You have probably heard about it: mobile grooming is a great option for keeping your pet clean and gorgeous – especially when you are short on time and when your dog has special needs. The groomer comes to you, the appointment duration is kept to a minimum, and the one-on-one environment is WAY more comfortable for your pet. But how do you choose the right mobile groomer?
Obviously, you will want to look at reviews and call around for some quotes. But what else… what other areas should you be asking about to differentiate one groomer from another and ultimately find a truly great fit for you and your pup? We think a great groomer-customer match can be found based on four things: Qualifications, Customer Service, Cleaning & Sanitation Practices, and Citizenship & Community considerations.
To get started, consider the questions below and add any questions of your own, such as things you are curious about or things you are worried about compared to your current brick and mortar salon. Then, print yourself a few copies of the question sheet so that you can have one for each groomer. A Google search for “mobile groomer near me” will yield some names and phone numbers for you to call. Here are some areas to cover during your conversations.
Area 1 – Groomer Qualifications and Experience
- Where did the groomers receive their training and certification?
- How much hands-on grooming experience do the groomers have?
- Do the groomers have any special tools for difficult or high anxiety dogs (e.g. low-vibration nail grinders, special bushes, slings for dogs who can’t stand, and/or high-end de-matting tools)?
- What steps do the groomers take to bring about a sense of calm and trust and get the dog to relax?
- What do the groomers do when the dog becomes snippy or resistant to the grooming process?
- How do your groomers stay up to date with the latest developments in tools and techniques that would positively impact the quality of a dog’s experience in the grooming van?
- Do your groomers have or are they pursuing any breed-specific education or certifications (e.g., Doodles, Westies, German shepherds, etc).
Area 2 – Customer Service
- What are your hours of operation for grooming staff vs. scheduling staff?
- During what hours of the day is the phone answered and during what hours do you respond to text messages?
- What is your policy for last-minute cancellations?
- What is your policy if the customer is unhappy with the grooming when the groomer is finished?
- What steps would you take if there was ever an injury during the grooming appointment?
- What do you do to prevent schedule changes such as groomer no-shows and vans out of operation due to mechanical problems?
Area 3 – Cleaning and Sanitation Practices
- What steps do the groomers take to clean the grooming tools/equipment between appointments?
- How is the van cleaned and re-set between grooming appointments?
- How often do you deep-clean the grooming van?
- How many hours does a typical deep cleaning take and what products are used?
- How do you track and manage the repair and maintenance?
Area 4 – Citizenship and Community
- How do your staff and groomers give back to the community?
- What rescues, shelters, or civic events does your organization participate in?
- What recommendations or references do you have from local veterinarians?
Bringing it all together
For some groomers, it may take several tries to get through to the right person. Some companies may never answer the phone and others may not be able to share all the answers. The strongest candidates will be easy to spot! When complete, this process will give you enough information to feel confident about your decision. Although it will take some time and effort to do the homework, it will definitely be worthwhile to help you find the perfect match for you and your pet.