Actually, several questions.
The first couple of months of 2015 have been, to say the least, a little annoying.
Yes, exactly my question.
Well, at least one of them.
My first question is a never ending one.
~~Why is it so hard for a customer to respect a groomers time and call well ahead to let their groomer know that they will not be keeping their dogs grooming appointment?
This is a problem that all groomers deal with on a daily bases.
Don't get me wrong, I am sympathetic to the fact that things can happen unexpectedly.
*The customer can wake up sick.
*The pet can suddenly become ill.
*They could truly have car trouble.
*A relative truly could have suddenly passed away. (Although I am pretty sure that one of my customers no longer has any living relatives left, because we have lost count of the number of times she has blamed a dying relative for not showing up for her appointments. Too many times to count)
The most annoying loss of an appointment are the appointments lost to a rude and inconsiderate customer.
We have seemed to have had a rash of them in the last couple of months.
How many times have we given the day before reminder call only to hear; "We won't be coming. Can you give we another appointment in a couple of days?"
For example, that long time customer who we pick up and deliver her dog for its grooming appointments?
She called looking for a same week appointment even though she had been coming to us for many, many years and knows how far we book out.
We offered to put her on the waiting list, which in the winter time she would have had a much better chance of getting in sooner than to make an appointment weeks out.
No, she chose to wait the three weeks for the next available appointment, because her dog was still short enough to wait. (then why was she originally asking for the same week? That's a whole other issue.)
Fast forward three weeks: Reminder message is left the day before.
Day of appointment: Call pet owner at 10:30am to let her know that someone is on their way to pick the dog up for its 11am appointment.
Ms. Pick-up and Deliver my dog: "Oh, you don't have to come. I already got him groomed someplace else. He could not wait any longer."
MFF: "You got him groomed already?!"
Ms. Pick-up and Deliver my dog: "Yes, he was getting long and couldn't wait any longer. I took him to someone else a couple of days ago."
MFF: "You took him to someone else a couple of days ago? We understand if you felt that you could not wait and had to get him groomed, (it was only two extra days) but we would have appreciated a call to cancel this appointment so that we could have given it to someone else."
Ms. Pick-up and Deliver my dog: "Oh....."
There were a few annoying things about this missed appointment.
~One: We offered to put her on the waiting list, and yes could have gotten her in earlier.
~Two: If she is able to take the dog to another groomer, then why has she always asked us to pick the dog up and bring it home?
~Three: The dog needed to be groomed so badly that it could not wait two more days???
~Four: If you knew you weren't going to keep the appointment a couple of days a head of time, and you received a reminder call the day before, why not pick the phone up and call us to cancel?????
Then there was this customer.....
Reminder message left the day before.
Ms. Every four week long time customer: "Hello?"
MFF: " Hi, this is MFF calling. We were wondering f you were on your way with "Petey" for his 10am appointment?" (now 10:15)
Ms. Every four week long time customer: "Oh, (giggle) we are in Disneyland so we can't come today. How about next Saturday?"
Hmmmm....how long had that trip been planed?
Maybe they just won it and had do go right away, you think?
And of course I love this one.....
Reminder message left the day before.
Son of pet owner: "Hello?"
MFF: "Hi, this is MFF calling to see if someone is on their way with "Sassy"?
Son of pet owner: "No, she had surgery a couple of weeks ago and can't get groomed yet."
Just maybe it could have occurred to someone in the family to call and cancel the appointment in that two week time frame??
Then there was today.
A little history on this customer.
We have been grooming this customers dogs for at least 20 years.
She has no showed for her last three appointments.
Each time we called and got a hold of her.
Each time she had an excuse for not keeping the appointment.
Too cold, bad weather, ect.
This was not unusual for this customer, because she always told us she wouldn't come if the weather was bad.
Okay, so last week we called her because it was snowing and we were already pretty sure that she would not be showing up for her appointment.
Sure enough she said "No, she would not be coming."
So, today we had a cancellation for next week and we thought of this customer.
Even though she already had per-scheduled appointments for the rest of the year, the dog had missed three appointments and we were afraid that we were going to have to shave the dog down do to matting, so we wanted to get her in as soon as possible.
Here is how that conversation went....
