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Amanda Donnelly, DVM, MBA

Column: Talk the Talk

Dr. Amanda Donnelly owns a Florida-based veterinary consulting firm.

Dr. Amanda Donnelly owns a Florida-based veterinary consulting firm.

decision-making

Don’t confuse the issue

Talk the Talk

Shared decision-making between the veterinary team and pet owner promotes better patient outcomes.

I’ve noticed a trend in exam room communications that can lead to fewer clients complying with treatment recommendations. The problem is that pet owners are often given a list of treatment options without enough education and guidance from the veterinary team. When this happens, confusion sets in and pet owners defer or decline recommendations. The […]

dental care

Oral agreements

Talk the Talk

Improve your staff training and enhance your marketing to persuade more clients to follow your dental care recommendations.

I have a confession. Gidget, my beloved long-haired dachshund, needs dental care. She has bad breath, mild gingivitis, tartar and evidence of early infection on her back molars. So, why haven’t I scheduled her appointment? Aside from the fact that I’m super busy, I dread leaving her at the hospital and waiting for the call […]

team training

A group effort

Talk the Talk

Improving client education and compliance requires proper training of the entire team. Accurate and consistent messaging is key.

Many of today’s veterinary practices are incredibly busy. Trying to see all the patients is one of their biggest problems, and yet a number of them aren’t as profitable as they would like. While many factors affect profitability, a major one is decreased revenue due to a lack of pet owner compliance. Seeing clients leave […]

The value of empathy

Talk the Talk

Actively listening and focusing on feelings are keys to building stronger client relationships and reducing the risk of compassion fatigue in yourself.

Much has been written about how caring the veterinary profession is and how the extent of our caring can lead to high levels of stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. People, companies and organizations that focus on ways to improve personal well-being are producing studies and surveys and leading seminars and discussions aimed at creating healthier […]

calendar

Buy the dozen

Talk the Talk

Persuading clients to purchase a 12-month supply of preventives gets easier if you explain the benefits well and price your products competitively.

Do you get frustrated when trying to convince clients that flea, tick and heartworm prevention is not just a seasonal issue? We know that pet owners need to give preventives year-round to maintain efficacy and ensure pet health. But clients still walk out the door without purchasing products. Or they buy one to six doses and […]

dog owner

Choose your words carefully

Talk the Talk

Clients don’t respond well to lectures. Strive to partner with them for the good of the patient, and remember to ask open-ended questions to jump-start conversations.

Last summer a friend and I had a conversation about nutrition for her dogs. Well, at the time I thought it was a conversation. She was feeding a boutique brand of food because of the supposed benefits, which to me sounded like nifty marketing rather than real science. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity […]

standards

Raise your standards

Talk the Talk

Authentic, personalized client service will differentiate your practice.

We can all think of a business where an employee told us to “Have a nice day” as we left. Years ago, I imagine, the phrase “Have a nice day” was meaningful. At its best, the phrase conveys politeness and indicates that an employee has had basic customer service training. At its worst, it can […]

veterinary care

Communicate value

Talk the Talk

Confident financial conversations are a team effort and serve to prioritize the pet.

Ten years ago, I gave a conference presentation on the still-relevant topic “Talking to Clients About Treatment Plans and Fees.” The catalyst for this article is what I’ve witnessed recently while working with several excellent practice teams: a focus on giving options to clients and saving money rather than concentrating on patient advocacy and the […]

What’s in a story?

Talk the Talk

Encouraging clients to talk about their pet or lifestyle will help bond them to your practice and improve compliance.

Imagine an older gentleman visits your practice for the first time with his newly adopted gray kitten, Gunny, who is due for a second set of vaccines. The veterinary team asks about the cat’s age, which vaccines were given previously and whether he was neutered. The veterinarian examines Gunny and brings up preventive care. She […]

Care repair

Talk the Talk

When client service falls short, remember the expression “Notice something, say something, do something.”

Something occasionally goes wrong at any business, but how employees respond to the situation can make the difference between losing and retaining a client. With planning and training, you can create a team that knows how to make things right when things go wrong. A significant part of the planning involves establishing that you have […]

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