What makes you special?

by Rebecca on March 29, 2015

Note: We are sharing some of the most popular posts from our archives. We believe this topic is as relevant today as it was when originally written and we hope you’re challenged in new ways.

customer serviceI hear this all the time, “We practice better medicine”.  Really?  Is practicing great medicine even really that hard?  Yes, when you first get out of school, learning all the real world medicine can be a challenging task.  After a few years though do you really think your hospital is THAT much better than the one down the street at the practice of medicine?

I probably have a few people pretty mad at me about what I just wrote and yes, I agree you do practice better medicine than the guy down the street who has not upgraded his treatment protocols since the early 80’s.

What really makes your hospital special is the way your team makes your clients and their pets feel.  Your hospital’s customer service is what can truly separate you from the animal hospital down the road.

My team and I have had a few great and not so great customer service experiences lately.  In one week, Nicole visited a hospital and stood in the lobby for 4 minutes before someone at the front desk acknowledged her.  At another hospital she was placed on hold for 9.5 minutes (no, that is not a typo) while calling to check in on a patient of ours.  These may have been isolated incidents- the hospitals may have been very busy but this is NOT GREAT customer service as a matter of fact it is not even good customer service.

Not to be all negative, we have many GREAT customer experiences and one this week was a practice manager agreeing to come in on a Sunday to discharge a surgical case of ours because the owners live 2 hours away and were going to be driving back by the hospital on Sunday.  It made me feel great that she was willing to come in let alone how appreciative the owners were that they did not have to make an additional trip.

Please don’t think I am saying you need to be open on Sundays but most people don’t bother going the first mile let alone the second mile! What she did was a great example of doing more than what is expected which is how GREAT customer service should be defined.

Great medicine should be a given, but if you really want to make your hospital stand out from the one right down to road, you better figure out a way to deliver the BEST consistently GREAT customer service you possible can!

I’d love to hear some of the ways your teams are striving to deliver GREAT customer experiences. Join the conversation in the comments or on Facebook!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Billy March 30, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I believe customer service has become the new mediocre. In fact, I saw “service to the customer” listed as Wal-mart’s number one core value. Really???. I do think it challenges us as a veterinary business to offer more to our clients….perhaps “Customer experience” over Wal-mart’s customer service.

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Rebecca March 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm

I love it – customer experience way better than customer service

Really that is certainly not what I think of when I think of walmart and given that they are all about low prices I think it is impossible to do both!!

Thanks for commenting!

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Vet Changes World April 4, 2015 at 8:09 am

I randomly break into song. For instance, when I read the tweet promoting this post I immediately thought “Special, so special, I gotta have some of your attention…”. Don’t do it as much in front of clients but showing some of our own personality helps us seem more human and welcoming to our clients too so we can provide *great* customer experiences.

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