Words matter: Tools for effective client communication

Published on November 01, 2016
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Partners for Healthy PetsYou know that face: the face your clients get when they don’t understand what you’ve told them, but they’re afraid to ask. Or maybe you’ve noticed their defensive body language or that “I’m not listening anymore” blank stare. Or maybe it’s the dreaded “stop preaching at me” look when you’re talking about why Fluffy needs regular heartworm prevention and other preventive care when she looks perfectly healthy, which is all too often followed by the hand wave and “I’ll think about it” dismissal.

Are your words unintentionally causing those reactions? Perhaps. Effective communication plays a vital role in client compliance with your instructions, which impacts animal health.

Partners for Healthy Pets offers a communications training module that provides guidance on effective ways to communicate with your clients and motivate them to embrace the importance of preventive care. The module includes “words that work” videos, and tips for increasing engagement in team meetings; managing the difficult discussions about cost estimates and payment options; booking the next appointment; preparing for future healthcare costs; and discussions about specific topics such as nutrition and dental care.

If you’re participating in the PHP’s free preventive healthcare certificate program, these materials make up one section of the program, and completing this step keeps you on track to earn your certificate. Partners for Healthy Pets also has additional resources to help your practice, such as a forward-booking tool and the Opportunity Survey.

Partners for Healthy Pets was created to ensure pets receive the preventive healthcare they deserve through regular veterinary visits. Led by the AVMA and AAHA, it is a collaborative alliance of more than 100 veterinary associations, colleges of veterinary medicine and animal health companies all committed to a vision of improved overall health for pets. We’re proud of our support for Partners for Healthy Pets and encourage you to make full use of its veterinary practice tools.