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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Questionnaire: The Perfect Groom Shop

Wasn't sure where to post this, but hope people don't mind I posted it in the "General Discussion"...


I am planning on opening my own grooming business! I want it to be the BEST grooming facility. I have worked at enough places to know what I want and what I DON'T want. BUT - it all boils down to what the CLIENT wants.

So, I'd like to "ask the client!" I made a list of questions I'm just DYING to ask people who use groomers! I wish all of you were my clients because you care so much about your dogs! I would really appreciate it if you took the time to answer these questions. You do not have to answer them all (there are 43 questions). Any suggestions would be helpful. I want to create the best grooming environment for the owner and their pet.

I'm sure this list will help other groomers out there who would like to improve their shop.



1) What do you expect when you walk into a grooming shop? What do you notice first?

2) How does the noise level or smell affect your decision to frequent the business?

3) What do you think about a groomer’s level of experience? Based on number of years: 1, 3-4, 5, 10, 10+

4) How do you feel about a groomer who owns the same breed or similar as you?

5) How important is it that the groomer knows handstripping techniques?

6) How do you feel about a groomer who attends trade shows and seminars to further his/her education? How about a groomer who does not do these things?

7) Are you okay with the fact the groomer may not be available at certain times in order to attend trade shows and seminars?

8) How do you feel about a groomer who participates in competitive grooming? How about a groomer who did not participate in competing?

9) How important is it to you that the groomer is certified with the National Dog Groomers Association (NDGA), International Professional Groomers (IPG), and/or International Society of Canine Cosmetologists (ISCC)?

10) Does the fact that the groomer is involved in the show world affect your feelings towards them? (showing, handling, breeding etc)

11) Do you seek out groomers who can do show grooming? Or as close to the breed standard as possible?

12) How do you feel when you are not allowed to “look in the back” of the grooming shop? How do you feel when you are allowed a tour of the facility?

13) Are you willing to pay higher grooming prices for the right groomer? What is a fair grooming price to you? (base this on the size of dog you have. Please indicate the size and breed)

14) How important is anal gland expression to you? Is this a must that the groomer must do?

15) Do you specifically look for groomers who have gentle handling skills?

16) Do you like when groomers give advice on pet food and nutrition?

17) Do you like when groomers give advice on skin and hair care?

18) Does the fact that a grooming shop supports local rescues become a factor in how you feel about the groomer?

19) Do you like having a “puppy package” in a groom shop, where the price of a groom for a pup is less?

20) How does the size of the grooming business affect you? Does it matter if it’s a small mom & pop shop or big boarding/grooming/daycare facility?

21) What is your impression towards the different types of people working in a grooming facility? For example: teenagers, older people, family members, etc

22) What is your scheduling preference? Do you like to pre-book ahead of time? Call when you feel like your dog needs grooming? Do you prefer walk-ins? Are you okay with facilities that do “by appointment only?”

23) What are the business hours you prefer as a client?

24) Is the fact a grooming facility DOES or DOES NOT provide daycare services, a deciding factor when choosing a business?

25) What type of personality do you look for in a groomer?

26) Would you like an online booking feature?

27) How important is it that a grooming business has a Facebook page and/or a website?

28) How do you feel about tipping?

29) How do you feel about kenneling vs. a cage-free environment?

30) What is your biggest pet peeve about the groomer?

31) How do you feel about a business that only accepts SMALL DOGS?

32) Does the type of shampoo brands affect your decision to use a groomer? For instance, does it matter that a groomer uses only high-end products like Chris Christensen vs. using generic products?

33) Do you expect to be asked about vaccination records?

34) What is the preferred turn-around time for grooming? For example, from the time you drop off your dog to the time they call you to pick up.

35) How do you feel about a groomer who shaves double coated breeds like labs and huskies? How do you feel about a groomer who refuses to shave double coated breeds?


36) What type of special promotions would you like to see being offered in a grooming business?

37) Does the exterior of the building and its looks affect your decision to visit a grooming facility?

38) What types of businesses surrounding a grooming business would turn you off from visiting that grooming business? For example, liquor store, check-cashing, etc.

39) How do you feel about add-on services like hair coloring and nail polish?

40) What add-on services would you like to see being offered at a grooming business?

41) What type of service do you feel should be included in a full-groom?

42) How important is it that a grooming business provides retail (food, treats, leashes, collars, toys, etc)?

43) What keeps you coming back to your current groomer?

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 03:23 PM
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Oh my word, that's a TON of questions!!

Congratulations on moving ahead with your dream of opening your own grooming shop!!

