Client education: Take it one step further

January 13, 2017
Ann K. Johnson, LVT

Look, we cant go home with our clients to make sure theyre following our advice. But we can offer them classes to make sure theyre getting the knowledge to offer the care their pets need.

All photos courtesy of author. In an ideal world, we would see each client multiple times throughout the year. We would interact with them and their pets inside and outside of our hospital. We would be involved in their lives, and they in ours. Together, we would all be working towards the best life possible for their pets. But how many hospitals can say they have that type of relationship with their clients? Not many.

But what if you could?

By developing client education classes, you not only allow the clients to become better pet parents by providing high-quality education, but you also allow a deeper relationship to build between veterinarians, technicians, client care team members, the clients and their pets. 

Our hospital has held client care seminars throughout this past year. We had classes on pet first aid, behavior and dental health. Additional topics coming up this year include nutrition, puppy and kitten care and senior health. In our hospital, I have one doctor assist with teaching the first aid course, and I try to have a doctor attend each class to answer questions.

Your hospital can specify the classes to meet the needs of your clients and patients. Mix and match classes like puppy/kitten and behavior. Take your classes to other local businesses. Our behavior class was taught by a local trainer at a pet supply store. It was a win for our hospital, the trainer and the pet supply store, but mostly for the clients and the walk-in traffic who were able to learn about how they can help with their pet's behavior. 

Get the word out easily with informational flyers in each exam room as well as up front in the hospital. This is also a great opportunity to use your social media outlets, such as Facebook. I usually start doing this about a month ahead of time.

Ann Johnson, LVT, is a veterinary technician at Hayfield Animal Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia.