Service standards can elevate the level of veterinary customer service and differentiate your business. Create standards that help to create a positive memory for the pet owner. Start with a few standards at a time and train everyone on the team to meet the standards. Develop standards for the most common client interactions such as on the phone, in the exam room and during check-in and check-out times. Include the entire team in dialogue about standards to capture great ideas, facilitate training and to ensure buy-in.
Avoid creating standards that are scripted phrases which lack authenticity. For example, train team members to use appropriate phrases such as, “Hi! This must be Josie-she’s so cute. Tell me more about what’s going on with her” rather than merely asking “How can I help you?”
To further differentiate your practice with client service, brainstorm ideas with the team on how to cater to the needs of clients and how to exceed client expectations. This may include changes to the reception area to make clients more comfortable such as offering gourmet coffee and candy or adding a digital photo frame with pictures of clients’ pets. Consider offering a pet pick up and drop-off service for clients who are extremely busy or have difficulty getting to the practice. Set up a protocol to text clients rather than call them if this is their preferred means of communication. Offer monthly dog obedience classes so clients don’t have to seek out a dog trainer on their own. Surprise and delight clients by sending pets home with bandanas or toys after they have been hospitalized.