I have only used a groomer a few times, so I am not your typical customer, but I can tell you that THE first thing I notice when I walk is, in the SMELL. if it smells horrible, like serious dog STINK, then I would not even consider using thier shop. I know that seems crazy, but it's the way I work.
I would actually prefer a small 'mom and pop' type grooming place over a big box place.
ANd I prefer somewhere where I can SEE what is going on at ALL times.
Someone that LISTENS and respects thier clients.
A person that my dog loves and responds well to, someone who takes TIME with my dog.


Tammy and Tillie
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I like to be thorough! I know it's impossible to have THE perfect shop, but I want to please everyone.

I don't like the smell of dog stink either! I plan on keeping it very clean. I found this aromatizer that gives off a fruity smell that smells so good! But it is fruity, and smells are very particular depending on the person and they may not like it, so I will find a neutral, clean smell to make the shop smell nice.

The space is very open when you walk in. I would like to build at least a half wall to separate a "lobby" area from the grooming area, but it will still be open. The other option is to build a full wall for an enclosed lobby with a large window where you can still see into the grooming area. My husband is pushing for the full wall because he's concerned about my safety, I would like the half-wall so it is open and people can see what I'm doing. We'll see how it goes!

I am hoping to draw a nice clientele like you guys, cause I've had some clients that would bring me dogs that get the "once a year" grooms, dogs that were kept outside and in bad shape. I'm not bad-mouthing people who keep dogs outside, but there are just some breeds I feel that don't belong out there - like poodles, havanese, shih tzus... they need to be inside and need REGULAR grooming.

Thanks for your suggestions, TilliesMom!

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 05:19 PM
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So, you are looking at a space!!??? good for you!!

The place I took Tillie when she was younger had a sort of 1/2 wall, with a walk through gate. The "wall" had a high counter attached (about boob height lol). I liked that aspect of the shop. Why does your husband feel a full wall (with window) would be safer??

Another thing that might be nice is to have a 'wall' of differerent breeds and thier respective haircuts, so even if a customer doesn't KNOW what they what they might be able to look at the wall of options and find something they DO like. That way you KNOW what they want and don't do something they may not like simply because they didn't know. Like the diff between trimming ears square or rounded, trimming round feet or poodle feet, etc, etc. MOST people don't even KNOW options exisit... just a thought!

Tammy and Tillie
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TilliesMom View Post
So, you are looking at a space!!??? good for you!!

The place I took Tillie when she was younger had a sort of 1/2 wall, with a walk through gate. The "wall" had a high counter attached (about boob height lol). I liked that aspect of the shop. Why does your husband feel a full wall (with window) would be safer??

Another thing that might be nice is to have a 'wall' of differerent breeds and thier respective haircuts, so even if a customer doesn't KNOW what they what they might be able to look at the wall of options and find something they DO like. That way you KNOW what they want and don't do something they may not like simply because they didn't know. Like the diff between trimming ears square or rounded, trimming round feet or poodle feet, etc, etc. MOST people don't even KNOW options exisit... just a thought!
I am currently looking at a space right now. If all goes well, we will sign the lease this week! Fix it up for a month, and open by November! I really can't believe how quickly things are moving.

I don't know why my husband thinks a full wall will be safer. Maybe it will give me a few extra seconds to get away?? I'm not sure what he thinks will happen. The area is safe, it's next to a residential area and there is a large chain grocery store across the street. He likes to overthink things, and "better safe than sorry." At one point, I thought I wanted to get into mobile grooming, but he said "driving that big van is not safe." I think he should have been an insurance sales agent lol. He always wants me to wear a reflective vest (like construction people wear!) when I walk the dogs at night, and carry a huge heavy flashlight. I tried it - it lasted 2 seconds and the walk was no fun!!

I plan on having an album with various haircuts on actual dogs I've groomed. That's why I spent all that time playing with different haircuts on Louis lol. You are right, many people do not know what they want until they see a picture of it or see it in person.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 09:14 PM
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Free format thoughts:
I want to be able to see everything that's going on, to see my dog at all times.
I want to work by appointment so my dog is not there all day.
I would prefer cage free but want to make sure my dog is safe.
I don't have a need for stripping but I have heard in my area it's rare for a professional groomer to do this.
Bad smells are a no no but so is highly perfumey smells and sprays that make the dog's coat sticky.
Seminars and professional accreditations are definitely a plus and should be advertised.
Same with competitive grooming.
Skin and coat care yes, food and nutrition no.
My vet says no to the anal gland thing.
Supporting local rescues---awesome!
BTW, I just met a relative's Standard Poodle and can see how they make a great match with Havanese!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokipoke View Post
Wasn't sure where to post this, but hope people don't mind I posted it in the "General Discussion"...