MFF: "Hi, Mrs. 20 year customer? This is MFF. We have an opening for "MiMi" next Tuesday, would you like to bring her for a grooming."
Mrs. 20 year customer: "No, I am having trouble walking and have had someone coming to my house and grooming her already."
MFF: "Oh, I am sorry to hear that. Will "MiMi" be coming here for her next appointment?"
Mrs. 20 year customer: "No, I have been letting the Mobile groom her."
MFF: "So, should we cancel out the rest of her appointments for the year?"
Mrs. 20 year customer: "Yes. I'll call you if I ever need you again."
You would think that 20 years of faithful service would have at least owed us the common courtesy of a call to cancel out her yearly schedule?
Those last three missed appointments, where we had worried that the poor dog was getting matted, the dog had been being groomed all along.
I honestly have no problem with this long time customer having to now use a Mobile Groomer.
I am hurt by the fact that she never bother to let us know, and instead chose to make excuses for each appointment that she missed.
Even if she were afraid to tell us over the phone for fear that we might get upset with her, (which after all of these years she should know us better than that) she could have mailed us a short note to cancel out the rest of her appointments for the year.
On to my next question.
~Why do some customers seem to get so annoyed when asked if they would like to make their dogs next appointment at pick-up?
I truly get the feeling that some of them think that we are trying to force them to make another appointment.
I also feel that some of them think that we are BSing when we tell them that they have a better chance of getting the day and time they want if they book ahead instead of calling when they are ready to have the dog groomed, because we normally book two to four months out depending on the time of year.
Then on top of all of that, they get upset, nasty, or annoyed when they do call for an appointment and are told that the earliest appointment is two to four months away.
And this leads into my next question.
~Why do customers have to get so nasty when you can't give them the time or day that they want?
I mean, I can understand a little disappointment, but we get some people who are down right nasty.....and threatening.
"Well! I'll just have to find someone else to groom him/her!!"
"I have been coming to you for a loooong time and you're telling me you can't squeeze my dog in???!!!!" (normally the customers who like to throw this statement at you have only come to you a couple of times, or have been coming to you for some years, but only once every year)
Then there are the customers that no-show or late-cancel and then get nasty because you can't get them in a day or two later.
"Oh, we forgot all about "FooFoo's" appointment yesterday. (giggle, giggle) Can we drop her off today or tomorrow for her groom? She needs it so bad."
I have never understood how anyone could possibly think these comments would make anyone want to do anything for them.
~Is there another definition for the word appointment that I don't know about?
Let me look it up...............................
Okay, I am back.
Nope, it means just what I have always thought.
Sorry, I just had to check, because for some reason more and more of my customer lately have felt the need to show up 30 to 45 minutes late for said appointment.
Some even up to an hour late.
Then there was the one from last week.
MFF: "Hi, you have reached MFF, how may I help you?"
Mr. Long time customer: "Are you there? (I am answering the phone aren't I?) I was just calling to make sure you made it into work today." (we were having some snow flurries)
MFF: "Yes, we are here. We had no problem driving in. The roads are fine. 'PeeWee's' appointment is for 9am. Will you still be coming?"
Mr. Long time customer: "Yes, I'll see you then." click
Fast forward to 9:15am...no 'PeeWee'
Fast forward to 11am....still no 'PeeWee', no call.
Call customer again.
Worried about them.
This is not like them.
Still no answer.
Fast forward to 1pm.
MFF: "Hi, you have reached MFF, how can I help you?" (we have caller ID. We already know who it is)
Mr. long lost long time customer: "Hey, just calling to let you know we won't be bring 'PeeWee' today."
MFF: ......(you think????)
Okay, one last question.
~Why, oh why are the pets owners who bring their matted mess of a dog in only once or twice a year the ones who are sooooo picky about how they are groomed?
I mean really, they come in with a long list of exactly how they want the dog to be groomed?!?
These dogs have gone six or more months out of the year looking like a sloppy, matted, overgrown, smelly mess and now they are worried about what the dog looks like?
So, why in the world do I still groom and put up with all that stuff?
BECAUSE I LOVE GROOMING ALL THOSE 'FURANGELS", I have to put up with their people. :)
How is that for a long rant?