In today’s Internet age, the inundation of online information has brought the entire world to our fingertips on a mobile screen. It’s also caused people to develop a need and desire to stay connected at all times. As such, many people now live their lives out in the open, and usually expect that others—including businesses—will share everything as well.
This is where transparency comes in.
At its core, transparency means that a company doesn’t hide anything. That means no hidden agendas or conditions, no holding back essential information, and making sure all communications are accurate.
While you don’t need to share the details of your every move, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with a new wave of tech-savvy, millennial clients for whom skepticism is a constant state of mind. By being forthright when it comes to pet health information, as well as the cost of services, it can be much easier to maintain the trust of pet owners. Transparency is essential to attracting and keeping loyal, compliant and satisfied pet owners.
Nerve-wracking as it may be, it can be incredibly beneficial for veterinary practices. It’s not just good ethics; it’s also great business acumen. When your clinic is open and honest, you can better engage clients for the overall improvement of your business.
So, if you’re ready to keep it real and let the cat out of the bag at your practice, keep reading to learn how your business can benefit from transparency.
Work Better as a Team
There’s a tendency in business to think openness is between just clients and professionals, but it actually starts somewhere else entirely: between staff members themselves. By encouraging an internal system that’s clear as day, you can create an open environment in which employees and employers can work as a cohesive, efficient team.
When staff are open with one another about processes, training, and even organizing shifts, each person feels included in the day-to-day operations that keep a veterinary clinic running smoothly and everyone stays on the same page. As a bonus, when this happens, it’s easier to ensure that pet owners receive the same message from everyone they meet in the clinic.
Your pet owners are getting consistent information in your practice—now, back it up at home with printable ClientEd Online articles!
This clarity can help your team become stronger by helping to eliminate confusion and encouraging better communication and compliance rates with pet owners. Every member of your team plays an important part in ensuring that pets and their owners receive the best service possible, and keeping this communication clear can help to identify any areas that may need improvement.
Improve Veterinary Care and Customer Service
When your veterinary practice is transparent and forthcoming, it’s not uncommon for staff and clients to return the favor—which can help you adjust or improve your services.
Studies show that we act differently when we know we are being watched, so by putting the spotlight on your practice helps you make sure everyone is accountable at every step of the animal care process.
This approach also exposes any misconduct or misunderstandings, both potentially dangerous threats in the healthcare industry. When people are honest with one another about misgivings and gaps in knowledge, it’s much easier to sort out the problem with further training or other assistance, so your practice can maintain a seamless quality of service that won’t betray the trust of your clients.
Build Trust with Pet Owners
Transparency is more than just a buzz word used to make a business appear more client-friendly—it’s a bona fide way to connect with pet owners on a deeper level to gain their trust. In order to build strong relationships with pet owners, you need to have a solid foundation of trust, and more often than not, that will require a level of transparency.
For example, owning up to any mistakes is a great way to start, but shouldn’t be the extent of your efforts to be transparent with pet owners. All communication should be straightforward, not just the mistakes. When you are open about all news and happenings at your veterinary clinic, pet owners will be more likely to forgive any mistakes because the level of communication will appear normal, rather than a last-minute effort to gloss over an error.
Engage Pet Owners on a Deeper Level
Pet owners obviously love their pets, so it takes a lot to trust another person with their care. For that reason, your clients want to forge a human connection with you to make the process easier.
Transparency breaks down the “us vs. them” dichotomy that sometimes happens between veterinary professionals and the pet owner, and encourages the client to be more engaged in the pet care process. Clients want to be involved and included in the care of their beloved pets, and an honest environment is most conducive to that.
For example, although sharing pet health information with owners may seem like a given, it can be tempting to gloss over the details to save time in the exam room. Try to give your clients as much instruction as possible, without overwhelming them with complex medical terminology.
Tip: In a rush to power through an over-booked day in the exam room? Using a tool like ClientEd Online can help streamline the education process by providing informational print-outs for home reference.
Stand Out From the Competition
With so much cheesy and superficial information on social media, people are starving for authenticity. One of the best ways to stand out is to position your practice as genuine, authentic, and relatable.
Plus, there’s an advantage to being transparent when it comes to your staff, services, procedures, and fees. If another doctor or clinic in the animal health industry is chastised for misconduct, it will be much easier for pet owners to separate your practice from the news story in their minds.
Sometimes, when a business withholds particular information, it can appear as though it has something to hide. In the face of an industry scandal—like evidence of mistreatment of an animal under sedation, for example—your practice won’t be tainted simply by the fact that you’re in the same industry if you are known for outstanding transparency.
When it comes down to choosing a veterinarian, or staying loyal to a clinic, pet owners will be drawn to the practices that are transparent in a raw, human way because it gives them peace of mind. Becoming transparent allows your practice to stand apart from other local clinics that may not be as focused on demonstrating openness.Transparency is a subtle marketing strategy, business model, and all-around ethical way to operate, with an obvious set of benefits attached. When a veterinary practice embraces openness with pet owners, it can help you reach and exceed your goals as a practice and as animal lovers, making your business better for everyone.
Are you ready to open up more to pet owners? Make transparency simple using built-in blog and social planners with a WebDVM website!