The VHMA files: Connect with veterinary clients

Surveys let clients rate your performance before they take their frustrations online.
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Sep 01, 2013

If anyone's ever told you, "What you don't know can't hurt you," let me say, "They're wrong." Feedback can sometimes sting. But it also can be enormously helpful. Those of us in veterinary medicine—essentially a service industry—know that. Once we fail to offer services in a way that satisfies our clients and ensures the well-being of our patients, we're headed for failure. And those who can most effectively evaluate our services are those who use our services.



That means, as competition within the veterinary field increases, practices must do their best to not only treat their patients but also to ensure their clients are satisfied with the overall patient experience. How will you figure out how best to satisfy? Designing and implementing a good survey is one of the most effective strategies to obtain performance information and identify areas where we can change and improve.

Listen up

When managers ask, "Why should I survey?" I respond, "Consider the alternative!" When clients have a great experience, they want to tell others about it. When clients have a bad experience, they want to tell the world.

When we're angry and upset, we want to vent. And one way to ensure your complaints are heard is to post on social media. A poorly written but venomously negative review can be more entertaining and reach a wider audience than the kind words a client posts. A survey can help. Surveys provide a forum for venting disappointment and dissatisfaction. Clients benefit by getting the complaints off their chest, and the practice benefits by understanding any issues with service or care and taking steps to rectify the situation.