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Hire veterinary candidates with a knack for service
The right interview questions could help you achieve service excellence.
One of the keys to building a successful veterinary practice is providing a positive experience for clients. Of course positive experiences don't just happen by accident. You must cultivate great experiences by building a culture of service excellence. The first step in achieving this goal is to get the right people on board—people who are passionate about serving others. Not everyone is.
How do you find that person? During the interview, look for evidence of sensitivity to others' needs, a willingness to resolve issues, the ability to put others' priorities first, a calm and collected demeanor in the face of challenges, and the willingness to recognize and correct mistakes.
To make objective comparisons, ask job applicants the same questions, such as: "What do you think constitutes service excellence in a professional practice?" Look for answers that mirror your clients' needs.
Also ask, "How have you handled a difficult client in the past? What made the person difficult?" Pay attention to how they describe the client involved. Does he or she show empathy? How did the candidate resolve the situation?
Also notice how the applicant describes a "difficult-to-please" person. You may have many of these personality types in your practice.
Technical skills, after all, can only take your team so far.
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is the author of seven books, including 101 Secrets of a High Performance Veterinary Practice and 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices.