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Phone Responses.

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:24 pm

Every busy season it's the same. From about 8.45am the phone starts with "Hi have you got any appointments today?" or "are you a mobile service? Have you got any appointments today, "NO" you say, "What about tomorrow?" Question scratch .



I have a clear voice message and am inclined to weed out the clueless swiftly as I've found calling back can sometimes be time wasting. When I first started I was always bemused why the groomer never rang that customer back.

Some customers you just can't get hold of to return calls. Some customers clearly don't listen to voice messages. Some customers prefer to talk to the lady at reception which I don't have. Some customers just keep ringing until you answer the call 4 times later.

My questions Question Question How do you all cope with the influx of calls in spring? Is it rude to thank customers for their call and hang up if you just know you can't help??? Should you just answer NO when they ask if you know anyone else as then you become the directory operator instead????



As a mobile groomer I can answer calls whilst hands free in the car but people get thrown when you can't take the booking whilst driving.scratch It is especially hard for the ones that are sitting behind the trailer at the lights............Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by jonna on Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:39 am

I wouldn't answer any call if i couldn't "fully" assist the caller. Not sure what to say about your flood of calls. I rarely get that. You may have to change your voicemail greeting daily as " I have no appointments til such and such a date.
I don't know what to say about that clueless group. We have them over in the States too.

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Cessnock on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:18 pm

My standard message while a mobile groomer went something like this..

"Hi you have reached ***** Our hands are full of dog at the moment & we cannot take your call ...Please leave your name, number & a short message & we will call you back after 4pm today...otherwise send a text message which we can respond in between jobs when our hands are free, Cheers"



This always worked for us...most would used the text opton ..the rest I would ring back at the end of the day when we were home & after that well needed coffee lol



Ps did you know you can text to most home phones....so if you could not get an answer or a machine I would always send a text to the home phone to say I had returned their call ..that way they can't say..oh you never rang me back Smile

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by DoggyDoos on Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:53 pm

I tried to send a text to my home phone and it would not work - unable to send was the message from my mobile carrier.
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Cessnock on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:01 pm

DoggyDoos wrote:I tried to send a text to my home phone and it would not work - unable to send was the message from my mobile carrier.




You do get the occasion no go...but telstra to telstra is usually no probs:D oh you have to use the area code too

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by DoggyDoos on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:08 pm

I am not with telstra mobile, so maybe that's why.
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Chris on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:53 pm

It is a Tel$tra to Tel$tra service as I found out months ago when my booking system which sends out reminder emails and txt didnt work for 3 clients who have no computer or mobile phone and only a landline, spoke to the SMS gateway provider and the answer was Tel$tra to Tel$tra only Sad
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Donna on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:07 pm

Isn't that discrimination ? lol
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Chris on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:10 pm

Donna wrote:Isn't that discrimination ? lol
Not at all, service offered by Telstra only doesnt mean discrimination, means other carriers need to extract digit tongue
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Donna on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:12 pm

Thanks for the clarification i needed that laugh Smile
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Chris on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:13 pm

Donna wrote:Thanks for the clarification i needed that laugh Smile
Welcome...
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by JamesPet on Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:27 am

I disagree, no matter how busy you are you should respond to your customer swiftly and promptly.

They may come back to you after they find the groomer they chose who was less busy and had space was rubbish.

How many clients do you lose if you call them back hours later? They will book in with the person that answers the phone first or the impulse buyers will change their mind.

If you are in the middle of a dog, you answer, tell them you are in the middle of a dog and then give them a time (ASAP) that you will call them back.

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by jonna on Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:41 am

I disagree James. The dog on my table is my only priority. He/she gets my undivided attention and that is why they run in the door when it is groom time. My clients (and I do have a small business, by choice)will not take them anywhere else and I only take new clients by referrals. That is why I have voicemail and pay for that service. If they find another groomer then they do. Happens all the time and if it is a new client it is a more than 50% chance it will be a no show anyway. JMO

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by gumsgrooming on Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:50 pm

I agree with Jonna, when i groom a dog that dog gets my full attention, i have a voicemail for a reason. I will always ring a client back, it may not be straight away but I will even if it is a day or 2 later, (i work another job so sometimes difficult to call back when you don't get home till 9pm). If i can't book the appt i.e cause I am grooming or driving or don't have my computer i will not answer the phone. Most people expect that they cam book the appointment when you answer so imo if you can't book the appointment don't answer the phone.

All my regular client understand this and let any new people they reccomend know this too.

I was sick for a week and didn't answer my phone cause i could not talk. Of all the people that left messages 98% made a booking even though i called back between 3-7 days later. Just shows that people will wait for you.

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by JamesPet on Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:58 pm

Hey guys

Im a franchisee and I have access to some pretty damming stats on what happens if you don't speak to a customer in ''x'' amount of mins, you have a low strike rate. You don't have to book them in straight away, you just tell them you will call them back at 'blah blah' time to give them the quote/book in. They appreciate the fact that you have time for them,.

A dog can wait 30secs to call someone. As long as it take to clean a blade is all it takes.

That is why my attitude is what it is. I often have people thank me for calling back quickly and also have people tell me that they booked with me because they got sick of waiting for another grooming to them call back.

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by gumsgrooming on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:31 pm

I guess I am lucky that my clients have given me such a great reputation and that pretty much all my new clients are from word of mouth or the vet clinic i work at that they are willing to wait for me.

I am not allowed to answer my phone at my vet job so they have no choice to leave a message and i will call them back that night of the next day depending on what time my shift finishes.

