Bringing magic to veterinary practice with Dr Jennifer Bruns



Learn how listening both the customer and your heart can make all the difference

Sponsored by PetSmart Veterinary Services

For Jennifer Bruns, DVM, MPVM, and senior director of vet relations at PetSmart Veterinary Services, customer service is all about providing a “magical” experience for everyone who walks into your clinic. "If [clients] feel like there's magic in your building; that you are elevating customer service; that you take it seriously; that you're really all in for the pets; you're all in for the client; you will notice that they're happier," she said in an interview with dvm360 regarding her joint presentation at Fetch Nashvile with Adam Christman, DVM, MBA. Bruns shared her insights on the transformative power of exceptional customer service in veterinary practice, talking through how to create a magical experience for clients, and how this approach can significantly enhance your business and the profession as a whole.

The pivotal role of customer service

Bruns highlighted that great customer service is fundamental to every interaction, whether it's with clients or within the team. By drawing parallels to the Disney experience, she illustrated how veterinary practices can integrate magic into their daily operations, creating memorable moments for both pet owners and staff. This focus on customer service not only strengthens client relationships but also fosters a positive and engaging work environment.

One of her key points was the empowerment of practice owners to create a unique and personalized culture within their clinics. She encouraged veterinarians to challenge the status quo and design a practice that reflects their vision and values. By doing so, practice owners can enhance client satisfaction and improve team morale, leading to better medical outcomes and a more fulfilling work experience. Bruns suggested drawing inspiration from various customer service experiences outside the veterinary field and implementing those elements into daily operations. This could mean anything from adopting a friendly greeting routine to creating a welcoming clinic atmosphere.

According to Bruns, a major pitfall to avoid is inadequate communication with clients. Veterinarians, driven by their problem-solving nature, often rush to fix issues without fully listening to the client's concerns, she said. Bruns advised practitioners to pause, listen, and address the client's immediate needs before moving on to other observations. This approach ensures clients feel heard and respected, thereby strengthening trust and loyalty. “I think one of the biggest pitfalls of practices is just not [taking a moment from problem solving] and listening to what your client wants."

The benefits of practice ownership

For those not yet practice owners, Dr. Bruns encouraged exploring ownership opportunities, especially given the evolving models in the veterinary profession. She highlighted the support available through PetSmart Veterinary Services, where veterinarians can own their practices with substantial backing. Ownership allows veterinarians to implement their vision and create a magical experience for clients and staff alike. "If you're the boss, the buck stops with you,” she said, “You authentically can make those changes."

Closing thoughts

Bruns concluded by urging veterinarians to find their unique brand of magic. She likened this to the distinctiveness of Disney princesses, each with their own strengths and passions. Identifying and harnessing one's personal magic can lead to more innovative and satisfying practice management, ultimately benefiting clients, pets, and the veterinary team. By embracing the art of customer service and creating a magical experience, veterinarians can transform their practices, enhance client loyalty, and foster a happier, more cohesive team, said Bruns.

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