Last month I started seeing comments on several of my blog posts that didn't always seem to fit with the topic. All of these contained links to a specific veterinary referral practice in Austin Texas. I sent a few emails to them asking them to stop the spam, but the comments continued and were becoming annoying. I deleted the comments that weren't caught by the spam filter on Blogger, but I still preferred they not happen at all.
So I called the practice and ended up speaking to the doctor in charge of it as well as the practice manager. He was surprised about this, as it apparently had also happened to at least a few other veterinary blogs. He was very personable and sincere, apologized for the problem, and promised to get to the bottom of the situation. It was certainly not the impression they wanted to give. I emailed him one of the comments which was passed on to the hospital director along with their apologies.
Today I received an email from them with the explanation. A search engine optimization company they had hired went out of business. Last month one of the former partners in that SEO business picked up the contract and started working on it without the practice's knowledge. They have since contacted this company and asked them to stop, to which the company agreed.
I must say that I have been extremely impressed by the friendliness, concern, and professionalism of the staff and doctors at Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital over the last month. They were very open and sincere, and followed through exactly as they said they would. They have handled this situation beyond what I wanted and expected, and I am truly grateful for their diligence.
To me the most important part of any business is developing relationships and interpersonal skills. Many businesses provide great services or products, but fail in the area of customer service. I have always believed that businesses are run by people and people are only human and can make mistakes. I don't usually get upset at the mistake itself, but rather how it is handled afterwards. I have had many businesses that I have continued to patronize and recommend because of how they settled their own mistake to my satisfaction. Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital certainly falls into this category.
Because of how they handled this problem I am posting my recommendation for them. Though I don't practice in the Austin, Texas area, if I did I would most certainly recommend clients to this practice. If they treat their clients half as well as they have treated me and my tiny corner of the Internet, they are worthy of respect and people should utilize their services. They should also be an example to any business of how to conduct yourself. Because of their sincerity, professionalism, and communication ability, they have turned this situation from one of frustration to one of glowing praise.