Dr. Karen Felsted: Strong Client/Doctor Relationships Drive Veterinary Visits

The Bayer study identified a number of attributes that practices who continue to grow during this challenging economy have in common.  One of these is that clients in the growing practices generally see the same veterinarian every time they visit.  But this isn’t what happens in all practices but any means.  As you can see from the graph below only about one-third of the practice owners in the study completely agreed that this goes on in their practice with another 19 percent somewhat agreeing with the statement.

Think about when you take your kids to the pediatrician or when you visit your own doctor.  Do you want to see just whoever happens to be there when your appointment time is?  Or would you rather see a doctor you have a relationship with and who has a personal understanding of your health and your history?  I have asked this question in numerous seminars and about 95 percent of the attendees want to see the same doctor.  Why is it any different with people and their pets?  A pet owner is much more likely to agree to a recommendation even when it is expensive, complicated and scary if they know and trust the doctor who makes it.

There are a couple of reasons why practices don’t encourage seeing the same doctor every time—one is that it sometimes doesn’t fit the appointment scheduling method used in the practice and another is because practice owners are afraid that if associates have too much of a bond with clients, they will steal them away if they go to work at another practice.  While these can be legitimate issues within a practice, there are better ways to deal with them than by discouraging the building of these bonds.

See all of Dr. Felsted’s blogs.