You’ll come across every type of customer or client in any business, but veterinarians deal with some unique situations that take certain skills to master. Knowing how to deal with the many different customers you’ll come across will help you maintain a reputable business.
You’ll also find it easier to retain customers by making them feel comfortable with your services. Being a veterinarian requires you to be personable and sometimes that means pushing your pride aside.
We are going to take a look at three of the more difficult customers you’ll face as your veterinary practice gains popularity -- the know-it-alls, the overwhelmed, and the rude. Most of the time, these customers are going through a difficult or frustrating time with their pet and don’t necessarily mean to take it out on you.
It just sometimes happens that way and it’s something you’ll need to learn to understand.
These customers will usually be a little more demanding than most and normally act like they know what’s best for their pet. Whether you do know more or not is irrelevant to them.
I would split these customers up into two different types -- those that actually seek more information about their pet’s problems and those that just want things done their way. The former will be easier to maintain than the latter, but both are more than manageable.
If they come across as a know-it-all, but you legitimately feel they seek more information, give it to them. Be as detailed as possible and try to leave them with some extra information to take home (printed research). These customers, unlike many others, are more likely to actually read that information and take it in.
On the other hand, if you feel they are just out to get what they want, you’ll likely have to bite your lip. It may be best to engage them in the treatment process so they are aware of what’s going on. Including them will make them feel more involved.
If at any point, they start to get in the way of doing your job or doing what’s best for their pet, stay composed. The best reaction is to simply refer them to someone else that you trust. This can help you remain credible with the client while getting them off your back.
It’s quite common for customers to be a little overwhelmed or frustrated when they visit the vet. Sometimes it might be a serious injury or illness, while other times it could just be due to the difficulty of getting a pet to the veterinarian -- we all know that struggle!
It’s your job to calm them down and make them feel welcome. That starts with your receptionist, continues with you, and ends with the receptionist as the customer walks out the door. Let them know that you’re here to help and that you’ll do everything in your power to get their pet back to health.
Remember to take it slow with these customers. Make sure they fully understand what’s going on with their pet and the steps that need to be taken moving forward. A little patience can go a long way into turning a customer into a long-term client.
You will come across many different customers, but with proper customer service you can satisfy any client and keep them. Just remember, composure and patience go a long way.