18 | 2017 GROOMING DIRECTORY
PPN: Salons can experience high turnover. What
are your tips for attracting and retaining top
AS: This is probably one of the largest struggles we have faced. With the significant
growth in grooming we have seen in the
last two to three years, we have struggled
to find and retain good staff.
We have truly invested our time in the
last year to finding, hiring and training
support staff to be able to help keep our
salon in check. Our grooming salon manager serves as a receptionist but also helps
with the day-to-day aspect of controlling
gossip, keeping booking appointments
fair and encouraging further certifications
for our grooming salon staff. We carefully
select our groomers and require that they
have significant prior work history in an
effort to curb groomer turnover (an issue
we have not really had in our salon). We
also provide a great deal of support in the
way of bathers and receptionists to allow
for a more fluid customer experience.
B.C. HENSCHEN: Platinum Paws is extremely
rare in the fact that we do not experience the high turnover of other salons.
I attribute this to the fact that we do not
pay commission—every groomer is an
employee with a salary. That really helps
build a team environment instead of having groomers competing against each other
to try and get the next commission. Luck
also plays a part!
CS: You really have to grow your own, as
any good groomer is already either self-em-
ployed or working for someone else. Me-
lissa Verplank, who wrote our grooming
bible, “Notes From the Grooming Table,”
spells out very clearly just how hard it is
to find a good groomer. Invest in the talent
you find and make them want to stay with
you by treating them with respect and pay-
ing them like the asset they are.
RN: I use a three-step process to hiring new
employees. My first step in the process is
to get them to submit a general applica-
tion or resume. The second step is to have
them come in for a one-on-one interview
in which we discuss what they are look-
ing for in a salon, what I’m looking for
in a groomer, and try to determine if our
overall goals match up. The third step is a
working interview in which I can see their
skills in action. I try to book them for a full
day of grooming and have them interact
some with clients to get a general idea of
their customer service abilities as well.
Being a small salon, we are really
more like a family, and it’s important
that all employees mesh and work well
together. To retain groomers, I offer in-
centives such as paying for them to attend
educational grooming events, grooming
competitions and pet events.
SD: You have to take good care of your
groomers—pay them well, take them to
trade shows and build a good rapport
PPN: How can salons better upsell services such
as facials, aromatherapy, pawdicures, creative
grooming, fragrances and more?
AS: We often ask if customers would like
to add services like PlaqClnz (a mouth-cleansing product) or a de-shed. We have
also recently begun opening on Sundays
with only one groomer available and one
support person doing “express” grooms.
This way the pet is groomed all the way
through and it shortens the pet’s visit by
about two to three hours, which is ideal
for senior or infirm pets that might require a quieter experience.
BCH: The most important thing about sell-
ing add-on salon items for us is that it
must serve a purpose and have a result
the customer can see. Selling a facial ser-
vice is great, but it better do something
above and beyond what you normally
do. If you’re telling a client “our orange-
cranberry facial really cleans the face up,”
you are essentially telling the client that
normally you leave the face dirty. While
it can be hard to tell how a mud bath is
really helping condition the skin, if you
post a picture of that client’s dog on social
media sitting in the bath covered in mud,
that shows the client value.
CS: It is important to use and offer fabulous products. We use Dog Fashion Spa
products at The Pet Salon as part of a full
spa experience for their dog. Use the spa
products in the salon then make sure the
client knows they got a premium add-on
this time as a thank you for their business. Next time, they will gladly pay for
the upgrade. Try and book the upgrade
when you book their “preferred customer” appointment.
RN: While we often access the skin and
coat of every pet at check-in and offer additional services that we think would benefit each pet, we try to take the time to also
explain why. Many times a client hears the
words “facial,” “aromatherapy,” “
exfoliating scrub,” etc., and thinks of something
fancy they might get at a spa. While there
are many clients who would love to treat
their pet to these spa services, there are
also just as many who think it is simply a
luxury added to their bill.
We take the time to explain how added time spent scrubbing the face with a
facial may help with tear staining or sour
odors, or how a lavender bath can help
calm a nervous pet and help them enjoy
PPN: What creative suggestions can you offer to
increase sales of take-home grooming products?
AS: We have a small retail section in our
grooming salon reception area of the many
items we use in our salon. It is handy to
have, as we often find customers ask about
the many scents and shampoos they can
use in between grooming appointments—
and it is handy to be able to grab [prod-uct] as you are checking out a customer.
We also stock our Zuke’s treats that we sell
in the store in the form of samples on our
grooming salon desk to encourage customers to come over to the store to purchase
treats and food.