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Why you need to treat the pet AND the people in your veterinary practice

Posted in Client Service @ Apr 20th 2017 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
You Need To Treat The Pet And The People

Does top quality veterinary care equal top quality service to your clients? 

We all love to receive good service and most of us are happy to pay for good service. But what is good service? Is providing the very best veterinary care good service? Absolutely – but is it enough?

That’s one of the tricky parts of working in the veterinary industry. You can offer the very best veterinary care for your patients – but at the end of the day they’re not the ones who pay for the treatment, make the follow-up appointments or who share their experiences with their friends - face-to-face and on-line.

Which is why you need to treat the pet AND the people.

You and your team know how to treat the pet, after all that’s what you’re trained to do. But what about the people? How do you go about factoring their needs into the services you deliver?

Well that depends on the person and what their needs are.

Some of your clients want information, and lots of it. Some need time to process information before making a decision and others just want the basics. Some like to read information and look at diagrams or pictures, while others need things verbally explained to them.

Offering a high standard of service to your veterinary clients is a challenge – different people have different needs and it’s often difficult to determine exactly what these needs are.

For example, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners which means when you verbally explain something they may appear to understand but are just as likely to forget most of what you said the minute they leave your practice.

To effectively remember information, visual learners need to see as well as hear and appreciate diagrams and pictures that support your verbal explanation. These should preferably be in colour and definitely professionally presented.

You’ve spent years developing your knowledge and this may be the first time your client has heard of something and many will struggle to take in everything you’ve discussed in one go.  Which is why handouts and eBooks are also a fantastic way to improve the service you provide to the ‘people’. But just like your diagram, handouts need to be clear, easy to read and professional. Unprofessional, dodgy, old handouts might make your clients think these descriptions also apply to your veterinary practice.

Be the ‘Go-to’ source of veterinary information

If your clients believe that you and your team are the ‘Go-To’ people for everything veterinary, then you’ve gone a long way to establishing trust in your relationship with them.  Offering a professional looking website that includes authoritative information in the form of blog posts, handouts and links to useful information goes a long way in establishing this trust.

Of course, delivering a high standard of veterinary care is an essential component to the service you provide but unfortunately, it’s not the only indicator your client uses to judge the level of service they have received.

If you’re successful in delivering both high standards of veterinary care when treating a pet AND a high standard of care when communicating with the person (client) then they are far more likely to tell everyone how fantastic you are and far less likely to complain or question the cost of the service. 

This post was first published in the AVNJ Vol 23 No 2

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