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What Keeps Clients Coming Back?

When a student graduates from The Paragon School of Pet Grooming, I love to hear about their success stories down the road. They might work for someone else or work for themselves. They love what they're doing and their careers are thriving. But what makes those graduates successful?

For many of them, it might not be what you think.

We all have good friends. When you think about those friends, what traits draw you to them?

My good friends are honest, dependable, self-confident, empathetic, and are good listeners. They have integrity. I enjoy being around them.

Bottom line, I trust them.

Not every groomer needs to be an all-star stylist to succeed. However, having repeat clientele is the lifeblood of any business. It does not matter if you are a solo groomer or work with a team of pet stylists with a support staff. Getting customers to come back on a regular basis pays the bills.

We are not in the business of washing and styling pets. We are in the trust business. For many of the clients that we deal with on a regular basis, their pets are an extension of their family.

I'm not a parent but if I were, I would never leave my child anywhere I felt apprehensive about the facility, the people, or about any part of the service. Most of our clients feel the same way about their fur babies. If you are going to be successful, your clients need to trust you.

To be a successful pet groomer or stylist, you need to have repeat clientele. Repeat clients are attracted to the same types of characteristics as your good friends. When you get others to trust you, it's easier to grow your clientele and/or your business. It allows you to give all your clients and the pets exceptional service.

8 Traits That Build Long-Term Trust

1. HONESTY

Always tell the truth. Don't over estimate what you can do for the pet. Don't underestimate the risks. Tell the truth about how you see things. If you make a mistake or error, gracefully admit it. Explain what happened in ways other can understand. Take responsibility for the error and make it right.

2. TACTFULNESS

Being honest does not mean you have the right to be rude. Framing your words in kindness and compassion does not minimize the message. Skillfully dealing with unpleasant or difficult situations will always get better results.

3. Be consistent in your behavior and the services you provide. Be someone others can depend on to give consistent grooming, timely service and personal attention.

4. EMPATHY

Be tolerant. Be considerate of events and negative experiences that may have affected the clinet or the pet. Make exceptions to the rules when common sense dictates.

5. CONFIDENCE

Confidence lends credibility. Demonstrate your knowledge in general conversation without taking down the client. If you honestly know your craft your confidence and know-how will shine through in a professional manner. You will be able to make sweift, skillful decisions based on the pet's condition, attitude and the clients wishes.

6. COMMUNICATION

Communicate effectivelly. Whoever is asking the questions is in control of the conversation. Ask quesetions as to the client's lifestyle. Lead them down a road of realistic grooming options for the pet based on what you have heard. Listen to the client.

7. INTEGRITY

Having integrity means doing the right thing. It's an admirable personality trait. It means a person is ethical and is consistent in their actions.

8. WARMTH

Smile. Be friendly to both the client and the pet. Find something in common with your client or something you sincerely admire about their pet. Treat them with kindness, dignity and respect. Educate them in a warm and friendly manner when they need it.

Unfortunately, trust is fragile. If you lose it, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to restore it.

You can't fake a genuine relationship built on trust. The same characteristics that build a good friendship will build strong relationships with your clients and their pets.

Trust can take a long time to build. Yet it can take only a moment to weaken or disappear because of one senseless act. Without trust, you don't have a business - or a job.

Trust keeps clients coming back. Repeat clients keep your business healthy. Take the time to build trust and strengthen relationships with your customers - you'll be amazed at the result!

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