If you often have to deal with challenging client interactions in your clinic, you’re not alone. In the latest AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report: U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience, many veterinarian respondents shared the challenges of dealing with demanding or difficult clients. Particularly during the pandemic, veterinarians reported negatively-charged client interactions and the toll it was taking on themselves and their staff. Although the intense pressure from the pandemic is largely in the rear-view mirror, veterinary clinics still brace (and train their staff) for the inevitable “bad client.” You know the one (or perhaps more than one).
What about your “good” clients; those people who are kind to your staff, listen to you, thank you for taking care of their pet? Have you prepared yourself and your staff to show your appreciation to these clients? In the words of Maya Angelou, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”
Here are some strategies to show appreciation for your clients:
Make sure you and your staff are not subconsciously anticipating every interaction to go sour. “Trade expectation for appreciation and the world changes for you, ” author and coach Tony Robbins once said. Train for the “good” clients. Expect positive interactions, act with kindness, and voice your appreciation.
If there is a wait, prepare clients well in advance of the wait time. Instead of apologizing for it, instead thanking them for their patience. This simple change in language shifts clients' perspectives from one of blaming to one of congratulating themselves for being patient.
Show your clients you value them and love them. Build a great client experience and remember to smile often. Doing so will inspire your clients to respond with authentic appreciation of their own, potentially leading to positive reviews and referrals to your clinic. Being kind to others is being good to yourself, your team, and your business.
The AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report on U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience is based on a national survey conducted in fall, 2021. N=2,553 Practicing Veterinarians. 95% confidence, ± 3% margin of error.