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TOPIC: customer loyalty thru winter

Re: customer loyalty thru winter 06 Jun 2012 21:41 #16

  • Travis Morgan
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Around here, I have to get a job or build barns or something when the weather is unfavorable. Jason stays busy, but he does a lot of traveling.
Copenhagen. You can see it in my smile!
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Re: customer loyalty thru winter 06 Jun 2012 22:05 #17

Rachael,

Last September a client with seven horses left a message on my machine that she needed to cancel her appointment. She had done that in the past and always called back to reschedule. I didn't hear from her all winter, so I assumed she had gotten somebody else. Well she called back two days ago to schedule an appointment. I said "Aw geez Rhonda, I thought you must have gotten someone else so I gave your spot away". She replied "Are you taking any new customers? You don't have to do them all in one day." I said "let me see what I can do...... How about a week from Friday, AM? I did go up on my prices at the first of the year though." Her answer: "No problem". Now I'm left with the problem of trying to figure out how much I went up on my prices. :woohoo:

Regards
Rick Shepherd

Although we know what we believe, we may only believe what we know. Dr William Moyers
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2012 22:07 by Western Hill Forge.
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Re: Re: customer loyalty thru winter 07 Jun 2012 05:14 #18

Western Hill Forge wrote:
Rachael,

Last September a client with seven horses left a message on my machine that she needed to cancel her appointment. She had done that in the past and always called back to reschedule. I didn't hear from her all winter, so I assumed she had gotten somebody else. Well she called back two days ago to schedule an appointment. I said "Aw geez Rhonda, I thought you must have gotten someone else so I gave your spot away". She replied "Are you taking any new customers? You don't have to do them all in one day." I said "let me see what I can do...... How about a week from Friday, AM? I did go up on my prices at the first of the year though." Her answer: "No problem". Now I'm left with the problem of trying to figure out how much I went up on my prices. :woohoo:

Regards

Ha, lol. Rick, that sounds just like me.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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Re: customer loyalty thru winter 07 Jun 2012 20:41 #19

  • Anthony_Lawrence
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jerram wrote:
Anthony_Lawrence wrote:
Rachael I'm moving to Cambridge, horse capital of NZ, "The Town of Trees & Champions". B)

I worked there for a week when i was in NZ, 99% racehorses. Still plenty of work there?

I hope so Mark! :lol:

We just got sick of Hawkes Bay and with all the pesticide use around here (primarily a horticultural area) I find my health is suffering. Sinuses almost permanently inflamed.

Lot's of guys there but most chasing the racehorse/stud work and trying to avoid the sporthorses.

I'm the other way round, I like the sporthorse work and want to keep the racehorses down to a level.

Can't ignore them altogether as they are a good source of work through the winter. But also I have a good rep around the dressage crew... who tend to keep them in training (and shod) through the winter. Hoping to pick up as many of those as possible.
Ant.
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Re: customer loyalty thru winter 08 Jun 2012 00:29 #20

  • Rachael Kane
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Good luck with the move Anthony, may the boost to your health be worth that initial period of craziness that moving brings to life - I'm sure it will! Having just come out the other end, I am not looking to do it for a while now.
I was lying in bed last night trying to turn this around into a situation that works for me instead of feeling that these circumstances are out of my control. I think I will send a letter to all of my clients thanking them for their custom and support and notifying them of canges I am making to my business - that regularly scheduled customers will maintain the same price structure, but those who wish to be casual customers will pay a 15% loading. I will also now require 3 days notice on change of appointments or a 15% charge will apply to the next appointment.
Right now my books are getting chaotic because I ring to confirm the night before and too often people say 'oops, I forgot, can I change that' and I lose half the next day's work. I know that if I were the horse owner I would be no better and it's not personal, but it is not acceptable from this side of the equasion that''s for sure!
Do you guys give appointment reminders? I know some farriers that don't but I would hate to turn up and waste travel time to find no one there, and you would not win any popularity vote by charging for that lost travel no matter how valid. The guys I have ridden with that don't call say a no-show is rare, but it has happened numerous times when I have been with them.... B)
It seems that setting boundaries is so important to keeping the 'give a damn' in day-to-day work. I see many ways that we farriers can get bitter and twisted with all the little niggly thiings we have to deal with. Throw in the odd customer that throws you under the bus for some non-issue and ARRGGGHHHH!
Rachael :)
CF

'Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you going.' (Jim Ryan).
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Re: customer loyalty thru winter 08 Jun 2012 12:10 #21

Rachael,

I write the next appointment on the receipt, and always call 2 days before to remind them. The cancellations and postponements I get always seem to be from the same few customers, so I try to schedule them last in the day so if they bail I can go home early. Sometimes I like it when they cancel. :)

Regards
Rick Shepherd

Although we know what we believe, we may only believe what we know. Dr William Moyers
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Re: customer loyalty thru winter 09 Jun 2012 14:29 #22

  • vthorseshoe
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Ah ! Rachael,,, your now getting initiated into the business part of the Farrier World ....
And your getting intiated into the scheduling part of this crazy world of horse owners.

Ricks two last posts are so sensible and actually have worked for many of us. Take heed to what he suggests it really works.

Do you understand now why through the years some farriers come on this site with exhasperated attitudes towards our paying customers ?

It does become easier once you accept the fact that this is how it is and it will never change. You learn how to adapt and survive.

Down here the few backyard horses I have taken on I won't even schedule them anymore. One day they are here and the next day they are gone.
So I just tell them to call me when they feel their animals need trimming or shoe's again. Then I will fit them in whan a space is available.
I really don't care if I keep them or don't. They are just a filler for slack time to me ..
It is my draft customers that I schedule and take care of. my goal is to be busy as I want by the beginning of nest spring.

That means "CULTIVATING" and Selective advertising, and presenting myself to the clientle I want to work with.

When you go into a candy store you spend some time reading and handling and smelling and looking for the most apealing, before you buy.
Do this with building your customer base.
It takes time to be selective. You have to sell yourself in a manner that attracts the customers you want.

How do you sell yourself ?
1. by the work you have performed on area horses.
2. by knowing the breed and the work they do when performing. Understand what is needed/required/ and expected from them. Become expert at correcting what ever problems thjjat plaque this dicipline pr breed. "MAKE YOURSELF VALUABLE TO THIS TYPE OF HORSE OWNER. tHEY WILL BEGIN TO SEARCH "you" OUT.
Talk the language of this breed/owner.

I get different questions and show different things to draft owners than I do with other horse owners.
This is what I specialize in and it makes me valuable to the draft owners.

Don't try to be an "every horse" shoer. You will have to do it in the beginning but work for specializing and becoming an expert with that breed or dicipline. You will find being a farrier is much more enjoyable.

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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