How to handle a dissatisfied veterinary client

April 22, 2019
Brian Conrad, CVPM
Brian Conrad, CVPM

Brian Conrad, CVPM, has been the practice manager for Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick, Wash., since 1999. During his tenure at Meadow Hills, the clinic has been named Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year in 2001 and the 2004 Mid-Columbia Small Business of the Year. Conrad is a frequent lecturer for the Fetch dvm360 conferences and a contributor to Veterinary Economics and Firstline magazines. He was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Veterinary Hospital Management Association.

Get organized and get to a resolution quickly that both veterinary practice and client can live with.

Before the internet, bad customer service-perceived or otherwise-could come back to haunt you if word-of-mouth was persistent and loud enough. But we live in a time where word on the web travels quickly and unchecked. All it takes is for one client to have one less-than-stellar experience in your practice to send them off to social media where bad news travels at light speed. Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Brian Conrad, CVPM, says that leaves you in a bad spot.

"You unfortunately are going to have a one-sided story that's going to go out for the rest of the world to see," he says.

More management wizardry from Brian Conrad

Brian Conrad's $10K management mistake.

What are your top three priorities?

Help your team learn to love the ledger.

For that reason, Conrad says you need to take action in a hurry. Here are the steps he says you should follow:

First, train your staff to know what to do. Make sure that they don't try to handle it alone and that they know who in your practice should contact when a complaint surfaces.

Then, fix the problem. Conrad suggests being empathetic and-right or wrong-apologizing. This will be the shortest route by which the two parties can arrive at a positive result.

"I think if you listen to the client and find a positive resolution, you're going to have great success," he says.

Don't forget the takeaway: Take time when it's all finished to make any changes in the future to avoid the problem recurring.

Watch the video for more.

You. Can. Do. This!

At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.