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New Levels of Client Care at Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

New Levels of Client Care at Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

Client Care Rules! Since 1983 when Dr. and Mrs. Hess took over the hospital (founded in 1955), building a business based on the highest standards of care and strong communication between the veterinary team and each client was among the most important goals.

WPVH has grown to a team of almost 80 strong, operating 7 days a week, and quality of communication and maintaining loyal client relationships are still critical to our mission. But we know as companies grow and become more complex, communication is often one of the first areas to falter. Hospital Manager Billy Hess and the Leadership Team at Winter Park Vet vowed we wouldn’t let that happen.

We recognize that to build on and improve our existing and new client communication in a vastly more complex environment for the hospital and our clients, we need to review and reassess the quality of service we must provide. And so, Winter Park Vet’s Client Advocacy Initiative was designed and is in Phase 1 of the implementation process.

Our Customer Support Representatives have always been the first voice you hear when you contact us for appointments, questions, or concerns. That won’t change, but the level and quality of commitment to providing more empathetic, detailed, educational, and problem-solving services will be added over the following months.

Our CSRs are now Client Advocates (CAs), and among their chief responsibilities is to be the voice of the client and a liaison between you and the rest of the veterinary team. It’s their job to better understand the client experience while discovering ways of more efficiently getting answers to questions and proactively informing you of upcoming recommendations for your pet’s care, to name just two.

Our CAs will be there to hear your questions, points of confusion, or even complaints. They will then turn those into actionable items to either resolve themselves or pass along to other more specialized internal teams to research and solve. They’ll follow up with their co-workers to help ensure that that happens. While the CA will often help clients directly, one of their most important functions is to form a bridge between every client and the rest of the hospital’s teams.

We’d love to be able to immediately have answers to your questions, but sometimes that requires the involvement of other parts of the team, for example, veterinarians and vet techs. The fact that they’re almost always found working directly with pets in treatment, surgery, or the ICU can make getting immediate answers challenging. After a message gets to a vet or vet tech, they must research the treatment file and possibly conduct other evaluations to bring you the best, most comprehensive response. And that takes time. However, CAs will be the point person for the team to either convey answers to you directly or do their best to ensure that the most qualified person gets back to you as quickly as possible.

Above all, WP Vet wants clients to be heard and given a voice:  the opportunity to candidly share their needs, concerns, and even fears as they navigate the sometimes stressful path to providing their precious pet family member the best care and treatment possible.  To make that happen, we’re paying homage to another of our core values:  learning and education. Our CAs have begun a new incremental educational process that has asked that they give up some of their time off so we can all gather in one place to develop the best advocacy goals. Who better to call on than people working with clients every day to identify the first subjects to be learned and streamlined? CAs will be better educated to answer questions about vaccinations, heartworm/flea/tick preventive medications, and other commonly asked questions, designed to reduce response times and the possible need for multiple calls.

Our incredible CA team of both in-hospital and off-site people rose to the occasion, and we’ll be having our first intensive 1/2 day training in just a week! As many of you know, WP Vet also shuts down for 4 hours once a month to allow for staff education, something the CA team has been taking advantage of in the last months to further hone the focus on what we want client advocacy to really mean. We’d love it if it could happen overnight, but we know you’ll see incremental growth over the following months.

As a still-privately-owned hospital (there aren’t many of us left) and one of the largest, best staffed and equipped in the region, the need for customer trust and loyalty is built into our DNA. But we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re constantly evolving and learning, and our CA team, as the face and voice of Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, is doing just that! Call or leave a message at (321) 304-3160 and let us know how we’re doing! You can also email bhess@wpvet.net.


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