Know Your NicheKnow what seperates you from the other groomers in town. Do you specialize in particular breeds? Are you certified by any of the national associations? Do you cater to high end pets, promise short appointments, or work with difficult dogs? By targeting your particular client in your advertising and the way you run your shop, you will attract a loyal and consistent clientele.
Get More Education Wherever You CanThere's a lot of talk about whether or not education and certifying are really necessary in our industry. Whatever side of the issue you're on, learning additional skills through workshops or seminars you attend will always increase your performance and make you more attractive to your customers. Never stop learning, and take the time to sharpen your skills by attending seminars wherever you can, or sign up for an online video site like learn2groomdogs for ongoing education. I find this site really helpful for brushing up on a breed I don't see often, or when I'm teaching one of my staff a new groom.
Then Brag About It! -- Get The Word OutUse your specialties, certificates and education to hype up any advertising that you have. Use an online newsletter to talk about any type of tradeshows or events you've gone to recently or breeds you are perfecting, and don't forget to post it on your Facebook Page!
Have In-House Reward Programs for Preferred CustomersConsistant bookings means regular cash-flow. Having a Preferred Customer Program ensures that my pet owners schedule multiple appointments on a regular basis. Want to get new customers? Try rewarding existing customers who refer new business to you, and that way they feel appreciated and are motivated to spread the word! I also have a 10% off coupon on my website to bring in new business (actually, we give this to all new clients). This gives new clients a reason to try your shop with less risk and more reward.
Consistency and QualityBe sure to develop consistency throughout your shop and make quality your number one goal. Try the following...
- Use good products
- Have long-term staff so that your customers feel comfortable seeing the same faces.
- Hold meetings to talk about your shop's standards and systems.
- Discuss the different ways trims in your shop should be done.
CleanlinessWhile it is hard to put money into improvements during down times, your shop should be clean *and smelling good* at all times. A clean shop shows you care about details and have pride in your business. Customers will want to come back if they know you run a tight and tidy ship.
It's All About the Customer & Their Experience
- Be professional -- greet the customer and know frequent customer's and their pet's names
- Take extra time with new customers to get detailed information and let them trust that their pet is in a safe place
- Talk about their expectations and their needs
- If the owner wants something that's unrealistic, be honest about what you can and can't do (and why!!)