DVMelite Expert Series: How to Create More Meaningful Client Relationships
At DVMelite, we understand that your primary passion lies with helping animals. It’s what gets you out of bed every morning and what drives you to put in crazy hours, even when you’re exhausted. The reality is, however, that in order to grow your practice and achieve sustainable success, you must also find a way to place your clients – the pet owners – as a top priority as well. This isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessity. That said, here are a few creative ideas for improving the client experience and fostering that lifelong loyalty that is so important in driving your practice forward.
Start wowing them with the initial contact.
What if, instead of waiting until new clients arrive and asking them to fill out their information in a noisy, chaotic waiting room environment you had your front desk clerk input the majority of their info into the system while on the phone scheduling the initial appointment? Or, what if you provide a link to an online form that the client can fill out at his or her leisure? Wouldn’t that make their lives easier? Of course! As an added bonus, you’re also less likely to end up with a form that has missing or incomplete information, so it’s a win-win.
Focus on delivering a warm welcome.
When your staff greets incoming clients and patients, what does that experience feel like? Is the front desk team overwhelmed and distracted? Are people and pets given a warm welcome or are they quickly directed to a seating area where they must wait to receive attention? As we tell all of our DVMelite practice go-getters, those first moments are critical. If the goal is to build and foster relationships – which it absolutely should be – the process for achieving that goal should start the moment a client steps foot through your clinic doors.
Make it personal.
Ever read the comments from positive reviews about a particular vet clinic? They almost always include something about the staff making them feel comfortable and important. Those warm, personal touches are what make all the difference – whether it’s remembering your patients’ funny quirks or favorite treats or taking the time to provide a few extra snuggles and chin scratches. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s something you and your team must work on. It’s that important.
People appreciate when a business takes the extra steps to make their lives easier, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by. There are a wide variety of ways you can provide your clients with modern conveniences, from texting appointment reminders to enabling online prescription refills. If it’s feasible, offering things like early drop-off and late pick-up times and extended office hours can also go a long way toward winning your clients over for life.
Make it about them.
Place yourself in the shoes of the pet owner to gain a better understanding of what matters to them. Chances are the items that will top the list include being treated with respect and receiving open and honest communication. Respect your clients’ schedule by sticking to appointment times as closely as possible and always give them your undivided attention. Take the time to listen, answer questions and allow them to be heard. These things will ultimately create the positive client experience you’re striving for.
While animals may be your passion, it is their owners who make it possible for you to live your life’s dream. By making client experience a top priority, you can create, develop and foster meaningful relationships that will ultimately result in repeat business, word of mouth marketing and the future success of your practice.
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