Are you communicating your value to clients?
Value statements are tools you can use to communicate the value of your services to clients and to their pets. They can be used on the phone or in person. They should be taught to staff members in training and reinforced with role playing. Here are some rules for value statements:
1. Always precede a price with a value statement. For example, "We use isofluorane, the safest gas anesthesia, because we feel that's very important."
"We use a clean, sterile surgery pack for every patient, we have certified technicians administering the anesthesia."
Or, "Our puppy package includes all the vaccinations your new friend will need, two stool checks, and a notebook on pet care." Then, proceed to giving the client the price.
Don't use the word "dollars." If you say the numbers but don't say "dollars" it doesn't seem like money to the client!
2. If a client questions the cost of an item, always give a value statement.
If the client says, "This X-ray price is outrageous!" You can reply, "Yes, I can see that you might think so, because I used to think that too. But now that I've been working here, and I know how much equipment and expertise is involved, I understand why that price was set."
"Yes, our exam fees are higher than at some other practices. We like to allow extra time to teach you about pet health care and we allow the extra time to do that."
3. If a client seems hesitant or unsure about something, always give a value statement.
"I can see that you are worried about the anesthesia. We are always very careful to use the best and most up to date anesthetics and we'll take excellent care of Fluffy."
4. If you are offering something new to the client always give a value statement (and maybe repeat a description of the product/service).
"Your appointment will be with our new doctor, Dr. Jones. She's really nice, I'm sure you will like her a lot."
Or, "I see that you haven't used this flea treatment before. It works really well and it's very safe. Let me show you how to put it on."
5. Always try to add a caring or empathetic statement to your explanation.
"I can see that Fluffy means a lot to you, and you want to take the best possible care of her." Or, "Having a puppy in the house is so much fun! Let me tell you about our puppy care packages."
6. Differentiate yourself from other clinics. What do you do better? Every clinic can give a series of puppy vaccinations. Maybe only you also offer puppy socialization classes "to help your new pet learn how to get along with other dogs and strangers."
"We make sure you are informed about new treatments and improvements in veterinary care every time you come in for a routine exam."
7. Always ask if the client has questions or concerns.
The purpose of value statements is to make sure the client understands what they will be paying for. Never rush your explanation and be sure you have covered as much as the client seems to want to know.
8. The only way you can give value statements to clients is if you understand why you do things as you do, and appreciate how you are better than other clinics.
9. Value statements provide repetition and reinforcement of the doctors' recommendations. Working together as a team, each person supports the goals of the practice and reinforces the messages we send to clients. Clients may need five to 10 repetitions to remember or purchase something. If the assistant mentions dental care, the doctor discusses dental care and the receptionist adds a value statement on the client's way out, that's three in one visit. Getting all our clients and patients the care they deserve is a team effort.