I’ve been in this industry a long time. I’ve seen my fair share of groomers pass though my employment. I’ve had groomers and stylists that were phenomenal. They were super speedy. They could make a dog look dynamite in no time. Their advanced grooming skills were flawless.
…But they had personalities of snakes.
I’ve had groomers that were far from top level stylists. Their work would be considered “fair.” They got the dogs neat and clean, but they had not mastered advance styling skills. There was very little hand-scissoring, no hand-stripping, and their knowledge of correct breed profile trimming was limited. What they did have was compassion. They simply loved helping people and their pets
Who do you think had the fullest schedule?
Here’s the #1 secret ingredient to maintaining a full appointment book: compassion. It’s caring sincerely about a client’s needs, wants, concerns, and desires.
Compassion builds trust. I wish could single-out quality as being the most important ingredient to a successful pet profession, but it isn’t. It is a close second.
Throughout my years, the professional who truly cared about the pet was always the easiest to book. Their days were always the fullest with repeat customers.
When you have compassion, you’re putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. You honestly feel for them. You want to help them solve their problems in a kind and caring way.
So, the next time a client walks through your door – no matter how chaotic your day is going – stop and breathe. Then smile at the client. Remind yourself you are in business to HELP people and their pets.
Here is an important tip that helps create considerate customer service: ask questions. When you ask questions, you show compassion and concern for the needs of the client and their pet. It helps build rapport. Make sure your questions are sincere and to the point.
Asking questions also allows you to get valuable information from the client. This line of observations and questions work exceptionally well when communicating with a customer.
- Be observant of clients as they walk through the door. Let common sense guide your line of questions.
- Find the problem. Ask basic questions like, “Were you thinking of a thorough bath and brush for Fluffy today, or more of a full haircut?” to find the problem. Let the client talk. LISTEN.
- Gather clues from what the client tells you and what you observe.
- Offer limited choices as you help the client solve the problem.
- Guide the questions in five areas of the pet:
- overall body
I hate to break this to you, but a large part of being a successful pet stylist IS a personality contest. Clients are experts on knowing if they feel valued. Make them feel special. Ask question and then LISTEN to what they say. Active listening skills let a customer know you care about them and their pet.
If you want to have an unstoppable career – become both talented AND compassionate towards your clients and their pets. Not only is that combo financially rewarding – it’s extremely gratifying too!