Sure, Brownie's not as spry as she used to be," says your slightly indignant client, petting her basset hound's bowling ball stomach. "But that doesn't mean that she's not a healthy, happy dog, Doctor."
What message does the appearance of your clinic send? And what message do the doctors, technicians, and support staff members send when they interact with clients? For a real eye opener, ask your clients these questions, using surveys, focus groups, and casual conversations during appointments. And don't forget to ask new clients and staff members why they chose your clinic. Their fresh eyes can offer valuable insights into the first impressions your practice makes.
A patient complained that my office manager quoted a fee of $250 for a procedure, but he was billed $300. It turns out the procedure was done a few days after our new fees went into effect. Should we refund the difference?
Pets that passed away during the year get their wings during the holiday season at Companion Animal Hospital of Selinsgrove in Selinsgrove, Penn. Assistant office manager Laura Bickhart suggested making angel wings to hang on the hospital's Christmas tree in the reception area to honor patients who had passed away.
In their new book, Trading Up: The New American Luxury (Portfolio, 2003), Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske found that today's consumer is willing to spend more, or trade up, for goods and services with higher perceived quality levels.
Alex Martin was raised in a dog-friendly home. As a child, he shared a bedroom with his brother and a 60-lb Labrador retriever. Most of his family photos include various dogs the family owned over the years, but no cats are in the portraits. "Cats hung around the house, but were never considered part of the family," Martin says.
Our society is losing the war on obesity. And bad eating habits have spilled into the pet population. No matter how hard you preach, many clients don't seem to heed the warnings. In fact, client compliance with nutritional recommendations for therapeutic foods ranks at a dismal 12 percent compliance rate out of the the 59 percent of all dogs and cats that have visited a veterinarian and would benefit from treatment with a therapeutic diet, according to last year's American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) study. It was the worst compliance category. The survey estimates lost revenue in excess of $110,000 per veterinarian per year for therapeutic pet foods alone.