They say the best way to serve your clients is to put yourself in their shoes. This is true in any business, but particularly so in the veterinary industry. Why? Because your clients come to you from an especially emotional place. They love their pets and they want the very best for them. By connecting with them on a personal level, you can begin to develop deeper, more meaningful (and therefore more profitable) relationships – something that we at DVMelite know to be critically important. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, here are five things you can consciously try.
Less talking, more listening. Yes, your clients come to you because they need guidance, advice and direction on how to handle the care of their pet. That doesn’t mean that you have to do all the talking. In fact, giving them the floor and inviting them to share their questions and concerns can lay a much stronger foundation for a long-term relationship. When people feel they are being heard, they feel safer. The safer they feel, the more they’ll trust and rely on the care you ultimately provide.
Act better than you feel. Let’s face it, there are inevitably going to be those days when you simply don’t feel like making nice-nice with your clients. We all have those moments when we’d just rather focus on the patient and ignore everything else. But remember – the patient is an extension of the client and therefore, they both deserve exceptional service. Regardless of how you are feeling at any given moment, practice acting differently. Start with a smile. Shake hands or better yet – extend a hug.
Make compassion your focus. At DVMelite, we’ve worked with countless clients who failed to realize that compassion isn’t the same as empathy. You don’t have to feel exactly what your clients are feeling (although that would be ideal), but you should at the very least be able to step into their shoes and see things from their side of the exam table. When you take the time to understand what your clients truly want and need, you’ll come much closer to delivering the solution that will solidify your relationship.
Practice the Golden Rule. If you can’t easily muster up a sense of compassion on your own, it can be helpful to remember the Golden Rule – treat others the way you’d like to be treated. This is something you can apply internally with your staff (just as the DVMelite team does) as well as in your interactions with your clientele. Ask yourself what you would like to experience if you were visiting the vet with your animal companion and mirror your service after that. Remember – kindness, respect and understanding go a long way.
Be grateful. As often as necessary, remind yourself that you wouldn’t be successful if your clients didn’t patronize your clinic. Practicing sincere gratitude is an excellent way of connecting with others on a more personal basis. As an added bonus, when you show your clients you appreciate their business, you’ll inevitably gain a better understanding as to why they’ve chosen you versus other vets in your area. This insight can help you further hone your service levels to achieve even greater performance.
These are five simple ways you can begin to think more like your clients. As a result, you’ll create a better working atmosphere, enjoy greater practice success and ultimately achieve better advocacy for animals – the very reason you entered the field to begin with. For more practice growth tips, remember to bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often!