Will clients accept changes?

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Nov 01, 2006
By dvm360.com staff

Q: How do you implement major changes, such as mandatory preanesthetic blood work, without alienating long-term clients?


Katherine Dobbs
Think of your change as an opportunity to educate your clients and market your service, says Katherine Dobbs, RVT, director of client services at Gulf Coast Veterinary Internists and Critical Care in Houston. Your first step: Learn all of the benefits of the change.

For example, with preanesthetic testing, you'll explain to clients that you may adjust your anesthetic protocol or consider further diagnostics based on lab results that will reduce the risks of anesthesia. "And lab work results within normal limits can provide a baseline for the pet's medical record," Dobbs says.

Next, make sure you educate your entire team about the change, from receptionists to technicians, so everyone's prepared to answer clients' questions and present the facts and benefits, Dobbs says. It also helps to use client education materials, including handouts or a newsletter, to prepare clients and explain the new protocol.