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The customer experience

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Abstract

The concept of the ‘customer experience’ is not new. The idea is a simple one – that a customer, whether existing or potential, forms an impression of a company based on what he/she sees, hears, feels, touches and even smells. This chapter discusses points of customer interaction; client interactions; the eight-step experience process; why the customer experience cannot just be ‘good enough’; measuring the customer experience; using customer experience to build business; and playing the long game.

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Figures

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27.1 Mystery shopper results relating to telephone approaches. The Onswitch Index includes data from over 3000 veterinary practices across the UK. An Index practice will receive four calls per month. The reasons for the downward trend shown here have not been identified.
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27.2 Clients will be aware of practices prominently situated in a busy position. (Courtesy of Nuvet and . © Veterinary Business Development).
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27.4 Providing toys to keep small children occupied in the reception area can greatly improve the experience for parents. (Courtesy of Nuvet and . © Veterinary Business Development).
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27.5 Approximately 20% of pet owners use more than one veterinary practice. (Onswitch data)
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27.6 Mystery shopper results assessing customer experience. Although more than 40% felt they had received good or very good care, fewer than 10% scored it as ‘very good’. More than 20% felt that the customer care received was ‘worse than average’. The level of customer service experienced was insufficient for 32% to consider recommending the practice. It is important to note that this is not a judgment of the quality of clinical care but purely of customer experience. (Onswitch data 2004 – 2011, from approximately 3000 UK veterinary practices)
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27.7 Client responses to the question ‘How likely are you to recommend this practice?’. Calculating the NPS for these data gives a score of 75.8 (81.3 (those rating 9 or 10) minus 5.5 (those rating between 1 and 6)). (Onswitch data)
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27.8 The ‘client funnel’ shows the drivers of footfall, which is ultimately the source of practice net profit. Customer experience whilst ‘in the funnel’ will influence these drivers positively or negatively. © Onswitch.
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27.9 Demonstrating clicker training during a practice open day. Involving younger people in practice activities builds relationships for the future.
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27.10 An example of a ‘recommend a friend’ scheme.
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27.11 Gifts from customers should always be acknowledged with a thank you note from the team.

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