Client communication: More important than ever
As some clients tighten their belts in the face of the threat of recession, your role in communication becomes even more important. "Veterinarians and their team members are going to need to be more proactive in helping clients understand the value of what they do," says Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM.
You've probably already seen a group of your clients feeling the economic pinch or even witnessed them losing their houses and jobs. In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that fourth quarter 2007 delinquency rates were the highest they've been since 1985. And foreclosure start rates and the percent of loans in the foreclosure process had reached the highest rate ever.
However, you're also working with another group of clients who haven't lost their homes or jobs, but they're still dealing with the general rise of energy and food costs, Dr. Felsted says. "When people have a lot of money, they may say, 'Well, I find this 75 percent valuable, so I'll spend my money on it,'" she says. "But if they have less money to spend, they're having to make harder choices. So your services need to come across as 100 percent valuable."