Dec 29, 2016 by Edward L. Blach, DVM, MS, MBA
Veterinarians are taught the sciences. Our clients want service. Therein lies the dilemma we face when trying to satisfy customers. We were recruited to be veterinarians for our interest and skills in the sciences and our love for animals. Yet, we serve people, and as a profession, we're not well-trained in customer service.
Science versus service is the issue. Which should you focus upon, and why? Providing quality veterinary medicine is the price of admission. It is assumed. If you aren't able to provide quality medicine, clients will learn that quickly and go somewhere else. What differentiates the healthiest practices is their ability to serve people. Exemplary care must include both veterinary care and customer care. Take care of the people you serve and you will be successful! Here are some recommendations:
- Become a good listener, so that you can truly hear what your client wants. This is often not just fixing what is wrong their animal.
- Have a servant's heart. If you develop a love for serving people, it will be difficult to hide. It will be obvious, and you will attract clients and staff who value your desire to serve others.
- Make your service special. The little things such as call-backs to check on your clients and patients will differentiate you by telling your clients that you will go the extra mile to care for them.
- Show how much you care! This is the key to veterinary medicine and to most service businesses. Everything about your service should demonstrate how much you care.
You can focus on both science and service. Be an exemplary practice and provide excellent service in both categories!