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Customer Understanding

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HOW TO INCREASE YOUR BUSINESS
AND CUSTOMER KNOWLEDGE

By Nichola Smith, Bangor SmartPets

 

For the past 2 years I have been running puppy classes in my salon, one evening per week at a charge of 10.00 for three classes. We then donate this money to a local animal charity which gets us some free publicity, as well as helping a good cause.

Puppies must be fully vaccinated before allowing them into the salon. I keep a good range of ear powder and cleaner, slicker brushes and combs, shampoos, etc on hand. I do a talk on grooming, emphasising why you should groom your dog and what happens if you don’t. You would not believe the shock of customers when they see a piece of matted/felted hair. I use a very good saying, which is "grooming regularly is less stressful on the owners pocket and the dog". You would not believe how many owners do not know how to groom out their pet’s coat. They do not know about plucking ears, clipping nails and brushing teeth. They also do not realise the services we offer in grooming.

While we have the puppies in the salon I advise owners to let others handle their dogs. I also run clippers over clipped breeds to get them used to the noise.

90% of owners who come to the puppy classes become regular customers in the grooming salon. Most purchase their grooming equipment from us. Many also pop in from time to time before their pups need trimmed, so we can handle them and get them used to the noises in the salon. This makes it a lot less traumatic experience when the puppy comes in for his/her first trim.

These customers even pop in just for information. I’ve found that they tell their friends how helpful we are and that we give lots of free advice. As we all know, word of mouth is the best way of advertising.

I also run pet owners grooming classes twice a month. There, we let owners bath and blow dry their dogs for 8.00 small – medium breeds to 12.00 large breeds, per night. We teach them how to groom their dogs coats in between their full trimming sessions. I have up to five people per class. One week half of them bath and then the following week that half groom and vice versa. I find that owners try harder to groom out their dogs and like the idea of being able to bath their dogs themselves without the mess in their home.

Another idea is to allow "show" people in your area to use your salon to groom their dogs - at a charge. We have a few who have 5 or 6 dogs. So, on a Sunday I open the salon and let them use it for a few hours while I do my bookwork. You can also learn a lot from some of these people when watching them trim/handstrip their dogs. And if you need a good quality, well-behaved dog for competitions or exams, then having these people as acquaintances can be very useful!

If these methods don’t work to increase customer awareness of our job, you need a sign saying

"God may create miracles but I’m only a Dog Groomer!"

 

All material in this publication is subject to copyright. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Northern Groomers.

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Copyright 2000 Northern Groomers
Last modified: November 09, 2001