We all have our individual interpretations of words or concepts. For some, “a couple of minutes” might be literally two, or for others, the phrase translates to “whenever it happens, I’m not really looking at my watch.”
In the grooming industry, we interact with individuals that use the same words, but don’t always speak the same language, especially when the subject is time. Dogs are fortunate in that they don’t know, and therefore don’t misinterpret, the language we use when referring to timekeeping.
Varied definitions lead to a wide range of expectations. One client might expect their dog’s grooming session to take 30 minutes, while others expect a great result, regardless of how long the process takes. The key to a successful customer service scenario is matching the expectations.
We aim to provide a satisfying experience for all parties, and when we can align the human elements in a situation where speed and expectations are compatible, everyone usually walks away happy.
Grooming Efficiently vs. Grooming Fast
Let’s start by drilling down to the fundamentals of the concepts, the definitions of the words.
Efficiently: regularly, smoothly, competently, without trouble
Fast: rapid, accelerated, supersonic, hasty
Which set of words appeals to you? Ultimately, we like to approach each grooming session with a combination of efficient and fast, but that isn’t always realistic.
However, there are ways we can work with clients to achieve rapid results without trouble, to use the synonyms listed above.
1. Repeat Clients
Regularly groomed dogs take less time (in most instances) to re-fluff, trim, or shape. When you bring your dog to us for routine visits, we know what your dog responds well to and when we need to coax them. If they love or hate the dryer, nail trammel, have a distinct sensitive spot, etc., we can prepare our tools accordingly beforehand, which saves time.
2. The Groomer’s Pace
We have a team of groomers at our different locations and each professional has their own natural pace. Like a resting heartbeat, not everyone tick-tocks on the same cadence. While all of our groomers have experience, some are swifter than others. It’s human nature.
For new patrons, we welcome a description of their expectations. If they say:
“Just make her beautiful, I don’t care how long it takes.”
“I’ll need to pick him up in 45 minutes because I’m in a hurry.”
We understand what they need when they need it. When the outcome and path to the finish line have a precise definition, everyone wins.
3. Moon Cycles
This is a semi-laughing matter, but there are some days dogs just don’t want to spend time with us. Does this temperament occur more often at full moons? Not really, but the pups do have moments when cooperation flies right out of the door. This is a no-fault situation, but negotiating with a canine that would rather be exploring the park does add time to the session.
Tell Us How We Can Best Accommodate You
Life happens to all of us, as we know. Days go from well-planned to complete chaos and all the items on the to-do list fall like dominoes. It happens in our world, usually at the most inopportune time.
Equipment issues, summer colds, miscommunications wreck havoc on itineraries, and there isn’t much we can do about it. What we can do is tell anyone who might be affected by the interruption. Our team does their best to keep our clients abreast of any last-minute changes.
When patrons are on a tight schedule, we understand. They let us know when to have Princess looking her best, and we do all we can to grant their wish.
Say a family is going out of town, and earlier that day their car needed an oil change, and it took twice as long as usual. They’re now in a time crunch and call us. We could scale back the services performed in order to have their dog ready to pick up at the new time.
If a client needs to cancel an appointment, we ask they do so 24 hours in advance so we can adjust the necessary calendars. Our mission is to cater to our clients without unnecessarily inconveniencing anyone. If we know they can’t make it, we happily reschedule their next visit.
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