Getting end-of-life care right isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s essential. Our overwhelming evidence from both practice staff themselves and from owners is that this is an important part of the pet’s life-stage and extra support is needed. The benefits are clear:
1. Client retention
There is a 25% loss of client base every year, for various reasons. In our study between 16 and 19% of clients that lost a pet did not go back to the same practice with their next pet. There is a need to re-evaluate the end of life approach and establish best practice.
2. New clients
A satisfied client is the best form of marketing there is; word-of-mouth rules. Pet loss is one of the most emotive parts of the pet-owning journey, get it right and you will drive new business.
3. Differentiation from competitors
Clients want to know you care - having a specific end-of-life training programme and client support in place does this. Utilise accreditation and listing as evidence.
4. Staff satisfaction
(Compassion satisfaction vs Compassion fatigue!) Satisfied staff leads to staff retention.
5. Staff communication skills improve
Helps other areas of client interaction in practice. Cross-pollinates your other services.
6. Encourages team harmony and cohesiveness
One of the few areas where there is a role for every member of the pet team, and a very clear journey from one to the next. Encourages close team working and cooperation. Drives compliance.
7. RCVS complaints decrease
Euthanasia complaints are the number 1 complaint issue from owners.
8. Practice Standards Awards
Clear new category on end-of-life support and additional awards for training/evidence of providing support.
9. CPD that sticks
Direct relevance to everyday situations in practice. The nature of the Compassion Understood learning is set up to encourage individualised reflection with instructions and exercises to help incorporate learning into daily practice, and make self-assessment for improvement.
10. Knowledge increases opportunities
Training on emerging trends - including at home services, palliative and hospice care services. Potential for other revenue/roles that practice can offer.