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What does your perfect veterinary client look like?

Posted in Client Service @ Mar 14th 2013 - By Judy Gillespie
What do your clients look like?

As a veterinary practice owner or manager have you ever asked “Who are our clients?”. 

Then asked......

"Are they the clients we want?”

I’m not suggesting your clients are not lovely people. I’m also not suggesting that every veterinary business should be chasing those elusive clients to whom money is no object and never balk at a fee.  There are obviously many veterinary businesses that provide a great service to pet owners with very limited funds but I’m also sure they offer more of a ‘no frills’ service.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The problem occurs if you’re trying to offer a full service product for a no frills price.  It doesn’t work.

Today I read a blog post by Seth Godin Choose Your Customers First where he suggests businesses should first decide who they would like to do business with and then go and decide what you can deliver to suit their needs.

Deciding who you would like to do business with makes sense to me.

So the first thing you need to do is determine exactly what your perfect client looks like and as Seth suggests “the more specific the better”.

So..

What sort of pets do they have?

How many pets do they have?

Where do they live?

What type of dwelling do they live in?

How old are they?

How many people are in the family?

What sort of job do they have?

How many hours do they work?

How much free time do they have?

What level of education do they have?

What are their hobbies?

What TV shows do they watch?

What movies do they like?

What music do they like?

Which radio station do they listen to?

What sort of car do they drive?

What newspapers, magazines do they read?

Do they use social media?  What type?

The questions to determine your perfect client really could be endless.

So why bother asking them?  Why do you need to have a picture of your perfect veterinary client?

Well if you have a very detailed picture in your mind about the type of clients you would like to provide veterinary services for, then you have some essential information.  You not only have an idea as to what services they may be looking for, but most importantly, perfectly willing to pay for.

You'll even have a much better idea as to what sort of marketing will attract them to your business, what images to use, where to advertise and how to market to them.

Now that’s thinking outside the square!

Tell me in the comments section below about your perfect client – what does he/she look like?

Comments

Kes @ Mar 18th 2013 1:18am
Are you for real? My perfect clients are the ones that would take their pets to a vet, full stop, end of story. You are a discriminatory, money hungry, 'business' person. Not a vet!
Judy @ Mar 18th 2013 8:28am
Hi Kez, thanks for your comments. You're right I'm not a vet but I've worked with them for over 15 years and heard so many stories about how they absolutely love what they do but become so stressed because it can be so difficult to make a viable living. Owning a veterinary practice is an incredibly expensive exercise and many, many vets are paying off their studies as well as trying to earn an income to support their families. My other concern is for vet nurses/technicians who are also highly trained but in Australia at least, earn an incredibly low rate of pay for their level of expertise and effort. So you're absolutely right I am a 'business' person and I care very deeply for the 'business' aspect of veterinary practices. I want all the wonderful people involved in the industry to stay in the industry they love rather than being forced to leave in order to make decent money in a less stressful environment. So yep, I don't think making money is evil or bad - I just think you should be rewarded fairly for your effort and expertise which unfortunately so many of those that work in the industry are not. But, after all, this is just my opinion and I accept that not all will agree with me so thanks for taking the time to share your opinion :)
Marianne @ Mar 18th 2013 9:29am
Judy is clearly not a vet because her article makes good business sense! If vets possessed the same level of business skill that Judy had, it would be a better industry to work in. We would all have profitable businesses which means vets & nurses would get paid more and there would be more money to reinvest back into our facilities to offer more advanced patient care. I'm surprised at the comment Kes left above. It sounds like a comment from a client who wants every treatment under the sun but doesn't want to pay for it and says 'You're just money hungry'. A veterinary practice is a BUSINESS, it is not a charity and there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money so you have a good quality of life, just like every other person in the community. I'm sure you put out your hand to collect wages at the end of each week. Where do you think this money came from? The BUSINESS! No money, no job for you. I would never employ a vet that had no respect for the work that we do. Just because you're a vet and 'love animals' doesn't mean you have to sign up for a life of poverty!
Judy @ Mar 18th 2013 9:38am
Hi Marianne, thanks for your comments. It would indeed be a great world if all vets & nurses were paid a fair amount for their knowledge, skills & effort. Then veterinary businesses might be profitable enough to offer more services to those who truly can't afford certain treatments - then everyone would benefit - especially the animals :)

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