Every time I see a negative comment from a pet owner about their veterinarian, my heart drops.
I know that almost everyone who works in a veterinary practice is there for the right reasons. Whether it’s for the pure love for animals, to be an advocate for animals or to improve the life of animals – it’s rarely to earn lots of money. And yet the negative comments continue. Why?
I think it’s all about communication.
“My vet always seems to be pushing expensive food on me.”
Do you really?
Why do you suggest a client use a certain food for their pet? Is it because you stock that food and the extra dollars you make per bag is always a help? Or is it because in your professional opinion, the food you suggest is the best one to meet the needs of your patient? Or maybe it’s a bit of both – you do run a business after all.
But why do you do what you do?
Did you join the veterinary industry because of a genuine interest in the care and well-being of animals?
Do your clients know that? How?
You can’t assume everyone is aware of your lifelong love for animals and their wellbeing. If you haven’t told them and it’s not obvious in every part of your business and every piece of your marketing, then they probably don’t know.
Charity, rescues and community support
Does your veterinary practice support a charity? Do you support local animal rescue groups or those overseas?
Do your clients know this? How? Did you mention it once in a Facebook post or in a newsletter? Or do you have information on your website, in your practice and on your social media pages?
Improving skills, knowledge and expertise
You probably spend countless hours improving your skills, knowledge and expertise by reading and attending CPD events. Do your clients know about this?
Do you talk about your new knowledge or skill and explain how it can benefit them and their pets?
Do you promote and share with your clients the CPD events the rest of your team attends?
Sharing your knowledge and expertise
Do you regularly write and share blog posts on relevant, educational and interesting information with your clients?
Do your blog posts answer commonly asked questions about animals within your community?
Is your website the first place your clients go to when they have a question about their pets?
So many questions….
Lots of questions I know. But if your clients were aware of even half of these things I think they would have a very different perspective of you and your team.
If they were aware of how much time you spend improving and developing your skills and knew exactly why you do what you do, then they might view your recommendations for a particular food or treatment in a different light.
Rather than assume you’re only ‘in it for the money’, your clients might realise it’s really all about what’s best for their pet and not begrudge you to make a living at the same time. In fact, they may even be happy to pay for your expertise and advice when they can clearly see that it really is all about improving the lives of their ‘fur baby’.