The Do’s and Don’ts of Communication in a Veterinary Practice

“Hang on.”“Uh huh.”

“I don’t know.”

“OK.”

Some words spoken by a professional, especially when accompanied by negative body language, can significantly and negatively impact your clients’ impressions of your practice. That’s why setting standards of communication in your practice that your entire staff—from the team at the front desk to the assistants and technicians to the doctors—should adhere to can help your current and potential clients have consistent, positive experiences every time they call or walk into your practice.

Use positive body language

Improve the interactions your team has with each other and with clients. Train them to use positive body language, such as:

  • Good eye contact
  • Smiling
  • Leaning slighting toward the colleague or client
  • Standing or sitting up straight
  • Using animated body language

Negative body language can make others feel you are closed off, unreceptive, suspicious, or lacking confidence or interest. Some negative body language you and your team should avoid includes:

  • Folding arms across the chest
  • Putting hands in front of the face or mouth
  • Leaning back in a chair or against the wall
  • Shrugging shoulders

Use words of elegance

Elevate your team’s influence and instill confidence with clients by training your team to always use words of elegance.

INSTEAD OF THIS:SAY THIS:
HiGood morning
What’s up?How may I help you?
Hang onMay I place you on hold?
Your pet needs shotsFido is due for his vaccinations
Uh huhCertainly
No problemThank you
I’m going to take your pet to the backMay I take Fido to the treatment area?

Well-known research by Albert Mehrabian indicated that in face-to-face communication, words (the literal meaning) account for 7 percent of the overall message, tone of voice (how the words are said) accounts for 38 percent of the overall message, and body language accounts for 55 percent of the overall message. With such a large percentage of face-to-face communication being interpreted through tone and body language, what kind of impression does your team leave on clients? How does your team communicate with each other?

Learn more about setting standards of communication in your practice so you can leave a positive taste in the mouths of every client who calls or comes in for an appointment.

By |2018-01-08T22:20:59+00:00December 5th, 2017|Published|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tracy Dowdy, CVPM, is a veterinary practice consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is also the founder of the Relationship Centered Practice Academy, the most comprehensive online veterinary practice management course available.

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