Long before I put on my first veterinary assistant scrubs, I was in health and life insurance sales. On one memorable occasion, I was visiting Mr. Morrison at his home for a follow-up appointment we set.
He lived alone but had two living sons, and he needed a better life insurance policy. He was having a bad day and didn’t smile once for the first five minutes of my visit. Luckily, I had reviewed my notes from our first, warmer meeting before going in. I remembered one note in particular — his son had just left to go on vacation. I asked: “Have you gotten any photos from Jerry’s trip?” His face lit up, and he pulled out his mobile phone. We spent five minutes reviewing the photos and laughing. He had transformed with this interaction, and with the new trust and connection we’d built, our conversation slid easily into his life insurance needs.
Translating a Sales Trick to the Veterinary Practice
Taking notes was a trick my manager taught me, and when I left life insurance behind, I carried this lesson with me: take notes, be personal, and connect with people over the little things.
After leaving my sales role behind me, I found myself joining the veterinary industry. I was able to, once again, make connections and build relationships with clients. Since I wasn’t blessed with a wonderful memory for names, I relied on faces. I used to write little messages to myself about clients who I roomed as a veterinary assistant. I did this for a while and developed a better memory for most of them. I’ve had reviews written about me specifically at each clinic that I did this for. Clients would specifically ask for me to be the room assistant or make sure their pet was watched over while being hospitalized. These connections put clients at ease that I was there to take care of their pets. As a veterinary assistant, I had built the same level of trust with them as the veterinarian performing the procedure did.
Fast forward — I am now in a management role, and I preach this all day long for every position. Customer service representatives, veterinary assistants, technicians, and veterinarians are all encouraged to use a client section (separate from the pet’s record) of our electronic medical records to input notes on the client. These notes are never derogatory, but they are tidbits about our clients that help forge strong bonds. Any staff member that has bonded with the client can write these notes and use their power for good. This allows us to remember those personal moments that we share and relate better to each of them every time the client visits us. It also allows the entire team to pick up a conversation, even if they had not met the client before. The client feels special, and the pets are taken better care of as a result.
How You Should Think About Client Success
If you could personally connect with a client every time they came into your facility, how much trust and loyalty would it generate? Think about how little time this small action can take versus the reward to your practice and the success your clients can reap in their pet’s overall health and compliance.
Ron Sosa – General Operations Manager
Ron is in charge of creating great client experiences for 3 veterinary practices: Mesa Northeast Animal Hospital, Noe’s Ark Animal Hospital, and Bark Avenue Animal Hospital. His emphasis on technology and data has helped his teams effectively connect with new and existing clients. With his customer success expertise, Ron took part in a New York Vet session with Ann Sprys and Jed Rogers, DVM. They spoke about how a more proactive approach can help set your clients up for success.