Why customers stay
So that's why they leave. Now why do they stay? The first reason is a knowledgeable, friendly customer service staff person.
Clients also want a personalized interaction—for example, they want someone who introduces herself and addresses clients and
pets by name. They want readily available information they can rely on, and they want products they can trust. They want to
be respected and to be involved in medical care decisions.
It's true that not every client experience will go well—a letter or telephone complaint or a social media posting about a
bad experience is bound to come across your desk once in a while. And every complaint deserves a response. But hopefully your
clients will tell you about a problem before they leave the practice. In fact, more than 90 percent of customers would return
and give a business a second chance if they simply received an apology for a bad experience.
It pays to keep clients
There are so many things working against us as a profession: increased competition, diverse service providers vying for client
dollars, a difficult economy and the unresolved concern about declining interaction opportunities with clients. Most of those
things are beyond our control and are likely part of tomorrow's reality. The costs of care are rising rapidly and we're all
in competition for client spending.
As options for clients grow seemingly exponentially, retaining existing clients becomes necessary for any healthy business—even
more so than attracting new customers. Wallace says 85 percent of retained clients are willing to pay more for great service
and value—it's important to them. In fact, 27 percent of them are willing to pay 10 percent more. Plus, repeat customers spend
65 percent more a year than new clients and have a larger average transaction.
So provide the quality care you can take pride in, but don't forget to provide a superior client experience to every client—at every chance you get. Keep them coming back.
For a more detailed discussion of the data described in this article head over to http://customersthatstick.com/.
Dr. Michael Paul, @mikepauldvm on Twitter, is a nationally known speaker and columnist and the principal of Magpie Veterinary
Consulting. He lives in Anguilla in the British West Indies.