I am planning on opening my own grooming business! I want it to be the BEST grooming facility. I have worked at enough places to know what I want and what I DON'T want. BUT - it all boils down to what the CLIENT wants.

So, I'd like to "ask the client!" I made a list of questions I'm just DYING to ask people who use groomers! I wish all of you were my clients because you care so much about your dogs! I would really appreciate it if you took the time to answer these questions. You do not have to answer them all (there are 43 questions). Any suggestions would be helpful. I want to create the best grooming environment for the owner and their pet.

I'm sure this list will help other groomers out there who would like to improve their shop.



1) What do you expect when you walk into a grooming shop? What do you notice first?

it should be clean, not smell, not too noisy with barking dogs, and no cage dryers.

2) How does the noise level or smell affect your decision to frequent the business?

A lot. A smelly place is a dirty place and I don't want my dog there. A noisey place is stressful to my dog.

3) What do you think about a groomer’s level of experience? Based on number of years: 1, 3-4, 5, 10, 10+

I haven't asked. I stay and watch. If I don't like what they do, i wouldn't come back.

4) How do you feel about a groomer who owns the same breed or similar as you?

I don't care. I DO care that she knows what my breed should look like.

5) How important is it that the groomer knows handstripping techniques?

None. Havanese don't need stripping.

6) How do you feel about a groomer who attends trade shows and seminars to further his/her education? How about a groomer who does not do these things?

I assume that good groomers do these things.

7) Are you okay with the fact the groomer may not be available at certain times in order to attend trade shows and seminars?

Nobody is available all the time. I make appointments well in advance and can work around a groomer's schedule

8) How do you feel about a groomer who participates in competitive grooming? How about a groomer who did not participate in competing?

Don't care.

9) How important is it to you that the groomer is certified with the National Dog Groomers Association (NDGA), International Professional Groomers (IPG), and/or International Society of Canine Cosmetologists (ISCC)?

Never heard of them.

10) Does the fact that the groomer is involved in the show world affect your feelings towards them? (showing, handling, breeding etc)

No. I prefer a groomer who has some positive training experience.

11) Do you seek out groomers who can do show grooming? Or as close to the breed standard as possible?

Yes.

12) How do you feel when you are not allowed to “look in the back” of the grooming shop? How do you feel when you are allowed a tour of the facility?

I wouldn't use a place where I wasn't allowed to stay with my dog.

13) Are you willing to pay higher grooming prices for the right groomer? What is a fair grooming price to you? (base this on the size of dog you have. Please indicate the size and breed)

Havanese. I pay $25 for feet and sanitary, $50 for bathe and blow dry also. I've paid the same amount to 3 different groomers in this area, so it seems to be the going rate.

14) How important is anal gland expression to you? Is this a must that the groomer must do?

I would never want a groomer to touch my dog's anal glands. IF they ever need to be done, I want it done by a vet.

15) Do you specifically look for groomers who have gentle handling skills?

Of course.

16) Do you like when groomers give advice on pet food and nutrition?

No.

17) Do you like when groomers give advice on skin and hair care?

Sure, especially if asked.

18) Does the fact that a grooming shop supports local rescues become a factor in how you feel about the groomer?

It's nice but wouldn't make or break the deal.

19) Do you like having a “puppy package” in a groom shop, where the price of a groom for a pup is less?

I have so little done usually, that I think it would be unfair to ask them to do it for less.

20) How does the size of the grooming business affect you? Does it matter if it’s a small mom & pop shop or big boarding/grooming/daycare facility?

None.

21) What is your impression towards the different types of people working in a grooming facility? For example: teenagers, older people, family members, etc

I don't care about who else works there. I only have a specific person, one that I've checked out, work on my dog.

22) What is your scheduling preference? Do you like to pre-book ahead of time? Call when you feel like your dog needs grooming? Do you prefer walk-ins? Are you okay with facilities that do “by appointment only?”

I always make appointments. I know how long my dog can go between foot trimming.

23) What are the business hours you prefer as a client?

I can be flexible.

24) Is the fact a grooming facility DOES or DOES NOT provide daycare services, a deciding factor when choosing a business?

I never leave my dog, so I don't care.

25) What type of personality do you look for in a groomer?

Someone who is kind and gentle with my dog, and is fun to talk to while I'm there.

26) Would you like an online booking feature?

I don't care. I book the next one before I leave.

27) How important is it that a grooming business has a Facebook page and/or a website?

Not at all.

28) How do you feel about tipping?

I tip 20%.

29) How do you feel about kenneling vs. a cage-free environment?

again, I don't leave my dog, so it doesn't matter.

