Tips on How to Enhance your Clients’ Experience by Simply Remembering their Names

by Karyn Ekola, CVPM

Your clients’ experience with your brand begins the moment they find your website or call you on the phone. It continues until they pull out of your parking lot and beyond. Every interaction a client has with you leaves a lasting impression and helps them decide whether or not they trust you to take care of one of the most important things in their world: their pet.

Because there are so many interactions, even the smallest change in how you operate can make a big impact on your clients’ experience. I have interacted with many practices, and through those interactions, I’ve discovered one characteristic many of them share: The client care representatives don’t remember my name (even right after I tell them my name). I call, introduce myself by name, and tell them where I’m calling from and the reason for my call. The vast majority of the time, I get the classic “what was your name again?” question just a few seconds later.

What was your name again?

How does remembering names enhance your clients’ experience?

Consider the following conversations:

Conversation 1:
Client care representative: “Thanks for calling ABC Animal Hospital. My name is Erica. How can I help you?”
Client: “Hi, this is Karyn Ekola. I need to make an appointment for my dog Murphy. He has been throwing up for a couple of days.”
Client care representative: “OK. Let me open my calendar and see what we have available. What was your name again?”

Conversation 2:
Client care representative: “Thanks for calling ABC Animal Hospital. My name is Erica. How can I help you?”
Client: “Hi, this is Karyn Ekola. I need to make an appointment for my dog Murphy. He has been throwing up for a couple of days.”
Client care representative: “Hi, Karyn. I’m sorry to hear that Murphy isn’t feeling well. Let’s see when we can get him in so he can start feeling better.”

Both conversations begin the same, but if I’m the client on the phone, I immediately feel heard and understood with the client care representative’s response in the second conversation. She repeated both my name and my pet’s name back to me, and she expressed concern about my pet’s condition. This may seem minor, but for your clients, it could mean a world of difference in their experience with your practice.

Why do we have such a hard time remembering our clients’ names?

A study performed by Kansas State University in 2012 revealed that people who have a hard time remembering names aren’t suffering from a memory problem.

In fact, the main reason we forget a name is because we aren’t making the effort to remember it in the first place.

How to help your team elevate your clients’ experience by remembering their names.

If you aren’t sure how your client care representatives are answering the phones, take some time to eavesdrop. Are they regularly asking callers to repeat their names? Call the practice from time to time and pretend to be a client. Give a fake name and see if the client care representative remembers it and repeats it back.

For those who seem to forget names often, consider coaching them to help them improve, but be sure they understand why it matters in the first place. A helpful trick is to have them keep a pen and piece of paper next to the phone and be ready to write down the person’s name and their pet’s name as they are saying it. Repetition and practice are the keys to success, and remembering names can make a big impact on your clients’ experience with your practice.


Karyn Ekola, CVPM is VP of Product at Vet2Pet and a strong advocate of using technology to improve veterinary practice efficiencies. She can be reached at karyn@vet2pet.com.




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