Here is the third and final part of our interview with Groomer Anneliese Vaini.
In Part I, Anneliese talked about spotting health problems in the pets you groom and encouragting pet owners to keep their pets at a healthy weight.
In Part 2, she shared tips and tricks for dealing with problem customers and challenging animals.
In Part 3, Anneliese shares her favorite finishing touches and talks about interacting with customers after the groom.
PetEdge owes a big THANK YOU to Anneliese for taking the time to share her thoughts and experiences on the blog. Keep up the great work :)
Q. What finishing touches do you use to make customers feel special?
"Every pet is special! Celebrate every pet! I shaved down a St. Bernard and it turned out gorgeous. There was just enough hair near her ear to attach a cute bow. The owner and her daughters were THRILLED! She said, "She's never gotten a bow before!"
Big dogs and short-haired dogs are just as loved as the little ones that are easy to decorate.
Often an owner thinks they want a close shave because the dog gets dirty. But after seeing the examples in my photo album, they decide they don't like the close shave.
I do something a little bit longer and use The Stuff on the dog. I explain what it is and instruct the owner that if the dog gets muddy, they should let the mud dry and comb it out with a fine-tooth comb. They're happy to get the cute fluffy dog AND get a clean dog, too.
In summer, I use a sunscreen on most dogs—anything that I cut with a #10 blade and every dark colored dog.
Another client was taking a dog from an aging parent going into a nursing home, and finding a new home for him. It was a little bichon frise, with heavily matted hair, saliva stains and dirt stains. We thought he was a BUFF bichon-mix!
As a "going home" gift, I included corrective bleaching in the groom. Needless to say, the owner and family were thrilled, and this little dog has a bright future.
When you get a chance to make a client say "WOW!" take it!
Is the 10 minutes or $5 of product really going to hurt your productivity and profit? Of course not, and those "WOWs" are the basis of good word-of-mouth.
Q.) How have you made a customer happy by fixing a problem on the fly?
"I've had a couple times where a client wanted the face a little shorter. I invited them into an exam room and trimmed the dog's face right in front of them while we talked. Not only am I fixing the problem immediately, I'm adding perceived value because:
- My shears are seriously cool looking and obviously not a do-it-yourself piece of equipment
- They see my skill and speed in scissoring and see that professional grooming is very different from DIY trimming at home
Now I always bring my shears in a pocket when an owner comes to pick up their pet(s).
Plus, we get to talk together about anything—usually their dog's personality—and get a better relationship going.
I also always bring shears when I put a bow on a male dog. If the owner doesn't like it I can trim it out immediately."