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Friday, July 17, 2009

Advice To Wannabe Vets, Part 3

#3: Never forget the importance of customer service.
Veterinary medicine is a service industry, whether or not everyone realizes it. And in a service industry we have to remember how to treat our clients well. If they like you, they will continue to come back and see you. Liking you isn't all about your medical and surgical skills, though this is important. Clients will like you if you're nice to them, compassionate, and treat them well. The question is "how". I tell people to think about times they have gotten great client service. Here are a few of mine.

I was at a Tiger Direct Outlet Store in Raleigh doing some minor shopping for computer equipment. As I was leaving, my son asked for some candy from the candy machines at front. I told him that I was sorry, but didn't have any change. The manager walked over, put a quarter in the machine, and turned the knob. I was surprised, and told him he didn't need to do that. He said it wasn't a problem, and he had a son of his own so he understood. That twenty-five cents made me a customer for life, and I have told many people about the excellent client service I received. For a small personal investment and a minor gesture, he received my business as long as I lived in that area.

One time I ate at a Logan's Roadhouse restaurant, the first time at that location. They messed up my order, which is never a good thing. But both the waiter and the manager were exceptional in how they handled it. They didn't charge me for the meal, which is typical in such situations. However, they were appropriately apologetic and went out of their way to talk to me and make sure that everything went well. Despite the mistake, we continued to go to that restaurant because of how great they were.

Client service isn't hard. It's a matter of small gestures, honest treatment, and true caring for the client's desires. No, the client isn't always right, but there are ways to handle even the difficult people. Someone who can give great service will be very successful.