30) What is your biggest pet peeve about the groomer?

I 've been lucky to get referrals tovery good groomers.

31) How do you feel about a business that only accepts SMALL DOGS?

I don't care.

32) Does the type of shampoo brands affect your decision to use a groomer? For instance, does it matter that a groomer uses only high-end products like Chris Christensen vs. using generic products?

As long as they work well on my dog's coat, I don't care.

33) Do you expect to be asked about vaccination records?

Yes. But I also expect them to be open to titers and not require Bordatella.

34) What is the preferred turn-around time for grooming? For example, from the time you drop off your dog to the time they call you to pick up.

I don't drop off.

35) How do you feel about a groomer who shaves double coated breeds like labs and huskies? How do you feel about a groomer who refuses to shave double coated breeds?

I don't know enough about it to have an opinion.

36) What type of special promotions would you like to see being offered in a grooming business?

I don't care.

37) Does the exterior of the building and its looks affect your decision to visit a grooming facility?

No.

38) What types of businesses surrounding a grooming business would turn you off from visiting that grooming business? For example, liquor store, check-cashing, etc.

I don't want to go to a bad neighborhood, but otherwise I don't care.

39) How do you feel about add-on services like hair coloring and nail polish?

No thanks.

40) What add-on services would you like to see being offered at a grooming business?

No dea what these would be.

41) What type of service do you feel should be included in a full-groom?

Not sure what a "full groom" is.

42) How important is it that a grooming business provides retail (food, treats, leashes, collars, toys, etc)?

Not at all.

43) What keeps you coming back to your current groomer?
I like her and she does a great job at a fair price.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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RitaandRiley, thank you for your comments!

krandall - wow! you answered all of the questions! thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to go through all of that. I will take everything that has been said into consideration

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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krandall - I was reviewing your answers again, and you mentioned "$25 for feet and sanitary, $50 for bathe and blow dry also"

Is the feet and sanitary just that, without any bath or brushing?? What else is included in the $50 groom?

The way I'm setting up my prices are a "full groom" will include a bath with a blueberry facial, bathing twice with type of shampoo depending on dog's skin and hair, 6 minute body massage, anal glands by request only, blowdry by hand, brushing, nails, dremmeling if needed, ear cleaning, ear plucking by request, sanitary trim, haircut of choice (anal glands and ear plucking will not be extra, just by request only)

Then I will have prices for a "full bath" which will include everything except the haircut. But the feet will get trimmed to keep the feet from resembling mops.

I will have another set of prices for "bath only" that will include bath, drying, and brushing - without nails, ear cleaning, sanitary, haircut, or feet trim


Are any of these something a client would be interested in? Should I add something, take something out? I am here to listen!

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 11:13 PM
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See my answers after the questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tokipoke View Post
Wasn't sure where to post this, but hope people don't mind I posted it in the "General Discussion"...


I am planning on opening my own grooming business! I want it to be the BEST grooming facility. I have worked at enough places to know what I want and what I DON'T want. BUT - it all boils down to what the CLIENT wants.

So, I'd like to "ask the client!" I made a list of questions I'm just DYING to ask people who use groomers! I wish all of you were my clients because you care so much about your dogs! I would really appreciate it if you took the time to answer these questions. You do not have to answer them all (there are 43 questions). Any suggestions would be helpful. I want to create the best grooming environment for the owner and their pet.

I'm sure this list will help other groomers out there who would like to improve their shop.



1) What do you expect when you walk into a grooming shop? What do you notice first?
--- The Shop has to be clean! It has to smell good. The Shop has to be neat, clean, and organized.

2) How does the noise level or smell affect your decision to frequent the business?
---A lot!

3) What do you think about a groomer’s level of experience? Based on number of years: 1, 3-4, 5, 10, 10+
---At least 4 years of some type of experience.

4) How do you feel about a groomer who owns the same breed or similar as you?
---I would love it!

5) How important is it that the groomer knows handstripping techniques?---I do not do handstripping with my dogs, so I have no idea.

6) How do you feel about a groomer who attends trade shows and seminars to further his/her education? How about a groomer who does not do these things?
---I love a groomer who loves to further their trade, who gains more knowledge and techniques.

7) Are you okay with the fact the groomer may not be available at certain times in order to attend trade shows and seminars?
--Yes!

8) How do you feel about a groomer who participates in competitive grooming? How about a groomer who did not participate in competing?
---Love it! If they do not compete, that is ok with me too.

9) How important is it to you that the groomer is certified with the National Dog Groomers Association (NDGA), International Professional Groomers (IPG), and/or International Society of Canine Cosmetologists
---Love it!

