February 01, 2015


 Practices rely on surveys for client feedback

​Posted Jan. 14, 2015

Seventy-two percent of veterinary practices rely on surveys for client feedback, according to a November 2014 survey of 272 members by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.

Respondents who do not survey clients gave the following reasons: low response rates from past survey efforts, 33 percent; insufficient resources, 26 percent; not enough time, 21 percent; and surveys are too costly, 6 percent.  

Source: Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, November 2014 survey

Among respondents who surveyed clients, more than half requested feedback following an office visit. Other respondents surveyed clients sporadically. A small percentage turned to surveying clients when the practice was interested in feedback on a specific topic or when the clients were new.  

Sixty-nine percent of respondents who administered surveys did so electronically. Although 23 percent used paper surveys, the method of distribution was divided evenly between mailing the survey form and handing the survey to the client in the office.

In an open-ended question, respondents reflected on how survey results have affected their practice. They said surveys have provided information that has been used to implement office changes, served as the foundation for a dialogue with staff about office matters, and contributed to better staff morale.

Only 12 percent of respondents who surveyed clients regarded the results as insufficient to effect meaningful office change. Five percent said survey responses tended to be overwhelmingly positive and, consequently, not extremely helpful.

Eighty-three percent of respondents who surveyed clients considered the results helpful in evaluating current policies, procedures, and practices. Twenty-three percent reported sharing the results with staff during staff meetings. Even practices that received glowing reviews found that the positive feedback helped fire up staff and keep morale high. Twenty-one percent of respondents who surveyed clients described the results as a way to identify and address trends.