Mar 16, 2017 by Edward L. Blach, DVM, MS, MBA
Providing exemplary care depends on more than delivering veterinary medical procedures. Clients want service. They seek to optimize their experiences regardless of their needs. Whether they're seeking transportation, food, clothes, or other daily needs, they want what they want when they want it.
What customers don't want is to be forced to chose a solution that doesn't meet their needs or preferences. They want their solutions to be timely (now), inexpensive (or at least high in value), and to fit with their beliefs and principles (animal friendly and responsible). They want solutions that are convenient and on their terms.
How does this impact their decisions regarding veterinary care? Industry and practice data shows that fewer clients are seeking regulary veterinary care in the form of veterinary visits. Their definitions of wellness and preventive care differ from how veterinarians define it.
Many of today's most successful new companies have identified that customers want to be in control of their experiences when seeking services. With Uber, they're rebelling against taking the long-time failed experience that taxi companies offered. With Blue Apron, they're seeking the convenience and quality they can get in prepared foods delivered to their homes. They don't like the time it takes to prepare their own or the inconvenience of having to go to a restaurant to eat. Banking services are transferring almost completely to online solutions.
Successful veterinary innovation will be delivered by those who identify ways to put the customer in control of their experiences. They don't want to be forced to come to the clinic to get simple answers. They want answers now. They want solutions that they can help select, rather than being told to comply 'just because'.
Happy clients will be those who gain control of their veterinary care experiences.