Client Ratings Boost Profitability

In From Problems to Profits, author Madeline Ogle shared her effective use of a client rating system to not only boost profitability but to also set a new standard for client service. It’s a simple system that takes only a few hours to learn and then apply. Her son, Stephen, has assisted hundreds of grooming business owners to implement it. His records indicate that most of them boosted their sales of grooming services 20% to 30% without price increases or growing their client bases.

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Whether you have 50 clients or 1,000 your first priority is to have a system to maximize sales from existing clientele, and then market new customers. The most important factor is to maximize sales is appointment frequency. Every client has an appointment frequency whether you measure it or not. The more frequently your clientele returns the greater your sales. Maddie developed a client rating system to encourage the highest possible appointment frequency from thousands of clients. She enrolled at least 85% of her clients into an appointment scheduling program. It became the driving force actualizing the sales potential of her clientele. The way she delivered this client service raised client satisfaction, and kept pets looking their best year round.

It was not uncommon for Maddie’s clients to say, “Since we started coming here our pets always look better.” Few realized the difference was not only quality grooming, but they were actually having their pets groomed more frequently. You can do the same. Passive attention to appointment frequency means passive growth of sales. In fact, you probably have thousands of dollars of potential sales not being actualized in your business.

In 2010 Stephen assisted a salon owner in Nevada to implement the Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program, another name for the Preferred Client Program in From Problems to Profits using the “ABCD” client rating system. Now one year later the sales of services has increased 26% without raising prices (from the existing clientele at the time the program started).

In a nutshell, all customers are rated a type “A” or “B” program member, or “C” for  nonmembers. “D” ratings are inactive.

Option A Standing Appointment Clients. They leave every appointment with their next appointment prescheduled.

Option B are Courtesy Scheduling Call Clients. They leave every appointment expecting you to call them after a specified period of weeks in order to schedule their next appointment.

Option C Neither, they are nonmembers. They schedule their next appointment when ready.

A typical grooming business already has “A” and “C” clients. Magic happens with “B” clients who get their pets groomed as often as “A” clients, but they don’t want to be tied into the restrictions of standing appointments. “B” clients are just as lucrative as “A” members. However, don’t rely solely on sending them appointment reminder cards, email reminders or leaving messages on answering machines. You might additionally follow those procedures, but the proven path to success is maintaining personal connections with pet owners selecting the “B” option. Remember they joined and are willingly awaiting your calls. Use the scripts in From Problems to Profits and enhance them.

Making “B” scheduling calls also leads to more opportunities to impress. For example, you learn that a pet is ill. Send a get well card expressing your sincere concern the same day. Perhaps a misunderstanding unknown to you has kept a client from returning. Resolve it now, retain the client!  You may learn a pet has passed away. Send a pet sympathy card. They are likely to return when they acquire another pet. Services based on convenience and personal contact explains how Maddie built a huge client base with very little advertising.

Many groomers wait for “C” clients to call for appointments. Waiting drags down sales frequency. Set a reasonable amount of weeks to wait to make calls for “C” clients.

Years of field tests have shown that  approximately 50% of your present “C” Clients may be encouraged to join the Option “B” alternative to standing appointments. Obviously Option “C” Clients are not going to schedule standing appointments. However, Option “B” recognizes the noncommitment preferences of “C” Clients and offers them a better way to keep their pets looking their best with regular grooming. Option “B” gives them the same flexibility of Option “C” allowing them to schedule when they want, but adds your courteous reminder call at set intervals they chose. We also suggest you give both Option “A” and “B” clients first choice at priority holiday appointments as another “member perk.” We signed up thousands of Option “B” clients in this manner.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Nevada Pet Salon
BEFORE
Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program
Nevada Pet Salon
AFTER
Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program
Total Clients: 352

"A" Clients
"B" Clients
"C" Clients

Total:

140
Not Yet Available
212


352 Clients
Total Clients: 352

"A" Clients
"B" Clients
"C" Clients

Total:

140
106
106


352 Clients
Variables:
"A" Clients average 8 appts year, "B" Clients average 8 appts year, "C" Clients average 4 appts year
Average Service Fee: $40.00
Nevada Pet Salon
REVENUE COMPARISON - BEFORE
Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program
Nevada Pet Salon
REVENUE COMPARISON - AFTER
Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program
"A" Clients
"B" Clients
"C" Clients

TOTAL
$44,800
$0
$33,920

$78,720
"A" Clients
"B" Clients
"C" Clients

TOTAL
$44,800
$33.920
$16,960

$95,680
ANALYSIS

By adding the Client "B" scheduling option and getting 50% of "C" Clients to join this flexible option, Nevada Pet Salon boosted sales by $16,960 a year.

Nearly a $17,000 increase in gross sales of services without raising prices, adding more clients or spending more on advertising.

Refer to the table above. It shows the numbers experienced by Stephen working with a Nevada grooming business owner. Their goal was to implement the Madson Courtesy Appointment Scheduling Program, and maximize grooming income from existing clientele. At first, they rated them either “A” or “C” because the “B” option was not yet offered. They set a measurable goal, introduce the program and enroll 50% of the “C” clients (who avoided the restrictions of standing appointments) into the more appealing flexible scheduling “B” option. As a result 50% of the “C” clients  would instead use grooming services an average of 4 more times a year as “B” members. Follow the math. The result is an increase in sales of $16,960 a year without raising prices or adding more clientele. Without diligent use of the program this increase is instead potential sales income never actualized. We are certain thousands of groomers can do the same and tap the full financial potential of their present client base.

We talked with the Nevada Pet Salon a year later and the owner reports 72% of the “C” clients are now enrolled as “B” members, and revenues are up $21,000 a year. You can do this magic using client service rating systems like Maddie’s.  

 

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