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Talk the Talk

nonverbal communication

The Unspoken Truth

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What are your clients not saying? Veterinary team members must watch for and decode a pet owner’s nonverbal communication and know how to respond.

I’m sure you’ve people-watched in an airport, restaurant or park. Even if you can’t hear their conversations, you easily form impressions of what the people might be thinking or feeling. If a couple are holding hands, you think they must be in love. If a teenager has his arms crossed and is scowling, you assume […]

CSR

The Gift of Gab

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A well-trained CSR team will confidently and knowledgeably engage clients. The return on investment is greater efficiency.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the question, “Do you want it done fast or right?” You might respond, “Both!” Here’s another question: Would you rather have a client service representative (CSR) spend three minutes or six minutes quoting fees over the phone to a potential client? Given how busy your practice is, you’d prefer three minutes. But […]

communications

It’s About Time

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Improving your client communications will mean less wasted effort and will help build loyalty and compliance.

Many veterinary practices are dealing with staff shortages, increased caseloads, more client demands and curbside care inefficiencies. This is why it’s imperative to streamline client communications while still focusing on building trust and rapport. Combining efficiency with client engagement is the key to enhanced loyalty and compliance. Why Communications Are Inefficient Let’s look at some […]

communication

Words Matter

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Learn to use better phrases so that your client communication is more positive and meaningful. 

Rather than making a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of 2020, I chose a word for the year: communication. As I reflect on my actions and the communication skills I practiced, I’m reminded of how much words matter. The right words spoken at the right time can build connections with people and positively affect […]

pet owners

The Client’s Perspective

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Five specific communication skills can help the veterinary team maintain a strong connection with pet owners, especially during difficult times. 

I recently took my long-haired dachshund, Gidget, to a veterinary hospital because she needed treatment for atopy. Because I had moved a short time before, I didn’t have an established relationship with a local veterinarian. My first thought when I scheduled the appointment was, “Are they going to let me be with her?” My next […]

payment options

Advice that pays for itself

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Cash-strapped clients want to provide appropriate veterinary care for their pets, and many of them are open to frank discussions about money. Be ready to propose a few financial options.

Looking at recent economic and unemployment reports, I’m concerned we might see more cash-strapped pet owners in the coming months. Clients might not have the money to pay for their pets’ sick care. Some might not be able to afford routine preventive veterinary services, which means they might not respond to appointment reminders. Here’s how […]

client experience

Improve the client experience

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Do you need to change your hospital’s systems or the people you employ? Evaluating standards, protocols and training programs will get you started.

I’ve noticed more people talking about the client experience, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what I’ve observed: Conversations between colleagues about the need for a more personalized client experience. Commentary from practice leaders about how customer service seems to have declined in recent years and how team members aren’t bending over […]

crisis

Be a guiding light

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Communicating resilience, hope, compassion and empathy during a crisis builds strong bonds between a veterinary hospital and its employees and clients.

Ten days after 9/11, I watched “America: A Tribute to Heroes,” a television special featuring many celebrities. Bruce Springsteen gave a moving performance of “My City of Ruins.” The following year, he released his album “The Rising,” which was based in large part on his reflections of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I like […]

decision-making

Don’t confuse the issue

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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

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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 […]

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