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Compassion On A Computer
I frequently speak on the need to humanize our technology. Efficient processing cannot replace true customer care. All too often, we get caught up in technological advances, forgetting that automation is only a tool to help us serve the customer. Here's a real-life example of how technology can help us get more personal in our business dealings. For more 14 years, the Agoura Animal Clinic served all the needs of our dog Mac-and practiced what I preach. During those years, we watched as it became highly automated with records, reminder letters, invoicing-you name it, they had it databased and automated. A while ago, it became evident that Mac's time had come. We contacted the clinic to make arrangements to have him put to sleep, and the clinic handled the event with care and sensitivity, all the while carefully logging the data into their computer system. When we picked up Mac's ashes, we assumed that our business with the clinic was finished. We were wrong. After a week or so, we received mail from the clinic. 'Perhaps a final bill', I thought-but on opening the envelope, I found a full-page, handwritten letter from the attending veterinarian offering the sympathy of the entire clinic staff. This beautiful letter talked about the joy Mac had brought to our life and reinforced our decision to have let Mac pass on with dignity. In closing, the vet offered his personal availability if we needed to talk during this difficult time. I thought, 'Here's the human touch in an automated world. This is what makes everything work for both businesses and customers.' But the story wasn't done yet. Recently, we received a letter from the University of California, Davis, informing us that the clinic had made a financial donation to the school's Companion Animal Memorial Fund in memory of Mac. I told this story during the opening keynote for HIGH-TECC in 1998. Just as I cried when receiving these letters, there wasn't a dry eye in the house as I told the story. For the insurance industry, this is more than a nice story about a caring business. It conveys an example of sensitivity for our own dealings with our clients. In insurance, we sell nothing but a promise; we're asked to deliver on that promise only when a claim is filed-and a claim usually indicates that our client is experiencing a difficult time. A loss, whether commercial or personal, has directly affected the client. Processing the claim efficiently is our technical way of delivering on our promise-but does this parlay into sensitivity? How much compassion does your agency show your clients? Do you send a standardized survey letter asking if your performance met their expectations? If you do, don't pat yourself on the back! My local service station does the same thing after my car has been repaired. Processing a claim is a critical moment in the insurance process-and in the nurturing of your relationship. Do you or your staff take the time to hand-write a personal letter expressing your sympathy? If not, why not? If the loss is personal (perhaps someone has passed away, or there's a major illness or injury), have you ever thought of making a corporate donation to a charity on behalf of your client? If not, why not? As the Agoura Animal Clinic showed me, creatively doing a little more than expected-especially in situations that call for compassion and sympathy-can foster lifelong relationships. I know that any future pets in the Burke household will always become patients of this clinic, even though our having moved makes it less convenient geographically. Wouldn't you like your clients to feel this way about you?
...y room personnel; dentists and veterinarians and their assistants; and other a...very room personnel; dentists and veterinarians and their assistants; and othe...
Our Veterinary Services program is scalable and capable of handling smaller local providers up to large multi-state private or corporately owned organizations. In addition animal welfare agencies like Humane Societies and SPCA chapters providing veterinary services are eligible. Below are the target classes, if your client's business type is not listed here, please contact us.