I did my calls tonight, haven't called anyone since midday Tuesday cause i have been working. All except 1 booked in and the reason they didn't book was that i was booked out for the next week and they wanted it done now so have decided to go elsewhere this time but said will use me next time.

I'm my experience it only takes 30 seconds of lost concentration talking on the phone to someone for a dog to leap off the table or jump out of the bath and injure itself. JMO

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by jonna on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:52 pm

30 seconds is all it takes for a disaster in your salon. Gums is right. My patrons always leave a message and I will get back to them. I also work 2 jobs and they are happy I can get back to them. So, us experienced groomers/ business owners seem to agree there. If I get a patron that is that impatient I don't want them. Think about it.

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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Aunty Marg on Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:16 pm

I heard about a hacker who walked out of the room leaving a dog teathered on a bench. When they eventually returned it was to a dead dog. Hmmmm they offered the client $200
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:02 pm

Thanks for your replies everyone. I see both sides to the arguement but I do tend to agree that with already established clients who already expect to leave message and return call as soon as I can I shouldn't need to jump for seasonal clients. It is also my opinion that franchise companies who provide a call centre are more inclined to push that return call immediately as so important. I think at least 75% of my clients currently are original customers from starting the business 5 years ago. There my stats with no head office. (Doesn't work for everyone though and please I'm not knocking franchisee's) It's obvious that different ways work for different people.
If I get a patron that is that impatient I don't want them.

Strong point which I've commented in another thread with picture. I'm also considering rather than knocking those same day customers on the head to offer appointment which will incure $50 same day fee on top of groom or wash. That's for customers who need it done soooooooo urgently because they have failed to maintain it all year. Got that idea from you jonna......ta. I understand that people are ringing around however common sense would just tell you that a mobile groomer is MOBILE and not behind the desk at reception.

As far a leaving a message to thank customers for there call and I'll get back to you when I can, any one with any business sense would already do that, I'm trying to avoid the workload of calling back clients that are just wasting my time. Example how much to come and cut my dogs nails. No money in driving around in traffic to cut nails. Same as call today for quote on Staffy x Border Collie. What the.......??????Rolling Eyes
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:55 pm

Here's a ripper....Laughing Laughing Rolling Eyes

I recieved a text message this morning from unknown customer at 12.25 AM. That's right AM. Customer : " Hi I was wondering if theres any appointment available appointment for tomorrow?"

My reply sent at 6.30 AM "Whaaaa. Sorry I missed your text as I was asleep. Thought I'd give you the same courtesy. In response to your question what do you think two weeks before santa with one days notice??????? Whaaa Your joking aren't you ??????? Merry Christmas. Woof Smile"

Reply 6.32am " Wtf whos that? "

Phone rang 2 minutes later with blocked number. NO I didn't answer but did recieve another call at 9.34am from young kid making enquires shocked I had no availability before Christmas.

I just love the phone in the Silly Season or should I say Stupid season. Just plain rude to send enquiry to business in the middle of the night. Do I want customers like this....NO.
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Chris on Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:35 am

Love your response Smile
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Sinner on Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:26 am

I'm finding the most difficult thing this year with all my pre bookings ( 6 week regulars) are those that need a change due to their changing circumstances ( usually medical conditions) I have to juggle a fully booked few weeks. Thankfully most are compliant when I ring and askif they can swap an appointment , but, can be quite a few changes in a week . P.S. we are on a retirement island!!!!! Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by DoggyDoos on Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:21 pm

I had a call from a client at 2:30pm Saturday. Wanted to know if I could come and groom their dog that day. Yeah right!
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Tail's a Waggin' on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:33 pm

I had a women yesterday call at 3.30pm. I was just finishing up to go to my last job for the day. She had a big story about a poor little POM she had just rescued and how desperate it was to have matts shaved off. It's ONLY SMALL. I"M ONLY in the same suburb, except I wasn't till finished. Wink She kept saying can I do her a favour or did I know anyone else.

Why would I do someone I don't know a favour after big long days in the heat leading up to Christmas. I was already getting excited as I was counting down. Would she do me any favours?? Would she pay extra?? Was it a rescue?? Was the dog naughty or nice?? How badly was it matted?? Every groomer I know is the same as me at this time of year......Rolling Eyes I suggested taking the dog to vet and checking if chipped to find owner.... Ohhh no, so I suggested going to Animal Hospital/Lost Dogs Home for check and if that desperate they would attend it's severe matting her voice slumped to Ooohhh. Shocked

Sorry got caught the first two years with similar stories..... It's not that I don't care I just don't think I'm that gullible now a days.........Razz
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Re: Phone Responses.

Post by Emmalovesbeth on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:11 pm

I get the "Can you book them in today" calls all htrough december what part of
"I am book until January 12th" dont they understand???
My clients are lucky as it is I open my doors at 8am and take the last dogs at 6pm and do after/early hours on request. I work 6 days a week with an option of 7 in busy seasons.

I try to call people back within 10-15 mins of the call with some people needing to wait till after 5pm when i am done for the day

IF IF IF by chance i have an opening on the same day they get a fee of $20 for the same day booking and most will pay it just to get there dog done! However most of the time i have a list of people to call before them and they need to book late in the month.

I take Little shit form my cleints, If you lert your dog get matted, play in the swamp, leave it to late to book them, want to leave them with me ALL day as you ahve work. You are going to ahve to pay for it it is my time and cages you are taking up for every dog that rins 1 hr late i loose a booking for another dog..
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