As a professional dog groomer, you know how seriously clients take their pet’s health and well-being – after all, caring for dogs is what you do!
Dog groomers have a responsibility to both the dog and their owners, and need to be completely upfront about standard practices. You also need to understand the client’s wants and needs. As you attract new clients and get to know your current ones, you’ll be faced with questions about your credentials, experience, grooming services, and more!
Some of these questions will be unique to the client, but others are much more common. We’ve put together a list of 6 things almost every dog grooming client will ask, plus advice for giving them the most informative and reassuring answers they need to hear!
1. Do you have a dog grooming certification?
Your dog grooming clients want to know that you are an expert in the field – this will assure them that you know how to care properly for their pet! Completing your dog grooming course is an excellent way to gain the skills and knowledge you need for success, and the certification you’ll receive attests to your knowledge. QC’s courses pair you with certified master groomers who provide you with detailed feedback and guidance, helping you learn all the practical and theoretical skills you’ll need in order to be successful as a dog groomer. Demonstrating that you learned proper safety procedures in your course will be hugely beneficial to building relationships with your dog grooming clients. They’ll know they can trust your expertise and can leave their pet in your care without any hesitation.
Hanging your dog grooming certification on the wall of your salon is not just a point of pride, it also will be noticed and appreciated by each client that walks through your door!
2. How much experience do you have, and do you have experience with my dog’s breed?
Dog groomers are expected to make the right decisions during the grooming process such as which tools to use and how to bathe and brush each pup. The ability to make the right choices comes with experience, so your grooming clients will want to know that you have some practice under your belt. Everyone starts somewhere, so this is where you can talk about your groomer training!
Experience is important, but it’s also extremely important for clients to feel confident that you know how to handle their particular dog breed. Dog groomers are expected to be well-versed in the behaviors, personalities and preferences of different breeds. When it comes to grooming, each breed has its own needs!
Throughout your years of experience, you will work with many different dog breeds. As you continue to grow and learn as a dog groomer, the amount of breeds you work with will increase. This will reassure clients of your skills and provide you with a great deal of confidence that you can care for every dog!
3. What safety procedures are in place to make sure my dog doesn’t get hurt?
Safety is your number one priority, of course, and this is an important point to communicate to your clients who are anxious about the possibility of their pet being injured during the groom.
All dog groomers need to have a complete first aid kit on hand, and this can be a very helpful and visual way to reassure your client that you are prepared in case of any injuries. Remember, you may face some nicks and cuts too!
Show your client the items in your first aid kit, and explain what each item is used for and how it will come into play in the unlikely event that their pet is injured. Explain to them that you are extremely careful and patient, and allude to your years of experience working with dogs with different temperaments. It’s also a great idea to mention how you’ve handled tricky situations in the past.
4. What is included in your grooming package, and how much will it cost to groom my dog?
This is a very common question for dog groomers, as new clients will likely be shopping around and looking for the best value in a groomer. As a professional dog groomer with your own business, you’ve defined your strengths and packaged your grooming services. So when faced with this question from a new client, it’s time to sell yourself! While explaining your grooming services to this client, be sure to understand their needs as well – if they have multiple dogs, you may want to offer a discount. Or, since they’re a new client, a small incentive or gift is a fantastic way to welcome them to your salon!
When providing your clients with information about your dog grooming packages, stick to your guns. You are not there to haggle or bargain, as your skills are highly valuable and necessary for their pet’s health and well-being. Like we said, you can offer small incentives or discounts based on your client’s needs, but know what your skills are worth!
5. Will my dog be housed in a crate?
Most dog grooming clients will want to know if their dog will be housed in a crate during the grooming process. Many clients are apprehensive about crates, and see them as prisons that keep their pets captive.
Whether or not you use crates is totally up to you as the dog groomer. Crates are used as a way of keeping your furry clients separate from one another during the process, and can keep a groomed coat looking its best for as long as possible before the owner comes to collect the dog.
If you do use crates, one way to put your client’s mind at ease is to actually show them the crate and the space around it. Once the client sees that the crate is safe and clean, and once they understand that you can create a calm and happy environment for their individual pal, they will feel much more comfortable with the idea of the crate. They’ll also be more likely to trust your judgment as the groomer!
6. Will my dog be exposed to any infections in your salon?
Clients know that as a groomer, you operate a busy environment that sees many dogs come and go each day. The cleanliness and hygiene of the grooming salon, therefore, is absolutely paramount when it comes to keeping away infections. You need to ensure that each dog is healthy and happy when they leave their appointment!
Your clients will want to be sure that their pet will not be at risk for infections by being groomed in your salon. An excellent way to show them that all risk is eliminated? Always ask for shot and vaccination records before the first appointment.
As a dog groomer, you must be upfront about this when you meet a new client for the first time. Treat it as a rule of your salon. If you only accept dogs that are up-to-date on their vaccinations, you ensure that other pets are safe from infection. Be sure to keep a filing cabinet full of vaccination records that you can refer to, and let your clients know that this is the first priority when you take on a new customer!
It is also important to explain to your client that all pets will have an assessment done before each grooming session. This will rule out potential infections and skin conditions. Clients will be both impressed and reassured to know that you can decline to groom any dog with an existing skin condition, trouble with eyes or ears, or any open sores.
The most important thing when speaking to clients is to be calm and trust your skills. You are a trained and professional groomer, after all!
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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!
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