A new study by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)’s Language of Veterinary Care Initiative has identified the words and phrases that best resonate with clients when talking about veterinary care.


“Changing the way we talk about veterinary care can change owners’ perceptions about the value and importance of regular veterinary care, and encourage them to prioritise wellness visits,” the AVMA said in a statement.


“By using specific words and phrases, we can build stronger and more trusting client relationships, increase compliance, and maximise patient outcomes. The more our clients trust us, the more receptive they are to our recommendations, and the more likely their pets are to get needed care.”


The study found that clients responded best to language that empathised a trusted relationship between them and their veterinary team, offered personalised recommendations and proactively initiated conversations around the cost of care.


In light of the findings, the researchers recommended using the words ‘check-ups’ and ‘regular’, which clients were shown to appreciate due to their descriptiveness in conveying the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how often’ of preventative care.


They also recommended avoiding scare tactics that painted a ‘worst-case’ scenario by concentrating on promoting positive outcomes and focusing on the experience of staff rather than their level of education, as clients could find this to be ‘pompous’ and disconcerting.


The researchers encouraged veterinary staff to endeavour to draw clients into the conversation by using open-ended questions to acknowledge a pet owner’s knowledge and perspective. Full story: Today’s Veterinary Business