THEIR emergency Is not YOUR emergency
I wish someone had shared this wisdom with me in the early days of my business.
You’ve probably all experienced those last minute ‘urgent’ requests. Or if you haven’t yet, expect them at some point!
The amount of times a customer has tried to guilt trip me, make it sound like they have no other option, make me feel like it’s my problem, my fault, I’m a terrible person if I don’t bend over backwards for them at the last minute, their pet will suffer if I don’t squeeze them in, gone out of my way big time because I actually felt bad that they ‘had no other option’. When really there was no emergency, they were just unorganised, forgot or bargaining on the fact I was extremely flexible and would go above and beyond (a pushover!)
I always say one of the main things you have to be in the Pet Industry is flexible, it’s the nature of the job BUT there is a fine line between flexibility and being a door mat! A fine line between reliable and always available.
Truth is there is ALWAYS another option, their pet is not your responsibility unless you have already agreed to look after them. They will always be able to find another option and if they can’t TOUGH they’ll have to cancel their plans. You may love their pet to bits but it’s not fair to put pressure on you at short notice.
Now I would 100% say go above and beyond for your customers but not to your own detriment, sanity or cost. I think you’ll get a sense of which customers are genuine, who you are happy to accommodate and which are consistently making requests at the last minute or making you feel like it’s your responsibility.
As an example I once received a message from someone who I had never met, asking me to walk her dog the NEXT day. She wasn’t interested in meeting me first or introducing me to the dog, she had to go to work and didn’t ‘have time’ to look for someone else. As if trying to make it my issue and my problem that i needed to sort out for her. Sorry not my problem!
Again…. THEIR EMERGENCY IS NOT YOUR EMERGENCY. And probably ISN’T actually an emergency at all.
Another example was a lady who’s cats I was looking after, she’d gone off to get married somewhere about 7 hours drive away, and she forgot her WEDDING DRESS!!! I mean REALLY 😳 anyway she pretty much demanded I package up her dress, take it to the post office and told me to do this by midday….. i advised that I was fully booked and couldn’t make an extra visit to her house (an hours round trip) by that time. It would have meant I was extremely late for all my other jobs. Funnily enough she had a friend who had a key to her house who did it instead she just didn’t want to trouble her friend!!
Do not be treated like a member of staff, you are your own boss and you shouldn’t be made to feel ‘grateful’ for their custom if they are not going to respect you.
Remember, what did they do before they found you? They made other arrangements!
As long as you’re polite, not rude (even if you want to be!!) and explain that you’re so sorry you’re not able to fit them in at such short notice or do that favour etc, they have no right to be annoyed, you have a life and family commitments too, and if they are annoyed then let them go, there are plenty more customers who will respect you as a business owner.
If you give in to them once they will keep taking the piss. End of! Stand your ground, you don’t need their custom that much!
I know some of you are shouting “but I do need their custom!” Trust me you will soon fill their slot with a customer who is a much better fit.
You’ll find these type of customers are few and far between, I’m lucky that 99% of my customers are amazing, respectful and lovely 💗
Has anyone else experienced these kind of last minute pushy customers?
******If you are looking to start a dog walking or pet sitting business come and join my free Facebook group for help, advice, tips from experts and more, or take my online course!*******Find out more….