Critically Evaluating Experiences
October 10, 2017
October Focus: Client Experience – More than the Services
Part two – critically evaluating the experiences you provide
During the month of October, we challenge you to step away from the back room, walk around from the desk and really experience your hospital from the eyes of the CLIENT. We discussed one possible scenario last week.
When a team goes that extra step (literally and figuratively) to help clients and their pets feel welcomed, supported and understood, it will make the difference between ordinary service and an extraordinary experience.
Tangibles, such as the physical facilities and equipment, combined with the intangible elements of service, make for the memorable and satisfying visit for the clients. If you have ever put your hands down on a sticky counter at a fast-food restaurant or dealt with a service worker who smells like cigarette smoke, you know how important these aspects of service can be.
What makes your veterinary hospital stand out from others? Nearly all veterinary hospitals have the same mission. The outstanding differences between hospitals are their client experiences.
So what does your client experience look like? How can it be improved upon?
WHAT IS A CLIENT?
First, how does your team feel about the idea that they (the team) are dependent on clients? Are they so “busy” that they are overwhelmed by the number of clients walking in the door? Meeting the needs of lots of clients is great, it is job security! The difficult part is managing the numbers and offering each person the best experience.
Where do you start in identifying if clients are receiving appropriate experiences? Perhaps by evaluating your hospital from a “disconnected” point of view. Have as many team members participate in the following exercises since everyone has a different perspective.
Answer the following:
- Who is your client?
- What are the characteristics of a veterinary professional?
- What is in the best interest of the pet and pet owner during their visit?
- How can the team anticipate the client’s needs?
- How can the client’s experience be enhanced?
Without judgement, critically evaluate the following as a client would view it:
- parking lot / front entrance
- initial greeting
- front reception area
- plants / beverage area
- phone etiquette
- exam room (both time spent and what it looks like)
- noise from the back area
- wall decorations / signage
- the exam process
- treatment of pet
- client education
Now identify ways you and your team can improve upon your client’s experience by evaluating the following:
- Is the appropriate amount of time being spent for an exam/office visit or service?
- How can the greeting be improved?
- What can be done in the reception area for it to be more inviting and cozy?
- How can your exam room be more inviting and cozy? Sit in the exam room with the door closed for 7 minutes in order to get a sense of what the client is feeling and hearing.
- During the exam, how can the patient and client be more comfortable?
- How can the time spent in client education be better utilized and bring about improved client compliance?
- At time of discharge, how can this time be focused and productive?
- What can be improved in the follow-up and/or call-back process?
- What else?
Work with your team identifying three areas where you want to focus on improving the client experience over the next three weeks. By using a SMART analysis [link to worksheet here], it may help you better identify, measure and reach the goal. Then repeat with another three as you see necessary.
We challenge you to objectively critique how your current client scenario is being handled, what your facility looks like and consider the entire process from your client’s point of view. After all, many hospitals offer competent medical services. By offering an extraordinary experience, your facility can differentiate and excel.
Yours in Client Experience,
Rebecca Rose, CVT