It happened yet again. And it broke my heart for both parties.
I saw a rant on one of the local next-door apps from a family regarding their “awful service” from a local veterinary clinic. While I was reading the rant about unnecessary charges and lack of communication and horrible service, I could literally see both sides of the argument. But the heart of everything what really broke my heart was the cause for the rant.
It’s the one thing that cost nothing but can cost us everything: Communication.
Now, I’m reporting to you my interpretation about this rant and post, as I wasn’t there and am only hearing one side.
Here’s one thing I did gather out of the post: communication can come with the illusion it’s been accomplished?! How many times has that happened to you? You tell yourself “well I told them that” and then when you ask the receiver of the communication, their feedback is NOTHING like what you said!
From what I assessed out of the story: The woman didn’t clearly communicate what she wanted and the veterinary clinic failed to communicate with the woman what they were doing and why they were charging the charges they were charging. How many times have you heard that? A family just doesn’t understand their invoice or doesn’t understand the value of the services provided because they weren’t explained. Or maybe all of these bases were covered, but the communication wasn’t understood. How many times does that happen, Friends?
We’ve got to get back to communication. Not just talking, but effective communication. Especially in areas people just don’t understand the value of the services or the products that are being charged for.
Again it’s the one thing that cost us nothing but can cost us everything.
End-of-life care is another area that can be so wrongly done. Families haven’t been there before and even if they have been there before it’s not like they did the last few deaths of their precious animals to practice to be better for the next one. They don’t know what they want. They don’t know what their options are. They don’t know all the things that they can do to make an end perfect. As professionals in this industry it’s our role to make sure they understand everything that’s going to happen, and why it happens. Not to mention the power of open-ended questions so the family can have an active part in the creating the perfect ending for their precious love. A furry love they gave so much care to and invested so much of their heart for their pet’s entire lifetime. The power of open-ended questions! Questions like how do you see the end? What were the things that he left to do that possibly we could do today? What were the foods that he never got to eat that possibly he can eat during his very final moments? What were the things that he loved that we can have around him from his toys to his favorite treats to anything else? What do you, the family need?
And, questions that end with periods. Tell me what you heard me say. Tell me more about what you need. Define that for me so I know exactly what you mean.
After that educate everyone on what’s happening during an entire end-of-life procedure. Educate on what is being pulled out of the bag. Educate on the things being done to their pet. Educate on what their pet is going to feel and what will happen after the procedure. Don’t keep whatever you’re thinking in your head. Say it!!! If there are children involved give them the opportunity to ask questions. Use everything you do not only an educational opportunity but as an opportunity to create value for the amazing services you’re giving.
The power of communication also helps to eliminate the fear and the anxiousness of what’s happening. Let’s face it… this stuff doesn’t happen every day for a family so let’s be a guide in the process. Imagine being able to uncover every bit of fear, every question, and imagine being able to make an entire euthanasia experience not only beautiful and perfect but also one where the family felt like they were fully involved, educated, and fully prepared throughout the process the only thing their heart can feel is gratitude. Of course they’re going to be sad, but a feeling of gratitude because they were involved and they were educated.
The power of COMMUNICATION, People!