After so many years of grooming, I have been very fortunate to build a very large regular clientele.
Believe me, when I say that it took a long time and a lot of hard work.
It eventually got to the point where I was booking so far a head (about 6 months) that I stopped taking new customers so that I could keep my regulars on schedule.
We went along for about 4 years not accepting new customers.
Of course all of those regular dogs were getting older, and we had a rash of elderly dogs pass away.
Some owners got new dogs, some did not.
So a couple of years ago we started taking new customers again.
It did not take long to discover that we had become very spoiled with our regulars.
They knew the routine.
We knew all of the dogs very well.
90% of them were on very regular schedules, so they were almost always in good shape.
Our customers trusted us.
If we were ever running behind, they understood.
I don't know if it is just me, and I have forgotten what new customers were like, or what, but some of the new customers that I have had recently have not been very pleasant to deal with.
It is not that they are mean.
I am not sure what it is exactly.
I don't know if it is that they have had bad experiences at other shops and they come in with a chip on their shoulder waiting for something to go wrong, or it is just that so many people these days want everything right now.
I have found that some people are very inconsiderate.
I work very hard to give excellent customer service.
I am also pretty good at getting a grabby customer to walk out of my shop with a smile on their face.
In the past 2 days we have had 6 new customers.
Today we had three.
This was my first new customer of the day.
He came in with another little Yorkie.
His Mom had already done some grooming on him herself.
They left his face for me.
I did what I call a repair groom.
He was a very good dog, and a very easy groom.
My daughter groomed the other Yorkie.
The owner was happy and made another appointment.
This customer was very nice, and defiantly one I would like to keep.
This dogs owner has been in before, but not for full grooming.
She has used the self-serve a couple of times.
The first time she came in, she asked me all kinds of questions about taking care of the dogs coat.
She was doing a very good job of keeping the dog brushed out.
I spent some time showing how to brush the dog.
The owner told me that the dog had had a bad grooming elsewhere, and that she didn't want to take it to another groomer.
The next time she came in, she talked about the brushing getting away from her, and she made an appointment for me to groom him.
She had still been trying to keep him brushed, but it had definitely gotten away from her.
So she had started cutting out mats.
His front legs were matted the most, but it was the clumpy undercoat type matting.
The back leg were not to bad, and she had been chopping on them.
The body was in great shape except for the neck.
The face and ears were a little matted, but no big deal.
His Mom had chopped off most of his beard.
Yes, I saved the coat.
I don't mind when I know that a customer is really trying to keep their dog brushed out.
After using Best Shot Shampoo and Creme Rinse, about 80% of the matting blew out with the HV dryer.
The longest part of the grooming was the bathing and blow drying.
I finished the dematting with my comb.
Those undercoat type mats come out much easier with the comb.
The scissoring only took me 30 minutes.
It took me longer to bathe him and dry him. :/
The holes in his coat are from his mom cutting out mats.
Some of the spots were so short, that I could not blend them very well.
I did have to shave about half way down the inside of the back legs.
Was the owner happy?
I don't know.
The husband picked up and didn't say whether he liked the groom or not.
It's funny, even after all these years of grooming, it still hurts a little when an owner picks up a dog that you worked so hard on and they don't say anything about how the dog looks, good or bad.
This little lady was my last dog of the day, and the last new customer of the day.
Her Mom is a very nice elderly lady, who to be honest, I was sure was going to be calling and checking on the dog constantly.
She proved me wrong.
Even when I was running behind.
The owner had been having the dog groomed by the breeder, but it was getting too far for her to travel, so she decided to try us.
I know that the Schnauzer skirts are supposed to be low, but I really felt that this girl was way too chubby for such a low skirt.
So I started blending it just a little higher up so that her belly would not stick out so much.
I know that it is not correct, but I think it looks better, and makes her look a little slimmer.
Us overweight girls have to stick together. :-)
For some reason her beard had been chopped up.
I don't know why, because she didn't have a mat in her.
Oh, and I got one of my wishes off of my wish list.
This girl was great about having her legs brushed!
Oh, and another thing.
The owner loved the groom.
She was so happy, and told me so. :)
She was very nice.
She didn't rush me.
And she picked up her dog right away.
The dog was very sweet.
She was not matted.
She did not bark.
She's a keeper!
Happy Grooming, MFF