"Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs." -Pearl Strachan Hurd
Like any industry, groomers have a vernacular that is understood within our ranks. But these same words may hold different meanings for our clients.
In some cases, our words may have a negative connotation.
The first example is outside our industry:
My husband worked with the same small crew of men over the course of 30 years. They represented the entire melting pot. So how did these men express their comradery and affection with each other? That would be in the most base and crassest manner possible. Clutch your pearls type of interactions. That’s all fine and well until people outside of that circle got a listen. Then the write-ups and the sensitivity training begins for all.
An example in our industry is calling grooming loops a noose. Nooses are associated with hangings. Do you really want clients to think that is their purpose? Nooses have a negative connotation, while loops sound professional.
In other cases, our words, while clear to us, may be taken out of context by others.
Let’s start with outside our industry.
In business circles face time means an in-person meeting, but to the rest of us, it means having a face to face via our phones. Sounds the same, but means two different things. If someone wants to have a meeting with and mention facetime at 10. I’m going to think they’re going to call me at 10am. While they meant for me to come to their office. This person assumed I knew what they meant and now, I’m annoyed because I set aside time for this. They lacked the clarity I needed.
So let’s look at the phrase “I’ll do my best.”
To the groomer, it may mean that they might be able to do some wet shaving and finish off with a 4. And if they can’t, well this doggy is going to be naked.
Now the customer is under the impression that we must have this arsenal of tools and products that when they hear “I’ll do my best,“ they assume we meant that their pup will be fluffy. And will be unhappy because we were not clear on what we meant by doing our best.
It can be really hard to pay attention to how you express yourself when you’re so used to talking in that manner, but words matter. It can be the difference between happy and unhappy clients by the simple switch of a word.
Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader. If you are looking for your business to thrive instead of surviving, set up a free Am I A Good Fit For Your Business consultation, visit www.MaryOquendo.com.