It's hard to believe, but the major holidays are just around the corner. What does your appointment book look like? Are you booked out until after the holidays?
If you are, CONGRATULATIONS! Give yourself a huge pat on the back. Being proactive with your schedule feels great, doesn't it?
If you're still trying to fill holes in your schedule, there's a question I'd like to ask.
Do you know who your most valuable clients are? Whether you are a solo flyer or work with a team, you can benefit from knowing what type of client brings in the most revenue.
When it comes to the busy holiday season, knowing how to prioritize appointments can be very helpful. As much as we would like to get to every client, there are only so many hours in a day. It can be hard to decide who gets appointments and who gets turned away.
This chart might help you determine who your most valuable clients are. Typically, it's not the client paying the most money per groom.
Look at the revenue generation on the one, two, and three-week clients. Even with heavily reduced grooming fees, it's amazing how $20 can add up week after week!
I'm not saying this is what you should be charging for your dogs. I'm just giving you an example. You can see how the numbers works out. Test the numbers using your own pricing averages.
One of my companies automatically gives a five-dollar discount for clients that book every 4 to 6 weeks. Once they get under three weeks, the discount is even bigger. This is great for keeping the books full - and the dogs stay in good condition all year long.
It's pretty amazing once you see the math, right? Hopefully, it gives you clarity on who should get those premier appointments spots.
Let me ask you this: is it fair to either the client - or to you - to take an eight-week client over someone you see every four weeks? What about a four-week client over a weekly client? Ultimately, the choice is yours, but I know who I'd pick!
When booking appointments, start with the clients you see most often. Reward their loyalty with the best appointment slots.
Take care of your weekly and biweekly clients first. Then move into your three-week clients. If they don't have appointments, reach out to them in whatever method works best for your business - call, text, or email. With any luck, the last two appointment days before the major holiday(s) will filled with your regulars. Those days will be a breeze for you.
Once those clients are taken care of, start booking your four-week clients and continue down the line. By the time you're done, you'll know you've taken care of your most valuable clients in a way that is both systematic and fair. If you still have slots available, go ahead and fill them in as the phone rings.
If you are using this system to book six month to a year out, make sure you communicate with your clients. They should know when you're unavailable due to vacations, family obligations, educational events, or peak grooming times. Helpfully offer them alternatives so their pets stay in excellent condition. You may need to be more flexible on times or even offer to have a substitute stylist when you are not available.
The holidays are always a blur! If you're overworked, underappreciated, and totally worn out for your close friends and family you won't enjoy the holidays. You need to make the time for yourself and those you love. I can still hear the disappointment in my mother's voice when I was so exhausted from grooming, I could not make it to our traditional Christmas Eve family gathering.
This prioritizing system helped immensely. Being a little more organized and proactive meant I could take care of my best clients and still have the energy to enjoy the holidays with my family.
Don't limit yourself - you can use the system to fill your books all year round. Ultimately, it depends on how in demand you are and how busy your schedule is.
Whatever way you implement the system, it's a great way to take care of your best customers. Take care of them and they'll take care of you. Most importantly, you'll both be taking the best care of the pets you love.