Do you think your practice is attractive to clients? We’re not talking about it being a fancy, new hospital. What does your client see they see when they enter the door? What do they see when they just pull into the parking lot? If you don’t have someone walking the grounds each day to scoop up any feces, pick up any trash or just to make sure the grounds are presentable, you might be missing something. Is the lawn maintained regularly?
While we, as an industry, have many clients who really care for their pets and clean up after them; particularly when they defecate outside a veterinary hospital, unfortunately, there are many that just don’t. Or, they assume that since it is a veterinary hospital, someone else will do it because, after all, your job is to take care of animals. Maybe they have the thought that since caring for pets is what we do, it’s just part of our responsibility.
If you don’t have someone walking around your hospital every day; even multiple times each day, you may be sending a message to your clients and potential clients you’re not intending to send.
In addition to someone walking around your practice, we would suggest you walk through the front doors of your practice a minimum of once a week. There is a phenomenon where if you see the same thing you stop noticing it. For example, do you have any walls in your practice where the paint has been chipped off? Think about it. You may remember seeing is a few times and then you just no longer notice it, because it has just become part of the environment.
This is what happen to all of us, all the time; we don’t notice unless we are focused on it. So, once a week, or more often if you’d prefer, enter your practice as if you are a client. Look for those things that someone entering the building for the first time would notice. Are there dust bunnies under the client seating area? Are any posters or pictures handing on the wall crooked? What about any outdated flyers or handouts? You’ll need to make an active decision to look for these things.
For example, if you watched either of the M. Night Shyamalan film Signs or The Sixth Sense, you may have missed many of the “key” give-away hints about the ultimate outcome. However, if you go back and watch these films a second time, where you’re looking for these “signs”, all of a sudden, you’ll notice all those things you missed. Because you’re looking for them.
Encourage your staff to do the same so that everyone is paying attention to all the details. It is human nature for people to notice those things that are new to them. As an example, have you ever purchased a vehicle and then all of a sudden notice just how many of the same make and model vehicle, even the same color, are in existence? You see them everywhere. It is because you are focused on it now. A client, or potential client may see the hole in the wall, or the dust on the floor, or even the blood splatter on the wall as a sign that you’re not the right practice for them. After all, if you can’t even pay attention to the details of the wall, or floor, how can they trust you’ll take care of their pet? Send the message you’re trying to send. View the world from the eyes of your clients on a regular basis.