Improving Customer Interactions in Veterinary Healthcare
How a leader in veterinary healthcare used video-based practice to reach new heights in communication with consumers
The animal health industry serves a critical function with respect to adjacent markets, most notably, human health. By collaborating with farmers, ranchers, government, and veterinary professionals, the industry ensures the health and safety of animals ranging from companions to those in production. There is considerable overlap between human and animal health science, which drives the technical nature, regulatory, and safety considerations—making animal health a challenging space for those in sales and talent development.
Our client, a leading provider of veterinary healthcare services for animal companions, needed to train professionals on communicating with customers.
Most training in the life sciences space is focused on technical communication, this use case was just the opposite. The goal was to train animal health professionals on clear and concise communication without scientific terminology to ensure pet owners are informed to make educated decisions regarding the health and care of their animal companions.
Strategy & Solution
In order to strengthen the desired skills and alleviate previous learner and mentor engagement challenges with respect to training, the veterinary healthcare organization created a new program consisting of a 10-week cohort led and mentored by subject matter experts. These mentors created program content and presented on a specific topic each week via Zoom. The live sessions were followed by skills training in Rehearsal to facilitate practice, observation, and coaching where necessary.
Cohort Design: 10-week cohort content curated by subject matter experts
Live Presentations: Weekly topic-focused Zoom sessions
Skills Practice: Training closely followed by skills practice and coaching in Rehearsal
- Skills were significantly strengthened as a result. The trained animal health professionals were now able to more effectively convey pertinent details to customers without using overly technical scientific speak.
- Time spent practicing in Rehearsal had a direct correlation with increased confidence.
- Rehearsal was positioned as a safe space to practice, not an assessment or test. Keeping it informal removed the pressure and sense of judgement, truly leveraging its value as a practice and coaching tool.
- Practice scenarios were designed to be short, simple, and paired with clear goals and objectives.
- Most learners completed Rehearsal activities using a smartphone or tablet, making practice convenient regardless of time or location. The convenience boosted learner engagement significantly.
- Mentor engagement was high as scenarios and assignments were easy to create, deploy, and manage.
Mentor engagement was strong as they were actively involved in scenario creation, not simply held responsible for coaching. With firsthand knowledge they were able to deliver more relevant and impactful content.
Highly relevant content also yielded strong learner engagement as the activities were perceived to be of high value and as a result, the time spent completing them was worthwhile. Another contributor to high engagement was the frequency of skills practice in Rehearsal. Learners were able to study a topic and then practice and perfect the associated skills without delay.
Consistent frequency and timing of training and practice sessions is further supported by neuroscience which indicates a short proximity between training and skills practice yields greater knowledge transfer and retention. Otherwise, when learners are forced to wait until the end of a long training program to practice associated skills, retention and overall impact is greatly reduced.
Lastly, simplicity was key in the success of the training program. While the subject matter was complex, the associated skills were distilled down to a select few. Rehearsal scenarios were kept short and simple, enabling dedicated focus on the skills of greatest value. Universally it is seen that simplifying skills practice allows organizations to deliver more impactful content at a greater frequency.
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