I haven't been writing lately.
Work has been busy, crazy, which is good....in one way.
I am afraid that I have been letting customers get to me lately.
We always work really hard to do the best that we can, and to give the best customer service that we can.
We do this for two reasons.
The number one reason is because we are proud of what we do, and truly care for our furry customers.
We care about the work we put out there.
The second reason is a little more basic...I don't want complaints.
Simple as that.
I don't want anyone calling back with a complaint about the grooming.
About 2 years after I started grooming I went through a really bad burnout.
I stopped grooming for a few months.
I didn't go far.
I took a job at a Mobile Groomer who had three vans on the road.
I was her part-time receptionist.
I remember being blown away when I was averaging taking 5 to 6 complaint calls a day.
I could not understand why all of those complaints were coming in.
I was also amazed at how nonchalant the owner would take it when I handed her the complaints at the end of the day.
She would call the owners back and deal with the complaints in a matter-of-fact way.
She accepted the complaints as part of the job.
Maybe it is just me.
I just can't be matter-of-fact and nonchalant about complaints.
I tend to take them personally.
Maybe it is because I put everything into my work.
I know that I am not perfect.
I know that my grooms are not always perfect.
But, I also know that we do try to make every groom as perfect as we can.
I also know that you can not please everyone.
We tend to average one complaint about every few months, and they are almost always minor or picky complaints.
I have learned to calmly deal with those few complaints, and for the most part let them slide off of my back.
Then, every once in a while, you seem to get a rash of complaints.
Most of them are small, easy to fix complaints.
So what is the problem?
The complainers have been mean.
It is not like they say; "Can you take the face a little shorter this time, it was a little too long last time?" or, "Can you get the nails shorter this time?" or, "I think that you might have missed plucking the ears, can you check them?"
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't expect everyone to talk and ask so nicely.
Some people have no tact, or don't realize how they talk to you when they say things like; "He really hates coming to see you." or, "You're not going to hurt my dog are you?"
No, the complainers lately have been down right mean.
"The last grooming was sub-par." or, "The last grooming was terrible." or,"You didn't even do the nails." or, "You didn't cut the head the right way." or, "He didn't look as good as he did the last time."
These are all comments that we have heard in the past two weeks.
The worst part is that these mean complaints come 5 days to weeks after the grooming.
You feel like you can't even take up for yourself, because too much time has past.
The hair has grown.
The nails have grown.
Why didn't they call the next day?
Why didn't they bring to dog in to have us fix something the next day, or even two?
How do you defend yourself?
Another thing is...these customers aren't even regulars.
Their dogs have only been groomed by us two or three times.
Sorry, I guess that makes it sound like I don't think that they should complain, because we have only groomed their dogs a couple of times.
I guess what I am trying to say is, why not be nicer and give us a chance to get the groom the way they want it instead of being mean right away if the cut didn't turn out the way they thought that it should, or the way that they envisioned it in their head.
We can only go by the directions that they give us.
Sometimes it does take a couple of groomings to get the groom the way the owner wants, but they don't have to be mean about it.
Even after we offer for them to bring the dog back in so we can see what they are complaining about, and fix it for them, they either wait another week to show up, say never mind, or wait to come in for the next grooming when it is way too late to see if you really did mess up the grooming.
I am whining, aren't I?
I can't help it, I feel like being whinny right now.
One thing I will not do is give money back on a grooming.
They can bring their dog back in and I will work with them until everything is just the way the owner wants it.
I do not believe in giving money back for a labor intensive job.
An owner may not like a cut, but the dog was bathed, and groomed.
They went home with a clean dog and a fresh haircut.
The work was done.
Come back in a reasonable amount of time, and we will be happy to tweak the groom if needed.
I am sorry.
It has just been getting to me.
We work so hard.
I truly want every customer to walk out of my door happy.
Maybe I am just getting too old to deal with picky, mean customers.
Why do they all have to turn up at the same time?
Sometimes I feel like I would just like to close my shop, start a rescue, and spend my days keeping all of the owner-less dogs nice and groomed, and the only person that I have to worry about being picky is me!
Don't mean to bring anyone down by writing this post.
This time will pass....it always does.
I just hope that these customers don't eventually make my daughter quit grooming.
Whine over. :/
✂ Happy Grooming, MFF ✂ (I hope) :-)