Well, you’ve probably figured out that now I’m on the “other” side of the exam table, as a pet owner rather than as a technician, and it’s been quite an eye-opening experience. Here’s the latest. I took one of my cats in to update her vaccinations (yes, she was overdue), and just happened to see the technician who saw Minnie the one other time she’d been to this vet, back in 2008 for an aspirate of a lump in her “belly waddle” (you know, that thing that hangs down from every cat’s belly, and waddles when they walk). I remembered her, but she didn’t give me any indication of knowing me … and I know that a quick glance at her chart would have clued her in that we had met before.
I don’t why it bothered me so much. I guess because I know it can be done SO much better, and I just don’t think it’s very hard to give a client the best experience ever. It’s simple, in fact, you just have to become aware and put a little bit of thought into it. Here are some quick tips for making your client feel like your best friend or only client that day:
- Find out whether this client is new to the practice, or returning. If returning, are they bringing the same pet or a different one?
- Find out whether the PET is new to the practice, or returning. If he’s returning, find the most recent history (even if it’s from 2008!) and become familiar with it. Look for indication that YOU saw this client before in the past! (handwriting, computer codes, initials, etc.)
- Be sure you know the pet’s name AND most importantly, gender! (Yes, some of our clients love to call their female cat a male name, and vice versa, so it can be tricky!)
- If you’re new to this client, introduce yourself with a handshake.
- If you’ve seen this client before, still determine their memory by saying something like, “Hi, I’m Vet Tech Tracey…I believe we’ve met before?”
- If you’ve seen this pet before, act familiar, with something directed at the animal like “It’s good to see you again, Sam!”
- Lastly, make appropriate eye contact at all times. If you can’t look at them, then they won’t enjoy talking to you. It matters.
Oh, and also know WHY they are coming in to the practice that day. Verify that reason with the client once you’ve met, but ask if there were any other concerns that you wanted to explore today. Better to know now, then AFTER the veterinarian has done his or her part and moved on to the next appointment!
Every time, before we have the opportunity to treat the animal right, we have to treat the PERSON right!