We’ve all had those occasions where our expectations are not aligned with the outcome we receive. A lot of the times, groomers may experience this with clients who aren’t well-versed with your grooming routine. An experienced groomer has a clear idea of what each pet is going to look like but clients don’t always have that advantage. Here are our tips and tricks for dealing of the aftermath of that disappointed customer and curbing the worst of the issues that may arise. After you spend a little time reading, you’ll have mastered the art of setting expectations.

Say you get a customer who has some serious ideas of what their pet is going to look like at the end of your appointment. You may experience clients who even have a printed-out picture of someone else’s pet, all dolled up with a bow at the top. For all pets, this idea might not be possible whether that’s due to the pet’s condition or otherwise. Heavy mats and tangles can bring any dog’s coat to a short, clipped cut. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in that situation when it comes to the pet’s current state.

Sticker shock may also be a factor when it comes to especially difficult clients and it’s not hard to see why. Many people may bring their pets in and assume that the only price to be paid is the standard fee. Whether it’s a small dog grooming charge or a standard bath, most people don’t expect that that price may change by the time they come to pick up their pet. However, add-on fees like dematting or hand stripping may come as an additional charge. These clients are never fun to deal with, but there are answers to even the most difficult of situations:


That client that came in expecting a fluffy, luxurious long coat on their heavily matted dog? Take some time to show them that combing through their pet’s coat is impossible, even maybe allow them to attempt it themselves. When their pet responds with irritation, they’ll learn that the fur of their dreams won’t be happening that day.

To avoid sticker shock, make sure you get a clear idea of what needs to be performed on each individual animal. Inform clients of de-matting fees and extra things that may need care. For instance, animals with thick fur that require extra brushing may require a little more work. Do your best to inform your client of any costs you may see arising. When encountering difficult situations with clients, all is not lost. This brings us to our next tip:

Offer Options:

While the fur of your client’s dreams isn’t exactly absolutely possible today, it is possible in a few weeks. When explaining that your client’s expectations can’t be carried out, make sure you offer options for a compromise. Clipping fur short on an initial appointment and letting it grow out later can be a great alternative for those clients seeking a fluffy pooch. When it comes to avoiding sticker shock, make sure you inform clients of what can be done to remain within budget. Maybe commit to a number and complete as much as you reasonably can within that number. With these tips and tricks, you can master the art of setting expectations.

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