Marketing 101: Open Letter To New (and Existing) Clients (part 2)

Dear client: Welcome to our practice. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve you and help your pet.

Dear Client,*

Welcome to our practice. We are honored that you chose us to help you help your pet. This letter includes our top 10 tips to ensure that we work closely together to keep your pet happy and healthy.

1. As you will quickly figure out, your scheduled appointment time is merely a suggestion. Feel free to ignore it and do as you please. If you are not going to show up, please do not call. Sometimes, we run bets on which client will actually show up. Therefore, calling to inform us of your intentions would totally take the fun out of our day.

2. Give your pet medications as you see fit. We place instruction stickers on them because our label printer is super cool. And don't worry, we understand that when your pet's condition doesn't resolve, it will be our fault, not yours.

3. Verbal abuse is always appreciated. If possible, wait until the waiting room is full. And please be creative in your profanity; we like to expand our vocabulary.

4. Please be as vague as possible when you share information about your pet. Our doctor is psychic and can communicate with your pet, so it's just a formality anyway.

5. We're just kidding when we ask you to bring a urine or stool sample. That's gross. We'll just get it off the waiting room floor after your dog relieves himself.

6. If your cat is hissing and upset, please put your hands as close to his or her mouth as possible. We know your cat would never bite you. If a bite did occur from your own carelessness, it would be our fault anyway.

7. If you are coming for a second opinion, make sure you bring along at least 50 pages of information downloaded from the Internet. This is far more important than any medical records, lab results, radiographs, etc. Our doctor will be happy to sift through it all, at no additional cost, and discuss it with you at length. As explained in item 1, the next client's appointment time slot is merely a suggestion anyway.

8. Be sure to call five minutes before we close and tell us that you have an emergency. And then please remember to complain when you are charged an emergency fee for coming in after hours. Never forget: Unlike you, we don't need personal lives.

9. When you drop off your pet for evaluation or surgery, please leave your home phone number, work number, cell number, pager number, spouse's cell number, fax number and email address. But don't plan on receiving any calls from us, as we know that you will not be available at any of them.

10. At our practice, we encourage you to stay on your cell phone during your appointment. Handless headsets are preferred, because it really makes it challenging to figure out if you are talking to us or the person on the phone. Make sure to call us once you get home, and ask us questions about all the things we were trying to explain while you were here.

After all, we're here to help you help your pet.

Katie Kegerise, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Reading, Pa., contributed to this article.

We would love to give credit where credit is due, but we are unaware of the author of this excellent letter, which has been freely modified and adapted from the original version.

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