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An Urban Experience
C. Kolthoff1, E-MBA, IAF cert. facilitator, Groennevej 17, 8680 Ry, Denmark
We can calculate that a Scandinavian small animal veterinarian performs up to 100.000 consultations during their professional carrier. From an AAHA
study, we know that pet owners carry out less than
half of our recommendations. On top of this, I have experienced that clients choose their veterinarian, not based on veterinary professional skills, but based on communication skills. This call for making an effort in improving what veterinarians does every day. Let us aim to make every consultation the perfect consultation. In this talk, I will explain how I have implemented a focus on the perfect consultation for all vets in two of my practices.
The basic concept
The basis of The Perfect Consultation consists of three things: The consultation model based on The Calgary- Cambridge guide by Kurz & Silverman, the use of video recordings in the consulting room, a workshop in the clinic to get started and last but not least, the willingness to do regular video films with practice in group gatherings.
The expected outcome
It has to make sense for the veterinarians in the practice to implement The Perfect Consultation. Otherwise, they will be reluctant to do it. Here is the most important benefits of the program:
• Happier, healthier animals receiving the agreed treatment.
• Potential for higher salary due to increased personal turnover.
• Happier clients based on improved relations and interactions.
• More effective consultations and better cooperation with the support staff.
How to measure.
Facebook reviews are a good indicator of the veterinarians’ ability to communicate with clients. Another good measure I use is the Net Promotor Score (Google this for more info). Some use sending text messages after the visit with a quick questionnaire, but I find that it annoys the Scandinavian customers.
Financially I would follow Average Clinical Transaction Value and monthly turnover and monitor the development over time. I would look at individual results as well as team result.
In the consulting room, you would experience a higher rate of clients following your recommendations, but this is hard to measure. What you can measure is numbers of dentals (or other procedures) as a percentage of clients seen.
How to make video recordings in the consulting room
I recommend using a cheap and easy to use action camera like the Go Pro Hero Session. You just
press the button to start and then press again to
stop. I recommend doing it manually as the different Bluetooth apps and connections tends to confuse the veterinarians. Choose at least a 128 GB memory card, as the recordings take up a lot of space. Place the camera about 1.5 meters above the floor as this gives the best recording angle. When the videos are shot, you upload
it to a folder in the server or onto a laptop computer. I have experimented with uploading to YouTube (as hidden files), but for many reasons I do not recommend this.
We need to be aware of different legal issues for different countries and I can only speak for Denmark and Norway. Here I recommend that you put a sign in the reception, noting that you might be filming in order to continually improving the customer experience and that it is for internal use only. I we put more emphasis on informing the clients by talking about it in the reception, we experience that there is excessively much focus on the video in the consulting room.
The Calgary-Cambridge consulting model
I have researched many different consultation and communication models. Based on their proper research and years of experience I ended up voting for the Calgary-Cambridge model by Kurtz and Silverman. I hosted some workshops in order to make adaptations to the model, but we ended up deciding that it works as it is. The model looks like this.

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