- Dog Groomers: Do you want more customers and want them to stick around longer? Here's 5 Ways
While pet grooming is a fur-tastic career, loving dogs is only the first step to a successful business as a canine groomer. As you've discovered, developing business skills is key to profits.
One of those business skills is the ability to bring customers in the door on autopilot. It takes a lot to get a business of any kind off the ground. It only grows by being profitable. One of the ways it can become MORE profitable is with customers on repeat.
Here are two questions to ask yourself:
To take it to the next level, you can also ask yourself, what's your most profitable service and which ones do your customers want the most?
To land new customers and keep 'em coming back, consider incorporating these five strategies into your canine grooming salon.
1. Review Your Website (or Build One)
Once they arrive at your site, is it easy to navigate? Is your contact information obvious (in the top right corner is a good spot.) Do you have pricing and directions on your website?
It can be your first impression, so you want to make it a good one.
Once they make an appointment, you want to make it easy to get the information you need. What kind of dog do they have? Have they shared their pet's vaccination records? What are their preferences?
This brings us to cloud-based business management software.
2. Stay Organized with Cloud-based Software
Oops! You accidentally overbooked an hour timeslot on the calendar. Or maybe you forgot to update a dog's vaccination records. Or you misplaced a phone number written on a scrap of paper. Oh, those scraps of paper!
You can eliminate these stresses when you use a cloud-based management software program. Business management software designed for dog groomers stores everything online so it can't be misplaced. A binder can go missing. Index cards can get misfiled or accidentally thrown away. Besides, do you need your client's confidential information to fall into the wrong hands? The Cloud is secure.
It's also accessible where ever you are. Home, mobile, salon? When you need access to schedules or client communications, it's available. The cloud is the organized canine groomers' best friend (next to great clippers and on-time clients!)
Plus, everything is stored in one place. Doing so keeps you on top of tasks which in turn will make your customers feel cared about, respectful of their time, and valued – resulting in frequent visits!
3. Use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to technology, and that's okay! But a big part of running a successful dog grooming business is communication. Of course, you are already a natural at reading a dog's body language. However, dogs aren't the ones booking monthly haircut appointments…their owners are.
With that in mind, you need to communicate with other human beings effectively. A good CRM allows you to stay in touch with your customer base easily. This is necessary for two reasons:
a) It helps dog groomers close the first sale
b) It increases the likelihood of retaining the customer long term
There's a business term called "acquisition cost." It refers to how much it costs you to acquire a customer.
Here's an example, if you spend $100 on Facebook ads for three days and those ads bring you ten new customers, each worth $50, then your acquisition cost is $100 plus other expenses (rent, staff, etc.) For the sake of the example, let's say your fixed costs are another $200 in administrative costs, rent, actual grooming time. So, now you're looking at $200 in profit, maybe. But if five of those customers become repeat customers who bring their dog monthly and stay with you for three years, your profits increased, and that ad was totally worth it!
It's the same if you rent a booth at a community event. Add up your total costs and divide it by the number of new customers. Then, give those people a reason to keep coming back.
4. Offer Referral Incentives
Even so-called "hands-off" ways of marketing like car decals and business cards add up. Especially so when you think about the time invested in getting these things into the hands of local dog owners.
Luckily, as a canine groomer extraordinaire, you already have a walking and talking client list. When happy customers exit the salon, be sure to remind them of your referral incentives. Every time they refer a new customer, offer a small "thank you" gesture.
Such incentives could be something simple, such as:
You can probably come up with plenty of other ideas too. Referrals from a friend or family member are the #1 way to drive sales. In fact, 83% of people trust recommendations from somebody they know.
Plus, most dog owners know other dog people. When you do great canine grooming, offer excellent customer service, and invite your clients to recommend their friends and family, it's a fantastic way to tap into a wider market.
5. Advertise on Social Media
There are 1.386 billion Instagram users in 2021. Of that, a ton of them have dogs!
What better way to show off your talent as a dog groomer than by posting pictures of your customers' dogs? Pet parents love seeing their pretty pooches online. Chances are, they will tag themselves in your photos. This then drives traffic to your homepage.
The great thing about Instagram is that it has a small business feature. Add your location, hours, and contact information.
The smiley faces and wagging tails will be a super cute way to attract more local customers.
Remember, canine grooming is all about relationship building. In fact, groomers see people's dogs more often than their own veterinarian does! Therefore, dog groomers must have a business model in place that fosters a sense of customer loyalty built by months (or years) of quality service.
Help your dog grooming business thrive with these five simple ideas to attract and retain loyal customers.