- Polite Ways to Fire a Dog Grooming Customer
But customer service also plays a massive role in the success of your business. Even though we may like to spend our days focused on bathing, trimming, and styling happy puppies, the reality is that human interactions are just as important as our interactions with dogs.
And as you know, pet parents can sometimes be…difficult.
Eventually, every dog groomer gets a rude, argumentative, unreasonable, or otherwise impossible dog grooming client with whom they no longer want to work. First, ask yourself: Can I afford to lose this customer? If the answer is yes, it may be time to let them go. While it's never easy firing a customer, Easy Busy Pets is here with a guide to make the process less scary.
Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief finally. Phew!
Wanting to get rid of a bad customer is perfectly normal.
As Carol Visser of Pet Business explains, "If the disrespectful customers are costing you more in stress than dollars, fire them."
Now, you don't want to let a customer go without cause, and you don't want to get a reputation for being rude or impulsive. This is about enforcing your boundaries and making room for more of your favorite customers.
Do any of the following apply? If so, it may be time to think about letting them go permanently.
Do you have a client who is always late, cancels, no-shows, and expects to be accommodated with zero notice? These are valid reasons to say goodbye. Good groomers are in demand, and there's no reason to deal with the stress of someone who doesn't respect your time.
If you're not too busy (yet,) ramp up your marketing efforts and build up your client base. That way, when problem customers present themselves, you can rightly say you're sorry, but you're booked up.
Prices will increase as your dog grooming business grows and you employ more staff, work longer hours, and hone your skills. A customer who argues about costs at every single appointment might not be one to keep on the books forever. Let them go elsewhere. Chances are, they may try to return. Then, it'll be up to you if you have room or not.
Did you know? Most work environments have health and safety regulations surrounding harassment and verbally abusive language. Point this out to the customer. Ask them to leave if they continue to swear, be vulgar, or use hate speech. No one deserves abusive behavior.
Lastly, an individual who cannot respect your dog grooming rules is not somebody you will look forward to seeing regularly. Many groomers use a "three strikes, and you're out" approach.
Okay, so you have decided it is time to let a customer go.
Feeling stressed about having "the talk?" Preparing a script in advance can be helpful. Below are some examples of what to say.
"I'm sorry, but due to ______, I am unable to book ______ for future appointments. I have greatly enjoyed caring for your dog. However, I feel that a different groomer would be a better long-term fit. I can provide a few recommendations if you like? Thanks for understanding."
Hate confrontation?Here is another genius tactic…blame yourself.
Even though YOU aren't the problem, accepting responsibility for ending the relationship accomplishes a few things. First, it lowers your customer's stress levels. Rather than say to a dissatisfied customer, "You are a pain in the butt to deal with!" try something like:
"I completely understand your feelings and am sorry we weren't a good fit today."
This takes all the hot air out of their balloon. Suddenly, they have no reason to be defensive.
Now, what if prices are the issue? A customer who complains or outright refuses to pay full prices is not worth keeping. For these situations, consider saying the following:
Breaking up with a customer can feel terrifying.
However, an even worse outcome is continuing to work with a bad client and having your dog grooming business suffer as a result. When it comes time to "fire" a client, remember to be polite, professional, and empathetic (but firm).
Your business is "paw-sitively" worth it!