10) Does the fact that the groomer is involved in the show world affect your feelings towards them? (showing, handling, breeding etc)
---No!

11) Do you seek out groomers who can do show grooming? Or as close to the breed standard as possible?
---Yes! At least they know what the breed is suppose to look like.

12) How do you feel when you are not allowed to “look in the back” of the grooming shop? How do you feel when you are allowed a tour of the facility?
---I like to take a tour of the shop, if I can't look, then I am going somewhere else.
13) Are you willing to pay higher grooming prices for the right groomer? What is a fair grooming price to you? (base this on the size of dog you have. Please indicate the size and breed)
Yes, small breed (Havanese) $50.00

14) How important is anal gland expression to you? Is this a must that the groomer must do?
---Not important, a groomer should not have to do this. If he/she sees a problem, I would want the groomer to tell me though.

15) Do you specifically look for groomers who have gentle handling skills?-----Yes!

16) Do you like when groomers give advice on pet food and nutrition?
---It depends on if they are trying to sell it. It really depends how this subject is approached and tone used.

17) Do you like when groomers give advice on skin and hair care?
---It depends on how the advice is given and tone. Ask first.

18) Does the fact that a grooming shop supports local rescues become a factor in how you feel about the groomer?
---No

19) Do you like having a “puppy package” in a groom shop, where the price of a groom for a pup is less?
---Yes!
20) How does the size of the grooming business affect you? Does it matter if it’s a small mom & pop shop or big boarding/grooming/daycare facility?
---No!
21) What is your impression towards the different types of people working in a grooming facility? For example: teenagers, older people, family members, etc
---It does not matter as long as they love animals and handle them correctly.

22) What is your scheduling preference? Do you like to pre-book ahead of time? Call when you feel like your dog needs grooming? Do you prefer walk-ins? Are you okay with facilities that do “by appointment only?”
---I realize that I might have to wait, just like any other appointment. Walk-ins would be good if there is an open slot during the day, let them know they can come back or let them know when the next open appointment is available.
23) What are the business hours you prefer as a client?
---8:00AM to 6:00PM

24) Is the fact a grooming facility DOES or DOES NOT provide daycare services, a deciding factor when choosing a business?
---No

25) What type of personality do you look for in a groomer?
---Friendly, knowledgeable, gentle, caring, soft spoken, and caring.
26) Would you like an online booking feature?
---Yes

27) How important is it that a grooming business has a Facebook page and/or a website?
---It would be nice, because that is the way I find things these days.
28) How do you feel about tipping?
---I do not like it, I figure I am spending a lot of money on the groom as it is.

29) How do you feel about kenneling vs. a cage-free environment?
---Kenneling would be better and safer in a grooming business.

30) What is your biggest pet peeve about the groomer?
---That they show caring and love to all their clients without becoming angry.

31) How do you feel about a business that only accepts SMALL DOGS?
---No problem!

32) Does the type of shampoo brands affect your decision to use a groomer? For instance, does it matter that a groomer uses only high-end products like Chris Christensen vs. using generic products?
---No! As long as the groom makes the dog look good and clean smelling, I am happy.
33) Do you expect to be asked about vaccination records?
---No!

34) What is the preferred turn-around time for grooming? For example, from the time you drop off your dog to the time they call you to pick up.
---Two hours, I can do one of my dogs in less than an hour.

35) How do you feel about a groomer who shaves double coated breeds like labs and huskies? How do you feel about a groomer who refuses to shave double coated breeds?
---I have no knowledge about this, so I have no idea.

36) What type of special promotions would you like to see being offered in a grooming business?
---Everything! From grooming to grooming products.

37) Does the exterior of the building and its looks affect your decision to visit a grooming facility?
---A lot!

38) What types of businesses surrounding a grooming business would turn you off from visiting that grooming business? For example, liquor store, check-cashing, etc
---I would want to feel safe going and coming to the area during the day or at night.

39) How do you feel about add-on services like hair coloring and nail polish?
---It is ok, but don't push the products, I feel like I am paying a lot at one time as it is.

40) What add-on services would you like to see being offered at a grooming business? Kenneling, in case I can not return to pick up my dog until after work or errands.

41) What type of service do you feel should be included in a full-groom?
---Comb, brush out, shampoo, conditioner, drying, clipping, styling, ear care, nail care, eye care, paw care.

42) How important is it that a grooming business provides retail (food, treats, leashes, collars, toys, etc)?
---None!


43) What keeps you coming back to your current groomer?
---Good service and listening to the client.

Lots of questions!!! When I did go to a groomer, she had a notebook of pictures of her grooms to let me know what she had done and how different cuts/grooms looked on dogs.



Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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