Client service: How do you measure up against your competition? (Proceedings)


8 out of 10 jobs in the Unites States are currently client/customer service oriented.

8 out of 10 jobs in the Unites States are currently client/customer service oriented. The skill the doctors and staff need to have and know are the same skills needed for every other industry.

  • The act of Branding – Anything that gives a client/customer an expectation

  • Branding – Real-estate in the mind of the consumer. Branding is what the client thinks.

  • Client Service is an expression of branding. Veterinary hospitals can have multiple brands. Identify your brands. Make sure they are congruent with the beliefs and values of the hospital.

  • Who is your competition – While it is easy to think of your competition as the hospital down the street, we need to be concerned about any business who offers better client service than your veterinary hospital. The client will consciously or sub-consciously compare you to other businesses based on their experience at each.

  • Offering great client service starts with confirming you are making the client connection. Offering services or creating systems in the hospital is pointless if the client does not appreciate them or value them. Make the client connection stronger by under-promising and over-delivering.

  • Client Opportunity Points – Client opportunity points are areas in or out of the hospital to make an impression. The common client opportunity points include the telephone, reception area for greetings and check-out, exam room, and a non-interaction points referred to as servicescapes.

  • The telephone – Greeting, On-Hold time, On-hold music, Messages, Scripts

  • Reception Area – Warm greeting, Children's play area, current magazines, daily newspaper, chilled beverages, coffee and tea bar, pet picture board or screen, and cookies are all examples of ways to make the client connection in the reception area.

  • Exam Room – It is our goal during this experience economy to touch all five senses for the client while in for a wellness exam for their pet. From a fresh smelling facility to models and diagrams on the computer, be creative in creating an experience clients won't forget.

  • The euthanasia experience – We tend to get the most thank-you cards and gifts after a euthanasia experience. Attempt to schedule at the beginning or end of the day. Have the bill taken care of before hand. Explain the procedure to the client and offer time and support. Rushing through a euthanasia experience will not make the client connection. Try to add to the experience with clay paws, cards, donations to veterinary schools in the pet's name, and more. Anticipate the grief of the client with booklets and support group information.

  • Servicescapes – Servicescape are all of your non-interactive points that send a message to your client. This would include your exterior landscape, parking lot, and sign. This would also include the appearance of your interior and the maintenance or lack of maintenance and attention to detail. Letting some of these items slip can send a message to the client that your clinic is slipping. Take some digital photos and take a look and see what it is your clients are seeing.

  • Give em' the Pickle – By Bob Farrell – In this 22 minute video Bob Farrell uses experiences from owning his own restaurants to teach important lessons of customer service. The overall theme, give em' the pickle is finding that special something you do for your clients to exceed their expectations.

  • Remember it is the small things that make the difference and that will set you apart from your competition. Spend time looking and exploiting your differences and you will find success. Client service has to continue to be developed and modified. What the client appreciates today will change tomorrow.
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