Today’s VetGirl guest blog is by Dr. Alex Molldrem, emergency veterinarian at Animal Emergency & Referral Center in Minnesota!

Is business not where you’d like it to be? Are you thinking about ways to improve marketing? One of the greatest pitfalls is the idea that more advertising leads to improved business. In some instances it can, but it would be short-lived unless you also focus on providing great service. Check out our previous blog on marketing and advertising for more info.

If you create a great service that is worth talking about, people will talk about it. Again, the best advertising that you can get is word-of-mouth. With the abundance of online reviews nowadays, people rely on word-of-mouth and reviews.

Think of the last time you bought something off of Ask yourself what influenced you the most to make that purchase. Was it an advertisement, or was it a review of that product?
Think of how you chose your dentist. Was it an ad, or was it from a review where someone had a good experience there?

If you have advertising, but you do not provide a remarkable service, you’re still invisible. Invisible businesses don’t succeed, even with great advertising.

You can also compare other businesses and see how they relate to yours. For example, I walked into a Jimmy John’s sub shop, and literally 5 workers said hi to me. Even the guy in the back sweeping the floor looked up to say hi. They acknowledged me and made me feel like I belonged there, they wanted me there, and I was not a burden to them. Does your reception staff do the same?

Improving service is low-cost… or even free. What does it cost for your reception staff to make someone feel welcomed? What does it cost to know a client’s name before they walk in? Does it cost anything to write a note in a client’s record to remind yourself of something you can ask them at their next visit? How much does it really cost to provide a small area in your lobby for kids to play? What does it cost to stay on time? I can tell you that a client will know exactly how much time it costs them if you’re running 30 minutes behind in appointments. I bet you know the cost of a lost client.

Are Monday mornings typically a busy morning for you? Recognize this and allow some flex time to keep your appointments on schedule. Make it a goal to give at least 1 compliment about each pet that you see.
I recently saw a dog for a urinary tract infection. The dog had a horrible hair matt on his side that I could tell the owner had attempted to cut out with a scissors. “Want me to shave out this hair matt for you while you’re here?” I asked. That client was so happy, and even said that the hair matt was bothering her more that the dog peeing around the house!

Sometimes, these extra things are more remarkable to a client than the quality of the vet care. It’s these little perks, which may not cost you a single cent, that may make the difference between a successful business or not. A friend talking about a great veterinary visit is the best advertising you can get!

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