Halt the client exodus

Article

Stop clients from walking out your practice's door today.

Q: Lately our practice has lost several clients, and we don't know why. What can we do to stop more clients from walking out the door?

Clients leave when their expectations are no longer being met, says Dr. Jim Kramer, CVPM, a partner at Columbus Animal Hospital in Columbus, Neb. To find out what those expectations are, you and your team members must ask. Dr. Kramer suggests surveying new and long-term clients about what initially attracted them to your practice. Was it staff friendliness? The quality of care you provide?

Dr. Jim Kramer

Talk to all of your clients—even the ones who just recently left—about what they perceive to be your practice's strengths and weaknesses, he says. "Print a list of ex-clients and call them to ask why they left," he says. "Since they're already gone, they'll probably be happy to tell you." After you've tallied all the client comments, hold a staff meeting to openly discuss pet owners' expectations and ways your team can meet them.

But to keep clients from walking out the door today, Dr. Kramer says you must give clients genuine concern, sincere effort, and constant communication. Then if your practice exhibits a few shortcomings along the way, they'll accept them. "If you laugh with them, cry with them, and truly care about their pets," he says, "they won't leave you.

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