The Importance of Rebooking Appointments

March 18th, 2014 by ificore

Blog PicRebooking clients is one of the easiest ways for groomers and pet stylists to boost their income. Encouraging clients to rebook on the day of their service will help keep a steady stream of pets coming into your salon.

It’s a fact that clients who rebooked before they leave, return on a much more frequent basis than those who do not. Let’s face it. Life gets busy. Personally, if I did not rebook my own hair appointment before I left the beauty salon, I’d be there a lot less frequently than every five or six weeks! Our pet owning clients are no different.

Many groomers don’t push their customers to rebook their pet’s next grooming. They think the client will come back when they are ready. That might be true. But it’s more likely the client will not return as often as they should.

As a professional, it is up to us to educate our clients how often they should return based on;

  • hygienic needs of the pet
  • coat condition
  • trim style
  • activity level
  • level of home maintenance between appointments

Most pets that are considered a ‘part of the family’ require regular grooming. These owners share their lives, their homes, and sometimes even their bets with their four-legged family member. These pets benefit from weekly or biweekly bathing. Ideally, pets that require haircuts should be trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks. How often you handle handstripped pets will vary greatly. Based on the coat type and the technique used to strip out the dead coat, they will need to be groomed anywhere from weekly appointments to a couple times a year.

Pet professionals who understand the impact of rebooking realized that is not just a courtesy, but more importantly, a business building strategy. Educate your clients about the rebooking process. Encourage them to setting aside time to keep their pet’s coat in peak condition.

Client retention is equally important to the salon owner and pet groomer or stylist. It is significantly less costly to keep a current client than find a new one. So if you’re going to invest time, money and effort to attract new clients, follow through with excellent customer service that will pay off in client retention.

Rebooking Benefits

Benefits to the Pet Professional

  • substantially increase your revenue stream
  • minimize natural peaks and valleys in your schedule
  • develop a positive bond with the pet and its owner
  • gain control over your schedule
  • reduce advertising costs

Benefits to the Pet Owner

  •  keep the pet consistently looking, smelling and feeling great
  • maintain a healthy skin and coat for the pet
  • reduce shedding
  • schedule at their convenience
  •  offer premier appointment slots around major holidays and events
  •  plan around social and business events

Here are 4 Tips to Ensure Your Clients are Rebooking with Every Visit

1.    Stress Maintaining a Schedule — As a professional pet stylist, it’s your job to educate your client. You know what it takes to keep their pet’s coat in peak condition. Find out how the client would ideally like their dog to look and their budget. Talk to them about how much at-home care they are willing to do between grooming appointments. Discuss the lifestyle of the pet. Once you know the answers to those questions, you can suggest the ideal number of weeks the pet should go between professional grooming’s.

2.       Suggest Dates — Don’t just ask the client if they would like to ‘rebook their next   appointment.’ Tell them.  Suggest an ideal appointment date when you should see their pet next.  Have your calendar ready to book that appointment, including a time. If the client is on the edge about rebooking, politely letting the client know your schedule is already getting booked can help tip them over the edge of booking their next grooming appointment.

3.       Offer an Incentive to Rebook – Small incentives can be a great way to keep clients coming back. Offer a small monetary discount if they book their next visit within six weeks or less. Or offer them a free service with their pre-booked appointment. If they rebook on a weekly, biweekly or every third week — offer them a special discounted rate to maintain their frequency levels of their visits. (Do the math — you’ll probably be shocked at how steeply you can discount a weekly or biweekly client off their regular grooming price and still make more money on an annual basis.)

4.       Train Your Staff — Rebooking clients is a courtesy to them – and a benefit to you. Make sure your entire team understands the importance. The key to success is to ask EVERY client to rebook their next appointment before they leave.

Having an appointment book that is 50% to 70% pre-booked is like money in the bank. It’s a security system that allows you to breathe easily. It insures you will not lose clients or revenue from light client bookings. It is one of the easiest ways to guarantee your income week-after-week, month-after-month and year-after-year.

Happy Trimming!