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Let’s be honest: no one really wants to go to the vet. In an
ideal world, our pets would always be healthy and live long lives without any
need for medical care. The reality is that injuries and illnesses happen, and
even a healthy animal needs periodic visits to catch problems before they get
out of hand. Good customer service is critical to a thriving veterinary
practice because it’s hard for a client to judge the level of care their pet is
receiving, but it’s easy for them to understand how they’re being treated. Here
are some ways you can improve customer service at your clinic, so you can keep
clients coming back.
Keep Up with Wait Times
Ideally, patients and their owners shouldn’t have to wait over a half hour before their visit, but there are plenty of things that can throw you off schedule from emergencies to equipment failures. Checking in with clients to let them know what’s happening will help put them at ease during a long wait. If a client is waiting during a procedure, it’s a good idea to check up on them occasionally and see if they need anything even if you don’t yet have news on how their pet is progressing.
Make Your Waiting Area Comfortable for Everyone
When it comes to humans, the same tips for any other waiting area apply: set up a station with refreshments, have Wi-Fi available and consider adding some TVs to make the wait more comfortable and less boring.
When it comes to pets, the best strategy is to limit interaction. Separating cats and dogs can help, but it’s even better if you can set up your waiting area to help isolate individual pets either by spreading out seating or adding partitions. Adding some leash clips by the office frees clients’ hands when they’re paying a bill or filling out paperwork.
Have a New Patient Welcome Folder
Help your new clients feel welcome and keep them on track with their pet’s health care by having a welcome packet ready for them when they visit your clinic. Pet care and general health care tips can be helpful for answering common questions, while including a calendar or a business card will ensure they’ll have your contact information on hand.
Get Kids Involved in Visits
It may be the parents bringing in the pet, but that pet is still a member of
the family and the children who come to appointments are just as worried as the
adults. Letting them feel like they’re part of the visit can do a world of good
for them no matter how simple the task. This can be anything from keeping the
animal occupied while you discuss a care plan with the parent or giving them a
few stickers at the end of a visit.
Send Home a Treat for the Pet
You can make a good impression on clients with small items, even if it’s just a pet-themed bag for goods and medicines, and it can get you in the good graces of the animal you’re treating. After all, it’s easier to get along with a pet if you’re the person that gives them a treat instead of just being the person that pokes and prods them.
Health care isn’t contained in a single visit. Follow ups should start when the patient is still in the office, making sure that the client’s questions have been answered before they walk out the door and continues with a call or a reminder card to check on the progress of their pet.
Track Where New Clients are Coming From
What is it that attracts clients to your practice? Finding out why a client chooses to use your services can help you find out where you’re doing good with customer service and what areas you need to improve.
Keeping up with pet birthdays and holidays can help your clinic become a part of a pet’s life instead of being a place only used for medical emergencies. This is as simple as sending a card for these events to keep your practice on the client’s radar. When a pet dies, sympathy cards and memorial products show you care about the client’s loss.
Improve Your Customer Service with Help from Positive Impressions
Positive Impressions offers a wide range of cards, paper products and memorial products that help you keep in touch with your clients and show them that you care. Be sure to see what new promotions we’re offering this month by visiting our Specials Page.