August 2014 



Phone (908) 823-4607-

Bad Customer Service - Understanding the Psychology Behind Customer Service 


You are at work; you have exactly 45 inutes to eat lunch so you quickly dash off to hit the drive-thru window at your favorite burger joint. Within 20 minutes, you are back at work and sitting down to eat your lunch. What's in the bag? Is it what you ordered? Did they forget something? Was the service fast enough? Was the employee friendly toward you? Is the order you received accurate (aka - Did you get it 'your way')? Sometimes you don't get what you ordered, or what you expected - if this is the case you have just experienced bad customer service.


How do you feel? Why do you feel that way? There really is a certain psychology involved with customer service - what you want, why you want it and how you feel about it. Taking some time to understand the psychological side of delivering a service can help you and your team deliver better services to your clients. Better service delivery means delivering more medical care to pets in need, happier clients, and a more successful and profitable business - a complete Circle of Care!


Does Your Staff Pet Sit?



Have you been approached by your staff, or have you heard through the employee 'grapevine,' or has your clientele informed you that they have been directly solicited by your employees for pet sitting opportunities? And if your Practice provides boarding services, is this adversely affecting that revenue stream? Or are you worried that your clients believe if something goes wrong while your employee is pet sitting for them, that the pet sitting activity is an extension of your Practice and it's your fault? If 'employees as pet-sitters' is cause for concern, then you should clearly define whether or not your employees can pet-sit for clients and if so, determine whether it is part of an 'Outside Employment' and/or 'Conflict of Interest' policy to allow such activities.


If you do not provide boarding services, and are not interested in having this employee activity as a practice extension service to your clients, then within your 'Outside Employment' policy, we suggest you incorporate a non-solicitation provision.

This policy permits employees to provide pet sitting services to the Practice's clients without directly soliciting them. Additionally, it clarifies the independent contractual relationship, and even though the pet sitter is an employee of the Practice, the pet sitting services are not under the auspices of your Practice. The employee who is engaged to pet-sit for one of the Practice's clients should inform the Practice of the client's name and must sign an indemnification agreement with the Practice to acknowledge that the pet sitting services are not within the scope of his/her employment with the Practice. Why? In case there are any allegations by the client of mistreatment, theft, etc., the Practice needs to distance itself from the business arrangement and ensure the employee and not the Practice is responsible to the client. Additionally, as with any outside employment, it should not impact the performance of the employee's duties for the practice.


If your Practice does offer boarding services, the provision of a "competing" service by your employees poses a conflict of interest, which should be addressed in your employee manual's 'Conflict of Interest' policy.


In general, a conflict of interest is any interest, relationship or activity that competes or is incompatible with the best interests of the practice or which potentially might adversely affect the services of the practice. If your Practice provides boarding, then your employees who pet-sit have the responsibility to notify the Practice Manager to obtain consent to enter into or be permitted to continue such activity.


Pet sitting by your employees should be addressed to ensure that there is no misunderstandings about the scope of services and whether it creates a conflict of interest with the services provided by the practice. A well-thought out and documented policy ensures the risks associated with such activities are identified and properly allocated between the employer and employee and provides clarity to the clients that their business relationship is with the employee, not the practice. 


Email Us For Help With Your Policy! 

In This Issue

5 Wellness Tips For Veterinarians



Be Open to Change - Recognize others who have tried things a different way and have had success.  Focus on how the change can help you.


Trust Others and Be Honest - Integrity is important.  Give honest answers so people know when they come to you, you will tell the truth.  Choose to believe others may be telling the truth as well.


Be Willing To Admit Mistakes - You are better off learning from a mistake and making improvements moving forward than digging in and losing your ability to be objective.


Thank Your Staff - A little gratitude goes a long way.  When people feel appreciated they are more likely going to WANT to help you and have a positive attitude. 


Take a Moment to Enjoy Life and Take Care of Yourself - Pursue health.  Make it a goal in your life to take care of yourself.  Take timeouts when needed to focus on family and friends.


 Copyright 2014
2014 - Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc.

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