question why these are so important to ask, and what I am looking for in their answer.
1. Are you familiar with what house call grooming entails and the type of services I offer?
This is an important question for many reasons. I have had several people set up appointments that were actually surprised when I asked for an address to come to them, for some reason they thought I was a salon! To avoid this kind of mix up, make sure to ask this question. This also gives you the opportunity to educate your potential client if they are not familiar with all you offer and have questions about house call. Make sure to discuss your services professionally and confidently. People can sense how you’re feeling through your voice.
2. What type of pet(s) do you have in your household? What breed(s)?
Although this question is obvious for information about the pet(s) you will be grooming, it also opens up a conversation about all their animals. Many owners do not know that cats can and need to be groomed. If you offer this service it gives you the opportunity to explain the benefits of cat grooming and potentially add more grooms to your trip than the pet(s) they originally called for.
3. When was the last time your pet(s) was professionally groomed?
This gives you an idea of the condition of the pet(s) for quoting a price, and how frequent this client usually has them groomed. If it has been quite some time since their last groom, ask why. Make sure to stress professionally when asking this question as well, if the owner is bathing their pet(s) at home and not doing it properly this means a lot more work for you!
4. Where are you located?
This helps you determine if they are in your service area, and if it is in an area that known as a bit “rough”, you have the opportunity to simply say you don’t service it (potentially keeping you safe).
After gathering all of this information you are in a much better place to determine a price quote for the client, and whether they are the type of client you are looking for. A polite way to turn a customer away if you are unhappy with any of their answers is to state your next available appointment as very far out. Using these questions as my starting point, I have been able to selectively choose the type of clients I want for my business in a polite and professional manner. I hope this helps you do the same.