What Clients Expect from Their Veterinarian?

Overview All hospital income is provided by willingly paying clients. Because most consumers are value shoppers, it makes sense to conce...


All hospital income is provided by willingly paying clients. Because most consumers are value shoppers, it makes sense to concentrate on providing clients with the value they seek. Although every client is different, there are some basic rules to providing goods and services that exceed the expectations of our clients. However, to consistently meet expectations, it is first important to appreciate what those expectations are.
What Clients Expect from Their Veterinarian

Terms Defined

Disposable Income

Income remaining after all taxes and mandatory expenses have been deducted that can be spent or saved at one’s prerogative.

Omnichannel Consumer

Consumer exposure to information and marketing messages, preferably seamlessly, through a variety of different channels, including bricks-and-mortar stores, the Internet, apps, etc.

Risk Management

The identification and assessment of risks and minimizing their impact, such as with insurance or reducing risk factors.

Determining Expectations

There are some expectations regarding clients that can be readily inferred as being standards. All clients will want to be treated fairly and with respect. This should be foundational in all offerings provided. All clients also expect that if they are visiting a licensed veterinarian that they will be receiving competent medical care.
To better understand what clients expect, hospitals should have methods in place to actually determine this information directly from clients. In the most basic method, regularly ask clients if their needs are being met, and if your team is consistently meeting and even exceeding their expectations.
Customer service surveys are also critical in this regard, especially surveys that allow you to benchmark against others in the industry, with metrics such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS). (Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.) These surveys are a great way to not only determine if clients are satisfied with your services, but also to ensure that their expectations have been met to such an extent that they would willingly promote you to friends and relatives.

 Clear Communication

It is not only important that pet owners receive directions from hospital team members in a clear manner, but consistency of the message is also important, ensuring message integrity from all staff
members, the clinic website, brochures, and other resources that may be provided to the client.
Improving communication skills of the veterinary healthcare team is one of the most important things that hospitals can do to help meet client expectations. Obviously, if the intention is to meet and even exceed client expectations, then the first part of the solution is to understand exactly what those client expectations are.
This is best achieved through shared decision-making, so the client is intimately engaged in the decision-making process.
Clients that are active partners in the care of their pets are more vested in the process, and are also more likely to be compliant with mutually determined recommendations.
Although some individuals may have inherently better communications skills than others from the outset, what is clear is that those skills are very trainable and all hospital members can improve their communication skills with appropriate training.


Each client is an individual, with their own perceptions and their own expectations. It is not reasonable to assume that any one veterinary practice can meet the needs of all potential clients. The goal should be to practice excellent medicine, deliver uncompromising customer service, and strive to honestly meet the needs of clients, given the practice’s mission and vision. In some instances, the needs of individual pet owners might be better met elsewhere. Just as not all consumers shopping for a car are looking for a luxury brand, not all pet owners are necessarily looking for the same brand of veterinary care, so meeting expectations is all about first understanding what those expectations are.




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Dr Lobby | DrLobby.com: What Clients Expect from Their Veterinarian?
What Clients Expect from Their Veterinarian?
Dr Lobby | DrLobby.com
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