Control the experiences your practice provides to your team, customers, patients—and even you.
When it comes to the success of your practice, some elements are simply out of your control. But you can manage the experience you provide to everyone who walks through your door, says Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA, president of Simple Solutions for Vets.
Weinstein says there are seven “experience factors,” or “X-factors,” that will determine whether you’re an employer/practice of choice in your community, as well as determining your own happiness as a business owner. “They are what you want to be focusing on each day, every day, all the time—and ultimately controlling,” he says.
1. CX: The Client Experience. Think about the overall tone your practice sets and the mood it creates. “Are you a Fairmont hotel or a Motel 6?” Weinstein asks. “A limo or an Uber? First class or coach?” Decide what experience you’ll provide for your clients.
2. PX: The Patient Experience. Pets, too, form their own impressions of your practice. “Are dogs eager to come to your practice, or do you have to drag them in to give them a nail trim?” asks Weinstein. “Do they want to come to the back to the treatment area, or is it an effort to get them there?” If you provide a calming, pet-friendly environment while your patients receive their exams and care, you might even have patients showing up at your door asking to come in.
3. TX: The Team Experience. Pay attention to whether team members seem to enjoy working at your practice, suggests Weinstein. Do they come early and leave late, or do they come late and leave early? Do they take care of each other and make each other successful? “You determine the team experience by choosing the right people to be part of your team and creating a culture they can work within,” he says.
4. EE: The Employee Experience. Consider what your new hires go through when they come to work in your practice. Do you have good processes in place for interviewing, onboarding, orienting and training them? “If you want to have a great team experience, then you also have to make sure that you provide a great employee experience, each step of the way,” says Weinstein.
5. DX: The Doctor Experience. Think about what working in your practice is like for any young associates you’ve hired. Are you giving them the tools to be successful? Are you mentoring them? Are you giving them introductions to new clients and helping them to be accepted by your team? “We should be offering and encouraging careers in veterinary medicine, not just jobs,” says Weinstein. “And we need to avoid contributing to the mental health challenges that we have within the veterinary profession.”
6. MX: The Manager Experience. Those on your management team have their own experiences of your practice, which in turn influence the whole team. “Your managers help to control, determine and define the experience of everyone else,” says Weinstein. “Are your managers excited to come to work in the morning because they’ve got a great team and great doctors there to work with?”
7. OX: The Owner Experience. Finally, what is your experience as the practice owner? “The owner should be having a positive experience as well,” says Weinstein. “At the end of the day, can you sit back and put your feet on the desk and say ‘good day’? Or do you get to the end of the day and feel like you’re playing whack-a-mole, constantly putting out fires?”
The key, he says, is to control all the other experience factors. “You control them through the vision that you have, and through the systems, step-by-step processes and checklists you create to deliver on that vision,” says Weinstein. “If you control the X-factors, you win—and you’ll make sure that everyone will have a wonderful experience in your practice.”