Let’s be real for a second: your dog groomer training taught you how to tend to a dog with the professionalism and finesse of a true pro! Chances are, your training also introduced you to some of the different kinds of clients you’ll encounter throughout your career. Unfortunately, there are some types of clients that you’ll only come face to face with once you’re in the real world, booking jobs.

Of course, we’re referring to nightmare clients. These are the people whose level of ignorance is so profound that you might find yourself questioning your skills, your worth, and even your sanity.

But you aren’t required to work with these people! After all, you went through all that dog groomer training and launched your own business so that you can be in charge of your career. You didn’t come all this way just to get abused by the wrong types of customers!

Here are 3 examples of clients you should think twice about working with…

1. The Anti-Masker

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and yet for SOME bizarre reason, some people think they don’t need to wear a mask. Well, as a professional dog groomer, you know better. Your business needs to be run safely. Part of this means that you, fellow staff, and all clients NEED to wear face masks when in your work space.

If a potential client refuses to wear their mask? Easy peasy lemon squeezy: guess they’re not getting Fluffy groomed until they do!

They might throw a tantrum, and threaten to huff and puff until they blow the house down, but stick to your guns. No mask, no service. It’s better to lose this one stubborn customer than it would be to potentially contract something dangerous, and pass it along to other clients.

2. The Know-It-All

This is the kind of client who thinks they know everything there is to know about dog breeds and proper grooming, despite having never received any form of dog groomer training in their life. They may base their ‘facts’ off of what they read online, or simply off of their aesthetic preferences. If they want a certain kind of cut, but you know it wouldn’t be optimal, due to their dog’s breed?

Too bad! They’ll expect you to do it anyway!

The Know-It-All may also be prone to having unrealistic expectations. In their mind, they want it done a certain way, and it’s your job to make them happy. Even if it’s not in their pooch’s best interests, or it’s beyond your capabilities as a groomer.

The best part? If you try your best to give them what they demand and it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted (as you expected, and tried to warn them), it’ll still somehow be your fault. Fun times.

3. The Non-Payer

Ahh, the ‘Non-Payer’. We all know exactly the type of client this is, although the Non-Payer can come in many forms. They’ll believe they’re above you in every way, and that the world revolves around them. “The customer is always right” is their favorite expression. It’s probably the mantra they repeat to themselves during their morning yoga routine.

Non-Payers will have unrealistic expectations, and threaten to destroy your career if you ever have the audacity to not meet them. For example, this is the kind of client who would likely not understand that you’re a groomer and not a vet, but will expect the same types of services out of you. Then, when you can’t provide them, they’ll demand to speak to the manager, potentially start filming, and promise to leave you a scathing review online.

And, of course, they’ll refuse to pay for the services you’ve already provided them.

A Non-Payer will be your best friend until you do something they don’t like. Then the beast will be unleashed. Unfortunately, the politer and more professional you are in response to a Non-Payer, the more it will only feed their rage. It’s important not to get intimidated and switch tactics, though. Continue being respectful and polite, even if it’s to tell her to leave.

Non-Payers are drained of their power so long as you maintain the moral high ground.

Tips for Dealing with These Types of Clients

While it’s 100% your call whether you choose to blacklist a client from your business or not, the main point we’re trying to get across here is that you’re not obligated to service clients who treat you poorly.

Of course, there can be plenty of example of these 3 kinds of clients who may be frustrating, but may not cross the line into “I’ll never work for you again” territory. Ultimately, you need to use your best judgement, and decide based on your comfort level.

Should any of these kinds of clients really take it too far and cross a line, though, remember the following:

  1. Remember your dog groomer training. YOU’RE the expert in this situation. While a client’s input will always be valuable, there’s a reason why you’re the one with the professional certification.
  2. Provide them with one chance, and one chance only. If a client treats you in a way that you know is unacceptable, don’t book with them again. If you let them get away with it once, they’ll believe they can get away with it a second time.
  3. Trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe from a client, feel incredibly uncomfortable, or get any other sort of terrible gut feeling when interacting with a client, don’t ignore it. You want your workspace to be one you want to come back to every day. If you continue to service a client who makes you feel negatively, it can wind up sucking the joy out of your work.
  4. Don’t let their intimidation tactics scare you. There will ALWAYS be more customers out there for you. Stand your ground and don’t let a bad client bully you into submission. So what if you lose one lousy client? There will be plenty of awesome ones headed your way in the future, so focus on them instead!
  5. Always remain professional and polite, no matter how they treat you. Don’t get swept up in the moment and stoop to their level. Even if you need to tell them to leave, so long as you’re conducting yourself respectfully, you’ll always maintain the upper hand in this type of situation.

Can you think of any other kinds of nightmare clients you should blacklist from your grooming business? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your dog groomer training today by enrolling in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course.

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