Good client communication is essential in practicing veterinary medicine. The ability to communicate effectively leads to trust and confidence in pet care, making your clients more likely to follow advice and agree with your diagnostic/treatment plan.
Here are some tips on talking to clients:
- Always discuss the possible causes of the symptoms/signs and be specific on why you want to run diagnostics. Let owners know which diagnostic tests and treatments you need to prioritize today.
- Use simple and easy-to-understand terminology instead of complex medical terminology. Clients prefer veterinarians who explain things easily. When discussing several diseases, tell them what causes them, like bacteria, fungus, or a virus.
- Set realistic expectations when waiting for results. You can tell them possible outcomes, but also remind them that the results could be completely normal. This way, clients are less likely to be upset or anxious while waiting for results.
- Try not to discuss prices with clients. Instead, tell them that you will work on an estimate for them. Explain that a quote will be inclusive of all costs, and nothing will be done without their approval first.
- Do not talk fast when speaking with senior pet parents. Ensure they understand you by asking them questions. At the end of the consult, summarize your treatment plan and next steps.
- When giving bad news, do not go straight to the treatment options or euthanasia. Show empathy and allow the client a few minutes to process the information. Many clients can sound out and lose track of the conversation quickly.
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