Online Reviews: Opportunity or Disaster?

Online Reviews: Opportunity or Disaster?

Managing your reputation is important, and you’ll find some tips for your practice in our article in the March issue of TRENDS Magazine, published by the American Animal Hospital Association.

You’ll find admonitions to (1) Understand the review site (whether it’s Yelp or Google or Facebook); (2) Be objective. In spite of what you might think, 79% of review are three-star or above; (3) Encourage reviews and read how some practices do this; (4) Monitor postings; (5) Respond to reviews (carefully and with empathy); (6) Increase the number of positive reviews. And see how you can make this happen.

Our article also includes a review of several middleware tools and tracking services that you will find useful.

To read the entire article, go to AAHA or in our Articles and Cases section.

That’s all for now.

Carolyn and John

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Maintain the Personal Touch

Maintain the Personal Touch

In order to individualize your customer services, you will want to maintain a personal touch.

We have written an article, published in the December 2016 issue of TRENDS magazine, which outlines a number of ways you can individualize your service. In our last several posts, we offered a peek into several: “listening to the music, as well as the lyrics,” understanding personality types, recognizing cultural diversity, and appreciating age differences.

In this post, we turn your attention to the importance of the personal touch. In the name of efficiency, it is tempting to communicate by email or introduce a phone tree: hit 1 for xxxx, 2 for xxxx, and so on. Don’t do it. Automation is fine for record keeping and follow-up with clients, but don’t do it if it means replacing people who have the judgment to establish a relationship that is individual and personal.

Some practices advise their staff to spend two minutes talking about matters other than the business at hand: vacation, family, parking, school, whatever might be relevant. That’s a way to get to know each client as an individual. And that might be a way to “listen to the music.”

Brainstorm with your colleagues to see how you can implement this notion in your business. If you can’t wait for our subsequent posts outlining additional tips, you can read the entire article.

That’s all for now.

 

Carolyn and John

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Observe the Ages of Your Clients

Your can individualize your client services by being respectful of age differences.

 

“Customer service” is the name of the game, and individualizing that service will take you to the next level. We have written an article, published in the December 2016 issue of TRENDS magazine, which outlines a number of ways you can individualize your service. In our last several posts, we offered a peek into several: “listening to the music, as well as the lyrics,” understanding personality types, and recognizing cultural diversity.

In this post, we suggest you consider the ages of your clients and adjust your service accordingly. A positive client experience will vary depending on the demographic age group of your client. For example, in general, Millennials want transactions to take place quickly and easily – probably online, with an app. When they are dealing with a veterinarian, they are likely to prefer a Wellness Plan to help them manage regular payments. Parents with young children will appreciate a place for their children to be entertained while parents are conducting business or waiting.

Seniors, on the other hand, want to travel and may look for services that will be flexible enough to meet their schedule. When it comes to veterinary services, they will look to your practice to provide lodging or refer them to a pet sitter. Some will be pleased to have home delivery of products or even house calls for pet care. Whatever the business, it’s important to be sensitive to those seniors who are hard of hearing or who have mobility issues.

Take some time to consider this concept and see how you can implement it in your business. If you can’t wait for our subsequent posts outlining additional tips, you can read the entire article.

That’s all for now.

Carolyn and John

As always, we value your comments.

Also, “like” us on Facebook.

And sign up for our occasional newsletter.

Recognize Cultural Differences

Recognize Cultural Differences to Individualize Your Customer Service

How do you individualize your customer service? We have outlined a number of ways in our article in the December 2016 issue of TRENDS magazine entitled, “Individualize Customer Service.” In our last two posts, we offered a peak into two of our cafeteria of tips: “listening – to the music as well as the lyrics,” and understanding personality types.

In this post, we introduce the importance to understanding and recognizing cultural differences as a means of focusing on each individual.

If you live in a community with diverse clients, bi-lingual staff will enable you to address clients according to their needs. Debbie Anderson  has operated veterinary practices with her husband in six countries, while he served as a military veterinarian. Now in Chula Vista, CA, with Otay Pet Vets, she serves clients who are Hispanic, Filipino, White and Black. Her staff is bi-lingual, including a groomer who is deaf and greets clients with American Sign Language (ASL). Greeted in their language, her clients perceive the service in a positive way.

Take some time to explore this concept and see how it works for you. And, if you can’t wait for our subsequent posts outlining additional tips, you can read the entire article.

That’s all for now.

Carolyn and John

As always, we value your comments.

Also, “like” us on Facebook.

And sign up for our occasional newsletter.

Understand Personality Types to Individualize Your Customer Service

Understand Personality Types to Individualize Your Customer Service

In our last post, we talked about “listening to the music, as well as the lyric” in order to focus individually on your customers.

Individualizing customer service can also mean focusing on the customer’s individual personality type . We have outlined a number of ways to focus individually in our article in the December 2016 issue of TRENDS magazine entitled, “Individualize Customer Service.”

In this post, we introduce the concept of personality types as a means of focusing on each individual.

You probably know, that there are a variety of personality types – extrovert, introvert, planners, those who are spontaneous, etc. But how would you know your client’s personality type? One way to become aware of personality differences is by using a personality analytical tool, such as Myers Briggs or DISC, with your staff.

Debbie Boone, who consults with practices, administers the DISC test. She helps staff understand how different personality types might appreciate different types of conversation. For example, the “D” persons are eager to skip the small talk and get to the results; they want the bottom line of prognosis and treatment. The “I” persons appreciate the staff recognizing their questions and concerns and are likely to want more time. The “S” persons also do not want to be rushed, but they are looking for empathy and support from the staff. “C” persons focus on accuracy and expertise and may want details regarding treatment. Individual persons will perceive excellent service differently and appreciate being addressed according to their preferences.

Take some time to explore this concept and see how it works for you. And, if you can’t wait for our subsequent posts outlining additional tips, you can read the entire article at www.veterinariancommunication.com (Articles and Cases).

That’s all for now.

Carolyn and John

As always, we value your comments.

Also, “like” us on Facebook.

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Your Clients Perceive You. Listen

cs-frontdeskHow Do Your Clients Perceive You? Listen

You’ve heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” In other words, how people perceive something is what is real to them. Facts and information to the contrary, what your client believes to be true is your client’s perception of the truth. It is what is real to the client.

The challenge for every business, including the veterinary practice, is to provide a client experience that each individual client perceives to be a positive one. While you may have a vision statement that directs your practice to provide “excellent customer service,” the challenge is to know how that can be implemented in each individual encounter.

In the December, 2016 issue of TRENDS magazine you will find our article, “Individualize Customer Service.” In it we summarize tips for your consideration. We’ll provide a peak in this post – and those that follow.

First, Listen To The Clients

The only way to know what excellent customer services means to a given client is to listen. Sheldon Bowles, writing in Raving Fans (by Sheldon Bowles and Ken Blanchard), advises us to “listen to the music as well as the lyrics.” By that he means that what people really want doesn’t always show up directly in what they say.

How many times have you had a restaurant manager come to your table and say, “How was your meal?” You probably said, “Fine,” even though you might be able to suggest improvements. What did you NOT say in your silence?  Bowles means that we should be sensitive to such a comment, or even more, to silences.   They are messages, which need to be understood.

We’ll leave you with that thought.  If you can’t wait for our subsequent posts with more tips, you can read the entire article now at www.veterinariancommunication.com (Articles and Cases).

That’s all for now.

Carolyn and John

As always, we value your comments.

Also, “like” us on Facebook. 

And sign up for our occasional newsletter.