10 Ways Vets Can Let Down Their Clients

Vet on Phone

It happens. We sometimes fail pet owners — in many ways. And knowing just where we fall down is crucial to understanding how to serve you better — but it takes your feedback to make it happen.

That said, here are my top 10 observations as to how some vets are prone to disappoint their clients.

Bad Phone Etiquette

I once confessed that I hate the phone so much that it’s the last thing on my list of things to do at work. And how some readers responded! Hate mail is not a strong enough term for some of the snipes that I have received.

Yet it’s true. The phone is frustrating, especially since some clients take advantage of this unpaid period of time — and thus why we sometimes fail those who deserve timely callbacks. I think that we should work like lawyers, billing for time spent. I don't know about fairness, but it’s a safe bet that this method would buy you quicker return calls!

Limited Hours

I know, I know. You want better office hours that include late afternoons, weekends, etc. But what’s a vet who wants a normal life to do? Still, I totally get where you’re coming from!

Rushed Visits

We can be a tad in hyper-drive, which can be rather off-putting. I know this personally because I have to put my own brakes on all the time. Luckily, I have great staff members who always remind me to take it slower.

Limited Options

It’s a common complaint: "I know this is what you want me to do, Doc, but I only have this much available credit." Many vets don't do a good job of talking clients through their options. In most cases, this is because it’s an inevitably painful process involving stress — money is hard to talk about in the context of a pet’s life! — and lots of time.

Forgotten Follow-ups

Scheduling re-check exams for ongoing illnesses is one thing, and many of us do that pretty well. But there are other issues — such as making sure that weight loss is happening or ensuring that slightly elevated liver enzyme levels aren't climbing — where we may fall down on the job. We’ve gotten a lot better at keeping more detailed records with the advent of computerization, but we’re still on the steep slope of the learning curve.


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