AS: We advise our groomers to encourage
customers to book ahead when checking out. This has become extremely important to do for our longtime regular
customers who have not adjusted to our
being so busy and not being able to get a
same-day or next-day appointment. We
offer certain incentives to returning customers like a rewards card for nail trims
and added value.
CHUCK SIMONS: I do a series of grooming
business seminars on a regular basis.
“The Land of Making Money” includes
a 10-point program to earn more while
working more efficiently. One of the first
points is instituting a preferred customer
program. It basically spells out how to
raise your prices by 10 percent without
upsetting your current customers and at
the same time requires them to book in
advance … just like your dentist!
Have your business cards stamped
with “10% Off” on the back. Anytime you
see a person with a pet that is not a client,
hand them your card. When they check
out the first time, explain that if they re-
book for a new appointment six to eight
weeks for a grooming or 10-12 weeks for
a bath, they get to continue their discount.
Do this with your regulars also. They get
a preferred time and day of their choice
and a complimentary reminder call the
day before. There is no penalty for cancel-
ling or rescheduling. They have all now
become “preferred customers,” and you
have turned haphazard, maybe once- or
twice-a-year clients into four to six times
a year regulars.
RN: Keeping your appointment books full
takes knowing how to run a successful
business. To obtain new business, we do
a lot of print advertising and word-of-
mouth incentives. We offer our clients
a small discount off their next appoint-
ment when they refer a friend or family
member to us. Once they’re in the door,
we recommend a grooming schedule for
each client and pre-book their next ap-
pointments on that schedule.
If a client comes in asking for a lon-ger-length coat or a more-complicated,
high-maintenance groom, we might suggest they come in every week to every
three weeks if they would like to keep
that style. If a customer refuses to pre-book, we remind them that this means
they have to wait a week or more for
an appointment with us because most
of our clients already have set appointments on our schedule and they will
have to be worked in around those pre-booked appointments.
RUTHI ASHLEY STERN: Before the customer
leaves, rebook for four to six weeks out.
You can reward clients for referrals,
like a free nail trim in appreciation.
SD: Groomers can keep appointment
books full by offering some discounts. For
example, for every fifth groom, you get 20
percent off of the next, or if you rebook
at the time of service, you get a discount.