Have you ever gone to a retail store or service location, only to walk in and wonder, “does anyone work here?” In today’s economy, that has become a much more prevalent problem.
As the increasing costs of manpower, insurance, overhead and supplies cut the profit from all companies bottom line, often a reduction of employee count is the first place to cut back. The challenge to that adjustment is that the key element of client service, can often go to the wayside.  In fact, in many cases, these cuts have led to automation in place of customer service. For instance, I just purchased a large shopping cart of items from a very large retailer today. I walked down the aisles, selected all the items I needed, walked them to a check out counter, where I then became the cashier in charge of scanning them, bagging them, and placing them into my cart once again to prepare to leave. I walked out the door of the store, and out to my truck where I loaded over $400 of items into my vehicle, and then, as any caring person would do, I walked my shopping cart to the cart roundup for the retailer. As I drove away, I realized that not one person had greeted me, spoken to me, checked on me, or even asked me if they could help in any form at all. I literally had zero level of customer care other than some automated camera security system must have recorded, I was not even recognized in the retailer’s location. Now certainly that’s an extreme situation, and we all can name multiple larger retailers who have gone to that format as they work to cut costs in the supply chain. But what about customer service? What if I had needed help, advice, or to feel informed about the $400 worth of goods I was purchasing? Where has the focus on

High Quality Care, Faith-based & Superior Customer Service

Kathleen Deckard and I began the ideation phase of what would become Pets R Family Veterinary Hospital.
The core ingredients we discussed were high quality pet medicine, well above the standard in our industry, a faith-based focus in our business, which is what defines our family focus, and a level of customer service and client experience that was miles apart from what our clients had experienced at other retailers in our market area. Our expectation for our business was that if we lead with love, care, and compassion, and keep our total focus on the clients and their pets, people will come to us, and they would feel different because of our care for them. Our design began with a heartfelt attitude and focus on the ultimate customer service. As we defined what that would look like, we identified two clear points of difference that other businesses were not utilizing. First were the simple numbers of employees in our building and on our payroll to ensure our clients and their pets are getting the very best and complete level of attention possible.  And second was that we lead with love, believe in showing love, and demonstrate love for every client we service. Now these are not popular characteristics in business. Even the savviest of business professionals would tell you that the profit and loss statement will not support this, and the public will not even recognize it for the value it holds. However, I can tell you that this is the foundation of our company, and it is clearly our level of commitment to our clients.
I’ve shared with many new employees and new clients that although I have hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment in our practice, it is our employees who are the most important to us. It takes our amazing employees to be able to provide the service and medical results that has made Pets R Family the high-quality pet facility that it is today after nine years in the Saint Johns community. We now have sixty-five employees and growing, as we have chosen a path to customer service that includes multiple contacts by our staff in multiple departments on each visit. It is never a surprise to our clients when they are greeted, communicated with, and spoken to by five to six employees during a single visit. And their pets, may see, be cared for, and provided with enrichment by far more of our staff during that same visit. It is our belief that the level of customer care is directly related to the number of kind and caring staff that interact with our clients and their pets.

Experience Coupled ​with Compassion

Our six doctors at Pets R Family are all leaders in their industry. Their cumulative years of experience in veterinary medicine is over 50, but their heart and passion for the phenomenal medicine they practice, along with the high level of compassionate care, is second to none! The amazing by-product of this consortium of doctors is that the client receives a collaborative effort on all pet cases. Dr. Deckard believes it takes a team to achieve this effort. The team is aligned and focused to offer the very best in pet medicine and to provide those results as a group who truly love and care about each pet and their owner. This multi-doctor approach is not widely utilized or practiced in our industry. In fact, in the era of corporate buy outs and large corporate giants emerging, we see veterinary practices with fewer employees, often only one or two doctors on staff at any given facility. As we all have experienced, fewer employees frequently equate to inadequate service.

In an ongoing effort to demonstrate a better way to care for people and their pets, we are bucking the trends!  At Pets R Family we pride ourselves on focusing on our clients, ensuring high quality care for their pets, and having many more employees than my accountant believes we should! We believe in the care we offer and will always practice the highest level of medicine and service in our community and our industry. And you know what, our clients love us for it!