One of the things that I have always loved about working in the pet industry is how pet owners will go to great lengths to give their furry friends the best life they can. Some people may think it’s silly how people will treat their dogs like little humans. The idea of dressing them in cute clothing, carrying them in designer bags, donning them with jeweled collars and giving them organic, freshly cooked food might be too much for some, but for a huge portion of society, that’s exactly how they feel they want to treat their canine family members.
I’ve always loved how pet trends will often parallel human trends. As people became more focused on better health and nutrition in their own diets, pet foods have progressed in the same manner, offering a huge variety of healthy food options to satisfy finicky pets and discerning owners.
Just as society has become focused on nutrition, people have become hyper-focused on using healthy products in their daily lives. The market has exploded for healthy skin, hair and home products for people, and going to a spa for both physical and mental wellbeing has never been more popular than in recent times. And just like other trends, creating a spa experience for pets has exploded in popularity.
But why would you want to offer “spa services” in your salon, and how do you do it?
When I think of a spa, the words that come to my mind are “calm,” “relaxing” and “soothing.” From the moment you walk in the door, those three feelings are initiated by everything from the pace of the environment and the sounds and scents from within to the décor and services provided. If you’re thinking about creating a spa experience in your pet salon, consider the initial feeling that a customer will get when they enter your business. Think about how you would want to be greeted upon entering a spa.
Having background music is also a nice touch to any business, in my opinion, but the music you choose is an important decision. What you prefer to listen to might not be everyone’s personal favorite, so choose music that isn’t overpowering or too loud. Choosing something softer and more calming is a good way to set a nice tone, create a relaxed feel, and it can help to sooth nervous pets and cautious owners.
Another important factor is the scent in the air. Nobody likes to walk into a pet business and smell foul odors—whether you’re trying to create a spa experience or not. The most obvious is to keep a clean and sanitized environment, but sterile smells aren’t the most comforting scents either. Instead, consider using diffusers or potpourri to freshen the air and create a pleasant scent from the moment your customers walk in the door.
It’s important to remember that dogs have extremely more powerful senses of smell than humans and many scents can be bothersome to dogs. Studies have shown that the scents dogs like the most and help to lower stress are vanilla, coconut, valerian and ginger, so using those scents can create a calming feeling for nervous pets.
So you’ve set up a nice salon with a nice reception area, calming scents and relaxing music, and your customers feel at ease leaving their pet with you, now what? The next important factor is the experience.
What services are you going to offer that differ from any other pet grooming salon in your area? Choose a focus that will set you apart from others. Whether it’s the physical services like expert styling, canine massage or dental services, or the products you use like skin and coat treatments, paw and pad treatments or aroma therapy shampoos and conditioners, choose your area of focus and market that. Become educated on the service or product that you’re offering and let your customers know about its availability. You should position yourself as the expert and educate them as to why they need that service or product.
As the groomer, it’s our responsibility to recognize when something isn’t quite right with the pets that we groom. When we discover a skin issue or an ear infection, there are times we need to direct them to the veterinarian for treatment, but there are many issues that we, as groomers, can help to fix with the right products and grooming schedules.
In my opinion, products are a key factor to a spa experience. Everything can look beautiful and relaxing on the outside, but if the products aren’t benefitting your clients, they won’t continue to take advantage of the services.
There are so many amazing products and services available for groomers to offer to clients in today’s market. I love seeing what new products are available to make the grooming experience better every time I go to a trade show. There are products to help clean out hair follicles, remove built-up plaque, and deeply moisturize skin and coat. There are muds and hot oil treatments, leave-on conditioners, essential oil products to sooth and calm, and custom scents to finish off a day at the spa.
Whether you’re doing a treatment to moisturize dry, cracked pads or a deep-cleansing mud mask followed by a soothing massage and fabulous haircut, creating a spa experience can boost business, raise your prices and create a niche experience that customers love giving to their furry family member.
Be sure your customers are aware that you now offer these upgraded services. You can do that by creating appealing signage to market the services and, if you have window space, create a window story to promote the services. Also, each time a customer drops off their pet, offer the services and remind them that they exist.
Upselling your spa services and recommending the best plan of action in treating any skin issues will create happy customers, stronger customer loyalty and can help increase your bottom line! ✂️