1.Be Excellent At Your Job.
Just like the new AT&T commercial, “Just OK is not OK.” Anyone can be average which is why it is called average. But if you want customers to come to you and your shop specifically, you have to provide that edge to your grooms. It could be ultra-consistent with quality, the ability to transform a client’s pet into something super cute they never thought to imagine, or simply amazing customer service to each and every client. Whatever it is that is a positive to get feet (and paws) through that door, do that – and do it incredibly well.
2. Add Those Little Extra Touches.
There are thousands of car washes in America. They are almost all the same, too: You put your money in, go through the turbine of wet sloshing joy for two minutes, and you are done. But I went to a car wash over a YEAR AGO, I still remember the experience because they gave me a coupon for a free air freshener. Guess what? I ended up buying a Snickers and a coffee when I went in and I remember that car wash because of the free 25 cent air freshener! So spend a few extra dollars a month to buy some neck ties, bows, perfumes, nail caps, etc that will leave a lasting impression on your client – not to mention….
3. How To Get More Tips From Each Customer.
Just as stated above, little added touches can not only leave a lasting impression, but can actually put a lot more money in your pocket in the form of tips. Take the car wash example I explained above. Now the clerk did not get a tip from me (who tips a cashier at a gas station?), but as far as the store revenue, it made more money for them to give away a 25 cent piece for free because I ended up spending another $3 inside the store – and I remember that gas station’s car wash over all the others. Take a bundle of 5 neck ties, for example. Your cost is $12.50 on our website. If you put a tie on Rex and his sister Lucy gets a beautiful starched bow (especially during a holiday season), it is no guarantee, but your chances of getting a very nice tip SKYROCKET. Why? Because the client is not EXPECTING it, especially that first time. It shows that you…
4.Pay Special Attention To Each And Every Client/Pet As If It Were Your Own.
When your client picks up Rex and Lucy, she is expecting an amazingly consistent groom (see #1), but when she sees the extra touch of a tie and bow on THEIR dogs, it shows that they are not just another number in your database. The client may know in their head that you do this to other dogs, but for the moment, they don’t think that way. You treat THEIR dog this way because they are special. And they should be. These animals are not only your source of income, this is your career. It helps a lot when you go over a dog’s body carefully to check for skin irritations, lumps, etc. When you tell a client that you noticed a new lump or question a rash, you could be saving an animal’s life – which is immeasurably priceless. When it comes time for the client to checkout, make sure to allow…
5. Tipping To Be Made Easily.
You’re at a chain restaurant like Olive Garden or Chili’s. You no longer have to wait on the server to bring you a bill because it is on their automated tablet at your table. You look at the total and then *pop* the tipping page shows up! It AUTOMATICALLY lands between 15 and 20% – at 18%. This plays a crucial tug-of-war in your brain. Unless your server was absolutely HORRIBLE, you will just go up a couple percentage points (or more) to 20%. 15% is standard – but you are not a standard groomer. Remember, you are EXCELLENT at your job. So you can actually set your settings on your Square or Clover to show the three tipping % options you fee is best (PLUS a custom option). For example, my wife has seen an uptick in tipping amounts lately because it used to be 10%, 15%, 20%, and custom. She changed the checkout settings on the tipping page to now show 15%, 18% 20% and customers are responding with higher tip amounts – naturally. Again, if you do excellent work, you should demand excellent service from your customers, as well. And you know what? They won’t feel guilty about giving a higher tip amount because…
6.You are THEIR groomer.
My brother loves music. Always has and always will. He tends to do what a lot of people in the world do. They find new, fresh talent so when the bands get huge, they can say “I knew them back when they had only five people at their concert.” What in the world does this have to do with grooming? Stay with me here. We currently have a customer that found out about my wife at a community event – 45 minutes away from our current shop. She did not want to wait for us to open a shop in 2021 because she saw one of my wife’s work in person on her poodle. Why would she be willing to drive so far to get her dog groomed? Because she wants that experience of being one of the FIRST in her new neighborhood to get groomed before the shop opens up to the rest of her neighborhood. “I was getting my dog groomed by her before she had her shop over here.” Sound crazy? It’s not because it happens. Like a two year old that holds a toy with a kung-fu grip: “Oh, they are MY groomer.” It is that same experience with people in regards to rock stars. In the grooming industry, YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. Be THEIR rockstar, but…
7. Above All Else, Stay Humble and Kind.
“The good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away.” Let’s fast forward three years after reading this article. You are now a competitive groomer who is traveling the world. Your shop COMMANDS higher pricing due to your accolades and tremendous ability. You may even be sponsored by a company. However, your customer service has slipped, you are not at the shop as much, and when younger groomers look up to you, you don’t have the time to give them any pointers because you are “too busy” for the likes of them. One day you are bringing in a case of water into your mansion and uh oh, you trip over a sprinkler head and CRACK! Your wrist is fractured. Your whole livelihood now has to be put on hold. Sponsorship gone. Competitions gone. Friendships from before? Gone.
Now let’s fast forward three years after reading this article. Your shop is thriving. Your customers are even MORE in love with you because you give back to the community and help with animal events. You are sponsored and travel to competitive grooming shows, but you take the time to show up-and-comers new to the grooming world any tips and answer any questions they may have, thus creating a more genuine following on Instagram and Facebook, creating more of a loyalty to those who may be lucky enough to live in the same region that you groom (think humble Rockstar). You show up at your shops because you are actually a huge part in your salon(s) and still enjoy grooming as much as you did before. Now, if the unfortunate event happens that you break your wrist, all is in place for when you return. No sponsor is going to cut you loose because you are too good of a person and accidents happen. Your customers send you flowers and can’t wait for you to return. Your employess (we shall call them TEAM MEMBERS) can efficiently run the shop on their own because you hired correctly, they LOVE working for you, and you taught them well. This is why staying humble and kind, no matter what, is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more customer retention and tips in the world of grooming.
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