The current economy might make pet owners a little shy about offering all the care you recommend, but it's important to keep a positive tone with clients.
Bowser's mom still hasn't scheduled the dental cleaning your practice recommended. Trixie's way past due on her fecal test. And Simone's owner still isn't buying a lower-calorie diet to help the fat cat shed the unhealthy pounds she packed on in the last few years. The current economy and tighter household budgets might make pet owners a little shy about offering all the care you recommend, but it's important to make sure you keep a positive tone with clients, says Marianne Mallonee, hospital administrator and co-owner of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colo.
"With current economic concerns, our clients may not be able to do everything that we recommend," Mallonee says. "We have to remember, though, that they're still coming to us. There are just as many people who aren't bringing their pets in at all, particularly when we're talking about felines."
She recommends offering praise to keep clients returning to your practice so you can continue to recommend the care pets need. She suggests using phrases like, "I really appreciate you coming to see us today," or "Thank you for bringing Fluffy in." But she cautions to keep it sincere so you don't seem condescending.
"It's important to really acknowledge that they're doing the best for their pet at this point in time," Mallonee says. "We are in the field of relationship building, and any support, encouragement, understanding, and praise you can offer is an emotional investment in a long-term relationship of trust. This ultimately means that clients will return for the recommended services when they are financially able."