We all deal with them.
I am sure that some groomers may think that a customer has every right to complain if they don't like a service that they received.
Everyone has the right to be upset if they feel that they did not receive the service that they paid for.
This post is NOT about those people or customers.
This post is about the people and customers that make it their goal in life to be a Pain In The A**.
It is about the customers that give you a hard time because you can't give them an appointment right now for their dog, who they have neglected to have groomed for the last 8 months.
It is about the customers that refuse to show up for their appointments on time, no matter how many times you tell them that it backs you up for the whole day.
It is about the customer that stands there right in front of you, swearing up and down that the dog they are holding, with large, hard, smelly dreadlocks, is not matted.
It is for the customer that wants to know why you won't clip their dog right now (Saturday at 3:45pm) even after you told him you close at 4pm, because.... "it should only take you a few minutes to clip his hair off."
It is about the customer that does not want to take the 9am appointment that you have available on the day they want (the only appointment time that you have open that day)...."I am not up that early, I can bring him in at 11:30am at the earliest."
It is about that customer that keeps you on the phone for 30 minutes answering a hundred questions about their dog, (most of the questions having nothing to do with grooming) then they don't make an appointment with you.
It is about the tactless, insulting, condescending customer.
It is about the rude, nasty customer.
I could go on and on....
I must say that I have to give my husband a great deal of credit for answering phones and dealing with the customers for the last 24 years.
He is very good at keeping his cool with PITA customers when talking on the phone, or dealing with customers in person.
But I have to say, look out when he gets off of the phone, or the customer leaves the shop.
He tends to take his frustration out on the clipboard, or the door, or unfortunately the phone.
I am sure that you know those customers....the ones who make you feel like you just need to throw something, or hit something because you had to hold your tongue and be professional with the customer.
Don't get me wrong.
Thankfully this does not happen very often, but my husband has broken 3 phones in 24 years.
It is the easiest thing for him to throw against the floor, it is already in his hand.
A customer has to get him really mad to do this.
He has not broken a phone in a few years now.
Not because he hasn't wanted to.
Are customers aren't that good.
It is because as soon as my daughter and I see that a customer has driven him crazy we say, "not the phone!!"
We all feel at one time or another that we just want to hit something to get our frustration out.
You do not want to be upset or frustrated when working on a dog.
They pick up on your feelings, and it can make the dog act up.
Every time my husband, or daughter, or I deal with a PITA customer over the years, I have threatened to get a punching bag for the back room.
Everyone would laugh and say "what for?"
For those times, even though they are not very often, when a customer drive you crazy.
Take a good swing at the punching bag.
Get that frustration out and move on.
Is it wrong to think that way?
I don't know.
Would I or any of us really use the punching bag if I got one?
We're going to find out.....
I got one.
It will go in the back room where we eat and the kids are home schooled.
Will it get used?
I have a feeling that my eleven year old and his friend will have a lot of fun with it.
Does it happen to remind you of anything?
Does this help?
I will admit that I don't have any customers with green hair and a big nose and mustache.
.....well there was that one........
I don't know... this one kind of reminds me of those clueless customers that shouldn't even own a dog.
The customers that you try to talk to and ask questions about what they want done to their dog.
All they can say is...
"I don't know, you are the groomer, you know what to do."
Or the customer that wants her/his way, and only their way.
They don't care if it inconveniences you.
They want an appointment on only one certain day, at one certain time, and they want the dog back right away, or they want you to dog sit it all day.
Then there is the customer that walks in with the cell phone attached to his/her ear.
They don't even bother to hang up or tell the person they are talking to to hold on.
They just hand you the leash, you ask "same?", they nod their head and leave.
It is the same at pick-up...they toss the money or check on the counter, take their dogs leash, and back out the door, never pausing once in that all to important phone call that they are on.
Oh, and don't forget this customer.
"You're not going to put him in a cage are you?"
"Can I stay with her?"
"You won't hurt her will you."
"I have to leave him?!!!!"
Last but not least, the angry customer.
This customer isn't angry because you did anything wrong, they are just think you did something wrong.
They find something wrong with every groom.
The cut was too short.
The cut was too long.
The cut didn't look quite right last time.
"I think you missed a nail last time."
"She has knots because you didn't brush her long enough last time."
I think that I watched too much Batman when I was a kid.
In the words of my daughter and my son's..."You're nuts Mom!"
Happy Grooming, MFF