Anyone still there?
I know that I have been away for awhile, but I hope everyone hasn't given up on me. :)
I was getting a little discouraged with my blog.
I started this blog to help show what the real world of pet grooming was like, and also to maybe help other groomers along the way by showing how I groomed.
One other reason I started to write this blog, was to vent about customers when I needed to.
I was always careful to not use any customer names, but one of my customers saw a picture of her dog in a post that I wrote and took offense to something I said.
I lost that customer and her two dogs.
I really liked both of the dogs, especially one of them that I had been grooming for years.
It really upset me to lose that customer, on several different levels.
After that I got away from telling stories or talking about customers.
I stuck more to actual grooming.
As my daughter told me, my blog got boring.
I also felt like I was running out of 'grooming' related stuff to talk about.
You can only talk about how to shave a poodle foot so many times before it just gets redundant.
I also really missed telling some of the customer stories.
My daughter came to me the other night and asked why I had not written a new post in the last couple of weeks.
I shrugged my shoulders and said; "I don't know...I don't know what to write about anymore...most of our dogs are regulars, so there are no shocking before and afters...and I have already written about most grooming procedures. It has also been too busy lately to stop and take pictures."
Her response....."MOM! Start telling the customers stories again!"
So, I thought about it.
She is right.
The grooming procedures are a big part of grooming obviously, but the dogs and pet owners are just as big a part of grooming.
I truly think that it helps other groomers to see that they are not the only ones dealing with good, bad, crazy, or insane customers.
I also thought, that if I am going to tell stories about some of my customer situations, I should also tell about how I dealt with that customer, or situation in hopes that it may also help a fellow groomer.
I had been reading a lot of Facebook grooming groups.
'Had' being the operative word.
There are so many angry groomers out there.
I have not left any groups yet, but I have stopped reading a lot of them.
It was actually depressing to read a lot of them.
If the groomers were not attacking their customers in their posts, they were attacking each other.
Yes, believe me, I know that there are pet customers out there that need someone to smack them up side the head, but I honestly think that some groomers bring bad customer situations on themselves with their attitudes and the way they deal with situations.
That is just my personal opinion.
I still skim through some of the posts that show up on my newsfeed, and some days that is definitely more than enough.
Anyway, I will be getting back to blogging again.
There are always customer stories to tell.
Like, the very long time customer that came in to pick up his dog, only to send the dog back into the grooming room asking to take the dogs ears short 'like we always do'.
There was only one problem.... the ear hair on this particular dogs ears was over 8 inches long, because the owner never wanted us to trim them....NEVER EVER!!
How did we deal with this request?
We double checked to make sure he wanted the ears shorter.
I even asked my husband if he was sure it was the right dog with the right owner.
We all stared at each other in disbelief for a minute or two.I asked my husband a second time; "Are you sure he said trim them short?"
"YES! He said that he wanted us to trim the ears short like we always do because he likes them that way!" my husband insisted.
"That's the problem," I said, "we never trim this dogs ears, because THAT IS the way he has always liked them!"
Then my daughter trimmed about two inches off of the ears and the owner went home with his dog with shorter ears.
I have to admit....I was waiting for a call back later, or the next day asking why we trimmed the ears.....
I could also talk about the number of people that have been calling lately swearing that they have been coming to us for grooming, only we have no record of them in our computer system.....every customer gets put into the system, even if they only ever made one appointment and canceled it, or no-showed.
I don't know....maybe they think insisting that we have groomed their dog before will make us squeeze them in for an appointment.
Or, I could talk about the customer that complains about the price of her dogs groom just about every time she comes in.
The complaint this time was that she thought the price should be less because I was hand scissoring the coat down to 2 inches instead of the 4 inches that is left in the winter.
"No....hand scissoring is hand scissoring, and the same amount of work no matter how much shorter I take the coat," said with a smile.
Don't buy the high maintenance dog if you don't want to pay to groom it.
I have gotten to the point in my career that you either pay for the work I do on your pet, or find another groomer that you can bargain with.
Then you get what you paid for.
When a customer complains about a grooming price, I remind myself that my work is worth every penny that I charge.
I do what the owner wants. (within reason)
I treat the dog with love and respect.
I do a very good job.
I also remind myself that I didn't twist their arm to come to me for grooming.
Don't ever let a customer make you feel like your work is not worth what you are charging.
There are people out there that just love to haggle a price.
Stand your ground.
Then there is the customer that you call because they have not shown up for their appointment.
Us: "Hi, we were calling to see if someone is on there way with 'Muffin' for her grooming appointment."
Customer: "My dogs appointment is for Thursday, June 12th!"
Us: "Yes, today is Thursday June 12th," said respectfully.
How we dealt with this matter.....either let the customer still come over with the understanding that the dog may take longer, because it will be late for its appointment, or reschedule if the owner is unable to bring the dog in.
Oh....then bang my head against the wall....
Last but not least...
The customer that came in to pick up two freshly groomed dogs during a summer down pour.
You know, that kind of torrential, hard down pour that soaks you to your underwear within seconds.
Instead of waiting 5 or 10 minutes for the summer shower to pass or slow down, I watch out the shop window as the said owner of the two freshly groomed dogs walks outside (with the dogs in his arms) and sets them down on the ground to walk them, through rain drops bigger than they are, to the car.
Did I mention that this was all just in the last couple of weeks?