As a professional groomer, your shop is a calling card for your business. A clean grooming shop tells your customers that you take yourself and your craft seriously. It also helps to reassure customers that they are leaving their pets in capable hands.
A messy, cluttered or dirty grooming shop, on the other hand, can give customers reason to worry.
So what does your shop tell your clients (and potential clients) about your business?
Take some time this week to study your shop with a critical eye. Rather than looking at it as "your shop," try to see it from the perspective of a first-time customer.
- What impression does your shop make from the outside?
- What is the first thing customers see when they walk in the door?
- How does the shop look, smell and feel?
Here are some key points to consider when it comes to making a good first impression.
On the Outside Looking In
The exterior of your shop is an important marketing tool. Do you clearly advertise the name of your business, the services that you offer, and your hours of operation?
Do you have a sign that attracts the attention of passing traffic? Do you have business cards or flyers that customers can take with them if they stop by after hours?
If you offer kenneling, training, boarding or other services in addition to grooming, will customers know that just from looking in the window?
Since grooming shops naturally generate a lot of foot (or should we say "paw"?) traffic during drop-offs and pick-ups, the area in front of your shop should be neat, clean and free of pet waste.
You should make regular trips out front to go on poop patrol. Posting bags and encouraging customers to clean up after their pets is a good start, but there will always be those who don't clean up after their dogs.
One easy way to make a bad first impression is to have a customer step in something on their way into your shop!
You can also use a cleaning agent like KOE to eliminate urine odors without harming vegetation or the environment.
On the Inside Looking Around
Whether the front of your shop is used to sell retail items or simply to provide customers with a place to pick up and drop off their pets, it's important to keep it neat, clean and smelling pleasant.
Look at the front of your shop with that same critical eye. What impression does it make?
- Is it professional and efficient?
- Warm and welcoming?
- Casual and informal?
- Cluttered and disorganized?
Is there anything you can do in the front of the shop to improve the customer experience?
A discreet air freshener can help to counteract any urine or wet dog odors coming from the grooming area. A wall-mounted hitch gives customers a spot to secure their dogs. Magazines or pamphlets give customers something to look at while they're waiting to pick up their dogs.
If you sell pet products in your grooming shop, make sure that your retail section is neatly arranged, free of dust and debris, and that the products are not battered or faded by time or the sun. A clean, well-organized retail area will help to encourage more sales. Nobody wants the last dusty leash on the shelf.
Remember that your customers are entrusting you with the care of their pets and are likely to be looking over your shop with the same critical eye that you're using for this exercise—especially on their first few visits.
You can allay their fears—and encourage repeat business—by putting your best foot forward from the moment they arrive.
Your Turn to Check In
So what does your grooming shop say about you? Take our challenge and examine your shop from the perspective of your customers.
If you have a comment, suggestion or a story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it on our Facebook page.
Thanks and happy grooming :)
P.S. Don't forget that we have a FREE shipping offer on orders of $150 or more this week. Use code "FRSC" when you place your order at PetEdge.com, or mention it when you call 800-PetEdge.