Business Builders: Planning for the Client Experience

By Howard Rubin, Chief Operating Officer

howard-rubinCreating a Remarkable Experience

All of the gurus tell us that in order to create happy, loyal customers we need to delight them and exceed their expectations. The question is: “How?”

To create a great client experience, you need to think about what that experience means in your own context. What do you want them to experience and how can you deliver that? To get there, you need to organize for it in advance.

A Simple Example

Allow me to paint a picture for you: A client enters your veterinary hospital and the receptionist escorts the client to the exam room. On the exam room door is the plastic holder that contains the client’s folder. A moment or two before entering the exam room the veterinarian or support staff pulls the folder, reads the name of the client and pet, then walks into the room and says, “Mrs. Smith, what brings you and Rover here this morning?”

This scenario puts the veterinarian or support staff in a completely reactive position. This may not necessarily be negative, but it doesn’t allow the veterinarian or support staff the opportunity in advance to think about why the client is here and what needs to happen in order to make that client’s experience remarkable.

Perhaps a better approach would be to set up to amaze clients before they even walk through the door. Have a meeting in the morning and spend just a few moments talking about what key understandings and feelings we want Mrs. Smith and Rover to have before they depart the practice. Some questions to answer include:

  • What topics should be covered?

  • What do we want to teach them?

  • How much time should we spend and on what?

  • How specifically are they going to be escorted through our process?

Following the visit, you can measure effectiveness by completing this sentence: “If we have a successful interaction with Mrs. Smith, the following things will have been achieved,” and insert your own objectives for that visit.

This is a great time to decide when you will infuse pet insurance into the conversation with your client, as well. Determine ahead of time whether the client currently has pet insurance, and if not, be prepared to explain the importance of pet insurance and why you recommend Trupanion.

Start small; take a few appointment types (e.g., healthy pet, senior pet, puppies and kittens), and with your team, define what a great client experience looks like in each scenario. Make sure everyone in the practice knows their role. This sets each individual in your practice up for success.

Conversations are central to creating the experience, and it’s important they cover all the topics.

Do you have a question about customer service for Howard? Do you have tips about how you improve the overall customer experience at your hospital? Tell us about it!

Trupanion COO Howard Rubin is a 30-year veteran of the veterinary industry. Prior to joining Trupanion, Rubin was the founding CEO of BrightHeart Veterinary Centers and the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues. He also served as CEO of Cardiopet, Inc. and Division Vice President of Idexx Labratories, Inc. He is the Veterinary Specialists in Private Practice (VSIPP) “Spirit of Excellence” award winner and was also honored by the AVMA for his “exceptional service and leadership” while leading the National Commission.

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