The Top 4 Client Communication Mistakes Made by Veterinary Staff
1. Breakdowns in Scheduling
2. Failure to Explain Treatment Plans Thoroughly
3. Disagreeing or Interrupting Clients
4. Treating Clients Like Numbers Instead of People
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May 19, 2023 · 3 min read
Client communication mistakes can hurt retention and profitability for your veterinary practice. Learn the most common communication errors your practice could be making and how to improve client communications.
Effective communication with pet owners is one of the most important skills you can have as a practice. While effective communication is important for reasons like client experience and the success of your practice, it also impacts the level of care and treatment you offer your clients.
However, the obstacles in your path that can hinder client communication aren’t always easy to see and avoid. Below, we’ll talk about the most common mistakes many vet clinics make when speaking with their clients and why it’s so important to keep those lines of communication open.
As a veterinary professional, knowing how to speak to your clients and your staff is integral to ensuring a safe environment and happy clients.
Below are the four most common communication errors veterinary practices make with pet owners.
Miscommunications in scheduling are common in the veterinary space.
For example, if a pet owner shows up late or not at all, or if another procedure takes longer than you initially thought, it can impact your entire practice’s schedule. Not only does it make it harder to practice efficiently, but it can waste your clients’ time.
To avoid this issue, try using Chckup’s Online Scheduling solution. With automated appointment reminders, scheduling breakdowns will become a thing of the past.
Another breakdown in communication between the vet and client occurs during the discussion of the pet’s condition and treatment. If your client can’t understand their pet’s condition or how to manage it at home, they’re not going to make much progress towards becoming healthy again.
To prevent this problem, ensure that you speak with pet owners effectively and avoid using veterinary medicine jargon and terminology. Stick to the main points and avoid going on tangents. Another option is using treatment plan templates so pet owners can easily review the recommended treatment for their pets.
We know that while most pet owners are pleasant and professional, some can become angry, frustrated, or hostile. After all, this is their furbaby you’re taking care of.
However, it’s critical to avoid interrupting or disagreeing with clients during these situations. If a client has a request and you refuse to comply, it’s sending the message that you don’t value or respect them.
Interrupting is also not helpful to the situation. Nobody likes it when they’re speaking, and someone interrupts them, and it’s a trait that can make you seem unlikeable, arrogant, or unfocused.
Instead, just wait for the client to finish first before you speak. If you need to, take notes to help remind you of the point you want to discuss.
Your veterinary practice is, first and foremost, a business. Yes, you’re in the business of helping people, but not for free — you need to profit from your services so you can afford to live, just like everyone else.
While it’s always good to view your veterinary practice analytically to discover issues where you could improve efficiency to cut costs, remember that your clients are more than just numbers.
They’re human beings, many of whom have anxiety about the situation of the beloved pet. They can easily feel upset or overwhelmed once they’re in the exam room. Your bedside manner should be professional and friendly yet firm, and don’t forget that a smile goes a long way!
Client communication is one of the key factors in every successful veterinary practice. At Chckup, we know how easy it can be for small communication breakdowns to have a big impact on your veterinary practice and bottom line. We offer cutting-edge software solutions and resources for veterinary professionals. Schedule a free demo with us today to see how our solutions can help your practice flourish!
If you're in the veterinary field and you're interested in giving your practice the extra hands it desperately needs, book an 8 minute demo with Chckup. Our platform helps busy practices handle call overload, boost revenue per client, and increase client satisfaction by providing actionable insights and easy-to-use technology to help you stay on top of everything.Book an 8 minute demo