Smile! You're on clinic camera!
Sep 01, 2007
In the video, she leaned back against the exam room counter with her hands in her pockets and almost never made eye contact with the client. She came across as unsure and indecisive. She would say things like, "Well, I think you should ... " or "It might be ... " or "You might want to consider ... ." To make matters worse, she said "uh" 37 times.
I've worked with students during this process, and the results are impressive. The students are initially apprehensive, but after they've done it once, they positively beg to be videotaped again to see if they've improved and to receive constructive feedback. After all, where else are they going to learn these skills if not in veterinary school?
Well ... maybe in your clinic.
Watch and learn
When I've helped practices do this, I sit down separately with the doctor and the team member after the visit to review the tape. I'm still surprised at how effective it is. For example, one assistant repeated herself nine times during an outpatient office visit, but had no idea she did it.
During this review, you'll look for ways to cover the same information more efficiently and communicate more clearly with the client. Besides looking at what you and your team members say, you'll look at your body language and tone. Often, what you say is not as important as how you say it. And it doesn't take a lot of videotape reviews to see big changes.
When doctors don't wanna
Now, veterinarians, you tend to be more hostile to videotaping than technicians or exam room assistants, but the results you can see are just as startling. One associate I worked with was having trouble increasing her average client transaction. We had talked about making sure she offered all the products and services the pet needed, working effectively with her exam room assistants, improving her communication skills, and using passive marketing. Nothing seemed to work.