By Joey Villani, CEO of Intergroom International & VP of World Dog Expo
Aside from fingernails crossing a chalkboard, one of the sounds I hate is the alarm clock beeping. That beeping alarm elicits such a negative feeling in me that even the sound heard from a TV commercial makes me cringe. You know another sound I hate – the constant ringing of a telephone — especially the constant ringing in the salon.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. A ringing phone signals clients who want to talk to me and schedule an appointment. However, it also means that I am pulled away from what I love to do – grooming a pet. I know one groomer who stopped answering the phone because it “rang off the hook!” Great for her sanity, but potentially bad for business growth.
As groomers, we do not have the luxury of time. When I have a dog on the table, I will not walk away to answer a quick call – no call is quick enough to risk an accident. That means that between pets, or at the end of a busy day, I have messages to listen to and callbacks to make. This ends up extending my workday. So what can I do? I can hire a receptionist (depending on finances, this is not always an option). Or, I find a technology solution that fits my needs and is web-based.
BizBarkTM is a web-based platform that allows me to conduct business on my terms – anywhere, anytime, 24/7 if so desired. It allows me to connect with my clients, and, when paired with the free app, BabelBark for pet parents, I now have an arsenal of tools to help manage the business without eating up a lot of time.
The constant phone ringing can be reduced because BizBark has a scheduling feature that allows my clients to view available openings. My clients can easily schedule the appointment, move it, or even cancel it – saving me time on all those phone calls back and forth to change appointments. And BizBark automatically sends reminders to my clients – no more taking time to call and remind people of their next appointment. Oh, and BizBark also assists me with repeat booking (a huge plus for any grooming business).
Do you have a client who calls before the appointment to “fill you in” on the pet’s current condition? Reduce the time without being rude – BizBark connects with the journaling feature in the client’s BabelBark app. The client types in health information or other care instructions and you can read it ahead of time to be prepared on the day of the appointment – time saved on the phone, time saved at drop off. And you are reading the information on your time when you can focus on the message.
Look, we groomers are in the business to groom, not to spend hours on the phone. Using the BizBark platform makes managing the business less time consuming – from scheduling to being updated on pets’ conditions, and more.
Do you hear that? It’s a little peace and quiet – because BizBark is handling so many things for me. Now I can talk to the pets and “hear” what they have to say without being interrupted by the phone.