Pet Age recently chatted with Carolina Herrera, owner of Versailles Dog Grooming Palace in Flushing, New York, to learn her strategies toward setting herself apart in the highly-competitive grooming sector.
Q What inspired you to open Versailles Dog Grooming Palace in November 2017?
A Seeing and reading bad reviews of the experiences customers and their pets have undergone inspired me to open my own place where I can render good services and tender care to the dogs under my care as if they were my own. I give my customers the trust and care I would like to receive for my own pet.
Q How would you describe the service you offer your clients?
A My grooming establishment is the perfect place for me to be able to interact with the pet owners in a personal and informal manner. In my previous working experiences I never had the chance to talk to the customer directly. In many places that I know of dogs are shaved even though sometimes it is unnecessary. For me, it is crucial to have a conversation with the owner and build a relationship to exchange information regarding the behavior, likes, dislikes, traumas, medical conditions or personality issues the pet might have. Based on the information received, I know how to approach the pet and make him/her feel comfortable and safe under my care.
Q What do you consider to be your specialty?
A All breeds are welcome in Versailles. My favorite dogs are those with curly furs, e.g. Golden Doodles, which I consider to be my specialty. Working with these types of coats requires lots of patience and skills. I always take into account the owner’s wishes no matter how crazy they might be. I also have four years of experience working with show dogs of different breads. My working background with veterinarians is, without doubt, an added benefit to my knowledge of breads, their behavior, temperament and disposition.
Q How do you utilize social media to promote your business and keep in touch with your customers?
A In this time and age, social media is the best tool of a business owner. When I opened Versailles, at the same time I opened accounts on Instagram and Facebook. I post pictures of my customers in all stages of the grooming process. Owners feel comfortable seeing how their dogs behave when they are not around. It is important for owners to see how I treat their loved companions. I encourage owners to follow step by step, the before and after of the amazing changes taking place.
Satisfied owners share and promote their experiences, pictures and opinions with their friends, family and neighbors. A groomer’s best advertising is not only advertisements but people recommending the good services. I keep everybody informed of upcoming events, promotions and new products.
Social media is the easiest way to book, change and cancel appointments using these applications.
Q Do you sell any products to your customers?
A I prioritize the owner’s feelings and desire to show how much they love and care for their dogs. I recently started creating personalized bandanas, Khanela’s K9 Fashion. There is a vast variety of bandanas to choose from, some are reversible, giving them a double look, also family announcements, celebrations and special events. They are colorful, light and comfortable for the pet to wear.