As grooming business owners, we often consider various technologies designed to help improve the efficiency of our grooming business.
Common tools such as a business website, tablets like the iPad and Android, and cordless lithium ion clippers are usually the first areas that get attention.
Each of these items is a tool in its own right, helping the grooming professional perform his/her job more easily and hopefully allowing your grooming business to make more money. When used correctly, these tools may help increase employee productivity, decrease workplace dangers (tripping over cords), and increase brand exposure even while you sleep (as with the web site).
The Grooming Technology Manufacturer’s Role
Grooming professionals rely on the advice of technology manufacturers to dictate the evolution of business systems, trusting their discretion with high hopes that each change is indeed warranted and effective. At times, these manufacturers may release products without sufficient research to determine the product’s actual impact on a business, which can lead to unforeseen negative impacts on productivity, causing profits to decline.
Online Grooming Appointment Scheduling
On the surface, online appointment scheduling seems like a beneficial feature to most any grooming business. Online scheduling allows your clients to schedule themselves in whatever appointment slot they wish simply by visiting your business web site, scanning your appointment calendar, and clicking a few buttons. The process is simple enough, but what many business owners fail to see is the potential for nightmareish scheduling conflicts when allowing clients to self-schedule their grooming appointments.
Online Grooming Appointment Scheduling Case Study
Here at Groom Pro, we’ve found that when clients self-schedule grooming appointments, they don’t have the information (or grooming knowledge) necessary to determine the length of time needed to complete the groom needed for their particular pet. Matting, show cuts, summer cuts, creative coloring, or extreme soiling are just some examples of variables that can, sometimes drastically, change the length of time required to complete grooming on a pet from visit to visit.
An Example Of Online Grooming Appointment Scheduling
Let’s say you have 2 (1 hour) schedule “blocks” open on Thursday and two grooming clients visit your web site to schedule these last two openings for the day.
- Client 1 has a full coat Great Pyrenees that has just gotten into the muck and is severely soiled. Although this pet may usually take only 1 hour to complete, it may take 2 or more hours to groom in it’s current state. Client 1 schedules in the second to last appointment block.
- Client 2 has a medium length Yorkie that has severe matting under all the legs. Client 2 schedules the last appointment block for Thursday, immediately following Client 1 and the Great Pyrenees.
In this scenario, you would typically be overbooked by HOURS right at the end of your day, causing unnecessary stress in your busy work day, increasing the potential for reduced quality work, which will always lead to customer dissatisfaction.
In our field testing, self-scheduling grooming appointments quickly created big mess out of our calendar when tested in mobile grooming business. Clients from all over the city will schedule themselves in random appointment slots with no regard for the location of appointments before or after their own. This leads to increased travel time, increased expenses, and reduces the total number of grooms your mobile unit can complete in a day. Online appointment scheduling in a mobile business is highly undesirable.
Our Research Shows
After years of research within a real-world, successful grooming business, we have found online scheduling to be a technology that should generally be avoided if you are looking to maximize your grooming business and provide the highest level of customer service.
The Groom Pro Solution to Grooming Appointment Scheduling
Groom Pro grooming software helps groomers speed up the process of making new grooming appointments by storing all client and pet data, grooming history, and average groom completion time. This bundle of client information is stored in a way that allows you to make a new grooming appointment in less than 30 seconds for clients that are already in your client list. These appointments have every bit of information needed to provide excellent customer service, automatically attached to them each and every time.
If you would like to learn how to maximize your appointment schedule, read this article on how to Fill Your Appointment Book or for information on how to increase your client phone call conversion rate read this article Converting Calls To Appointments.
Save yourself the stress of a jumbled appointment schedule and retake control of your day. We understand the feeling of having “one more to go” after a long day, and the realization when it’s actually a giant schnauzer that just walked through the door and not the standard. Yikes! Looks like we’re missing dinner tonight!