Your marketing will only be effective if your staff embraces what you offer and believes in what you are doing for your clients. Practice administrators and managers wield tremendous power in your practice. They typically take on a great workload in your practice operations. In most practices, the staff protects the practice owner from many of the sources of wasted time such as key suppliers, vendor-partners, and even colleagues. In an effort to shield themselves from many ‘distractions’, which might actually be opportunities, practice owners frequently find themselves shielded off from the ‘world’ outside the walls of the practice.
This scenario is common. If you talk to anyone who has attempted to reach practice owners on a large scale, all will relate this similar scenario. That scenario is one of isolated practice owners, who get comfortable, and for years will avoid any meaningful discussion with clients outside of the exam room. This is why veterinarians are often seen as inaccessible and unresponsive. The danger in this scenario is affecting our industry nationwide, in the form of market research over the past 10 years showing that clients are visiting veterinarians less often and seeking care and answers elsewhere. Whereas veterinarians have long been the preferred provider of animal health solutions, the veterinarian’s position has been eroded in his or her influence, because collectively, we’ve ‘hidden’ from our clients and their need for education and to get questions answered. The protective, ‘hiding’ mentality becomes viral and what may have begun as an effort to hide from distractions becomes a way of life for all of your staff to avoid being accessible to your clients. Slowly, client satisfaction can be eroded and they might develop relationships with other animal professionals such as groomers, trainers, or farriers, and in doing so, they’ve diluted the areas of specialty from which they would normally seek answers from you, and with this, their loyalty may go elsewhere.
Be accessible to your clients. Make your veterinarians available to answer simple questions and to provide education. Or work with someone who can provide this service to your clients.
Don’t hide from your clients.