Every once in a while I seem to have a hard time getting customers to understand what I am asking them, or talking about.
I think that sometimes we, as groomers, forget that customers don't always understand the terms we use when we ask how they would like to have their dogs groomed.
For instance, I will ask a poodle owner if they would like their poodle to have 'poodle feet'.
"Yes," the owner will say.
Years ago I would have stopped asking questions right there, but I have learned to ask as many questions as possible to make sure that the owner understands what I am asking.
"So you want the feet shaved short?" I ask.
"Oh no, I don't want you to shave them," the owner will say, shaking their head.
"Would you like them the way they are now only shorter and in proportion to the body?" I ask.
"Yes, yes, that's it," they say, looking relieved that I am not going to shave the feet, and me being relieved that I didn't shave the feet.
Saturday I had a woman in that could not understand what I was asking her about the dogs feet, no matter how I put it.
This is where pictures come in really handy.
Like showing them what a shaved foot looks like.
Showing them what the foot looks like when it is not shaved.
You can also show them a fuzzy poodle foot that is clipped but not 'shaved'.
Show them what a Golden's feet look like when they are trimmed up.
These pictures could also be used for similar dogs such as Spaniel's, Sheltie's, Collie's, ect.
Little Pom feet that could also be used to show small dogs feet trimmed up.
Such as Peke's, and Long Haired Chihuahua's.
Show what Cocker feet will look like when scissored up.
Show them what feet scissored up tight look like.
Use the pictures to ask questions.
Like; "Would you like them to look like this, or longer, or shorter?"
When new owners with puppies come in, show them a picture of a puppies feet trimmed and rounded off.
Show Yorkie owners what their dogs feet will look like depending on the cut they want.
When you have an owner that likes to keep everything long and natural, show them what the feet will look like if they let you trim them up a little.
Show them a before and after of what the feet will look like with a Puppy Cut.
Please ignore the Before and After labels under the feet in the picture to the right.Obviously, they should be the other way around. :o
A picture also helps to show an owner what you mean when you say;
'I'll clean out the pads'.
'I'll shave the pads of the feet.'
'I'll clip the pads of the feet.'
You can also show them how much hair grows in the pads, how it can mat, how it can make them slip on a floor, how it keeps them from sweating through their pads.
A picture can save a lot of confusion when trying to figure out what a owner really wants done on their dog.
Like the owner who came in and said;
"Clip him as close as you can get him!"
But, they really wanted this cut!
They have know idea just how close we can clip them.
So take pictures of your grooms, and get a binder.
Keep that binder up under your counter so that you can reach for it when needed.
Or you can make a book of all of your grooms.
Go to Winkflash.
Sign up and follow the directions to make your own book, showing your work.
You can take as long as you need.
It will save your work.
I got my book all ready to go, and then waited for the books to go on sale.
( It took me over a month)
I was able to get two books for the price of one.
Anything that will make our lives easier as groomers is worth doing. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF