In today’s obsessively plugged-in culture, staying in touch with friends, family, and even businesses requires a significant online investment of time and resources. As such, making genuine, personal connections with pet owners can be a challenge—placing undue stress on the veterinary-client relationship and further complicating the practice of quality veterinary medicine.
According to an AVMA study, clients are 40% more likely to comply with veterinary recommendations when communication is clear, thorough and trustworthy. Solid communication skills, therefore, are a vital factor in developing a strong relationship between pet owners and veterinary staff—which correlates with higher client loyalty, compliance rates and ultimately, a better quality of care for pets.
So how well are you communicating with pet owners at your practice? Rest assured, not all hope is lost! Here’s how to embrace technology as an ally to improve the veterinary-client relationship both in person at your clinic and online.
Prioritize face-to-face time with pet owners
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves on the technology trend, let’s take a step back to address an often overlooked element of excellent customer service—providing authentic face time. Things can get pretty crazy at a busy veterinary clinic, so it’s all too easy to hide behind screens in the name of efficiency.
Understandable as this tendency may be, make an effort to personally address pet owners face-to-face as much as possible during visits to the clinic. By offering a warm, inviting atmosphere with a human touch, your clients will feel more comfortable entrusting their beloved pets to your care. Plus, these small touches can help you stand out from the competition as a truly unique, transparent practice more aligned with what local pet owners want from their veterinary experience.
Streamline tedious administrative operations
If you’re wondering when you’ll find the time to start incorporating new client communication exercises into your schedule, we hear you. Far too often, ineffectual technology systems designed to improve your efficiency keep you glued to screens in frustration instead. Manual data entry is a prime example of this—yes, it’s faster than writing appointments down with a quill and scroll, but time-consuming nonetheless.
If you find your team spending more time interacting with screens than with actual clients, it may be time for a system upgrade—and ALLYDVM is a great place to start. Using the industry’s best software tools, like the Retention Calendar, you can automate a variety of administrative operations to free up staff members so they can focus on interacting with pet owners on a more personal level.
Add a touch of personalization to online communications
Speaking of keeping things personal, customizing your online client communications is a great way to extend a seamless bond of connectivity with pet owners outside your practice doors. Automating things like appointment reminders, marketing emails, and even client satisfaction surveys is a great way to save time, but blanket communications for every occasion can do more harm than good when it comes to engaging your clients.
Consider bereaved pet owners, for example. Let’s say a client loses their dog to heat stroke, and they receive an unfiltered communication from your practice soon after detailing tips and tricks for keeping pets cool during the summer—not exactly the way to make a good impression. Flexibility around messaging and advanced filtering capabilities would be beneficial here. It may not always be as grave an example, but the fact remains: communications should be relevant and customized to benefit the client-veterinary relationship every time.
While improved communication skills are of obvious benefit to pet owners and their beloved furry friends, studies show that an enhanced client-veterinary relationship can positively impact practice staff as well. After all, effective communication is a means of fulfilling the reason you got into animal medicine in the first place—to ensure all pets receive the best quality care possible.
Want to give your communication skills a boost? The LifeLearn ECOsystem and ALLYDVM can help—learn how!