What To Do When The Dog’s Owner Doesn’t Like Your Grooming Job

August 16, 2018 in Pet Grooming By Gregg Docktor

As a dog groomer, you’ve been through enough training and certification to know just how to take care of any dog that comes your way. Like any job though, there will be times when the customer doesn’t like the job you’ve done. What do you do when you’re facing an upset dog owner? Here’s how you can minimize the problem and satisfy your client.

Agree On What The Customer Wants Beforehand

dog grooming schoolA lot of problems can be avoided if you talk to your client first, and ask them exactly what it is they need from you. What kind of cut do they want for their dog? Do they want any other services, such as massage or nail clipping? You’ve got to have all the information at hand, in order to ensure you’re doing the best job possible.

A good idea is to get it in writing first. This doesn’t have to be formal. All you need to do is list out everything that needs to be done, and any special requirements. For example, if they bring in a spaniel, will they keep their top knot? Have the client sign it, so you both know what’s going to happen.

Pay Attention In School

If you’ve been to a dog grooming school, then you’ll have heard lots of tips and tricks to ensure your client loves the job you do. There’s so much information, it’s easy to let some of it go over your head. Try not to miss anything though, as there’s going to be fantastic tips that you’ll use throughout your entire career. It’s a good idea to bring a notebook to sessions or even record the class on your phone, in order to ensure that you don’t miss anything.

Know Your Worth As A Groomer

Lots of groomers will tell you to think about what would happen if you were a hair stylist for humans instead of dogs. If a person came into the salon three days later saying they weren’t happy with their hair cut, what would you do? In this case, you may offer to cut it again, but the client would have to pay for the cut.

The same goes for dogs, too. Don’t be tempted to undersell yourself just because you’re working on canines rather than people. If that client comes back later saying they’re unhappy, you’re well within your rights to charge again for another session. Your time is worth something, so remember that.

Manage Expectations

dog groomerAs a dog groomer, you can do all kinds of magical things with your clippers, but you can’t work miracles. When a client comes in and wants an impossible cut for their breed of dog, you’ve got to let them know it won’t work. If you simply take their dog in and try your best, it’s never going to match up to what they had in their head.

They need to have their expectations managed if they use certain services, too. Dog grooming courses need dogs to practice on, so a client can bring their dog into them. In this case, they’ll need to be informed that they may not get the precise work that a licensed groomer can do, but they will get a good job. Remember, it’s always better to turn a client away rather than try and meet expectations that aren’t possible.

Offer Reasonable Compensation If Needed

Sometimes, a groom isn’t going to go to plan. As good as you are at your job, you can’t be perfect all of the time. When this happens, your approach to the situation can keep it from escalating, and you may even keep the client as a regular customer.

It’s always best to be upfront about what’s happened. If the mistake is on your end, then you can offer to fix it there and then, or offer money off a future cut. Many times, this will alleviate a problem as clients will appreciate you being honest.

As in any customer-facing job, there will be times when the client isn’t happy. If you communicate with them and offer solutions when things go wrong, you can stop problems getting worse for you as a groomer.