Dealing with Difficult Customers – Hints and Tips
The occasional difficult customer is something all dog groomers will have to deal with at some point. Coming face to face with an indecisive, uninformed or irate customer can be one of the profession’s biggest challenges. Here are a few useful hints and tips for dealing with problem customers successfully for you, the customer and the dog:
Prevention is Better than Cure
Try to employ these tips in your everyday professional life to halt difficult situations before they develop:
Be clear with your communication. Explain fully what the dog needs to the owner – detail problems, tease out uncertainties and clarify what they owner wants and needs from their dog’s groom.
Gain consent. Signed prior consent is vital, even with regular customers.
Set boundaries. Have company policies visible – this will cause less tension if you do not offer certain services.
What to do when Problems Arise
Listen. Customers want to know that you are listening to them and understand their concerns. Listen calmly and completely, and do not interrupt them. They will consider it an important issue, so ensure you give them your full attention.
Do not judge. The customer may not understand issues with their grooming routine for example, or why their dog has had to have a clip off. It is your responsibility to help resolve any problems for both the dog and the customer.
Stay calm. This can be difficult, but staying calm and professional is important. Getting upset may antagonise the situation further.
Apologise. Be sincere. A simple apology can quickly subdue an irate customer, allowing you to put things right.
Don’t take it personally. Perhaps the customer is new to dog ownership or is even just having a bad day. It can be difficult, but it is important to rise above it, fix the situation and move on. Who knows, if you handle it well you might even encourage return custom.