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Client Satisfaction Survey FAQs

Only AAHA Accredited members have access to the Client Satisfaction Surveys.

What is AAHA’s Client Satisfaction Survey?

AAHA’s Client Satisfaction Survey is a carefully designed online tool for measuring your clients’ satisfaction with their experiences at your practice. It will help you retain clients and obtain new ones through favorable word of mouth.

Why am I receiving this at no charge?

AAHA is dedicated to providing helpful benefits for our accredited members. We appreciate all that you have done to become accredited and set the standard of veterinary excellence. We strongly urge our accredited practices to continually improve their level of client service, and we are pleased to provide this tool to help you do so. Happy clients will help spread the word about your practice and the importance of accreditation.

How does it work?

Click on the hospital name you would like to request a survey for on the landing page, which will take you to the request page. Your submission of this page will generate an automated email reply to you that will include your Practice Identification Number (PIN). An identical email will be generated for our internal staff, so that we know which practice to track which PIN to. This PIN will be used to connect each of your clients’ completed surveys to your practice.

The automated email reply containing your PIN will also include links to:

  • Verbiage for a client email invitation which you can copy and paste into your own template to send to your clients, asking them to participate in your survey
  • Information on how to add a link to the survey to your website, including messaging that explains the survey to your clients
  • A PDF version of the email if you would rather print and hand hard copies to your clients to invite them to participate in your satisfaction survey

The invitation will feature a completion deadline for the survey. This deadline will be generated based on the date you started the process, i.e. submitting the original page to request a PIN. Clients will be given 90 days from this date to complete your survey.

Should you choose to place the link on your site, it is extremely important that you remove it upon the 90-day survey completion deadline. It is important for you to understand that there is no way for us to “turn off” your survey, which means that technically, clients can take your survey for an infinite amount of time. However, the compiled results you receive as a report will only use data gathered during the 90-day time frame mentioned above.

To view a sample of the survey that your clients will take click here.

How do my clients take the survey?

You have three ways to “invite” your clients to take the client satisfaction survey:

Send an email by copy and pasting the provided verbiage, including your PIN and a direct link to the survey, into your own email template. (recommended)
Place the survey link on your website and direct clients there.
Print the PDF version of the email invitation and hand it out to your clients. These will have a link printed on them to direct clients to your survey with instructions as to how to proceed.

Your clients will have 90 days from the date you requested a PIN to complete the survey. At the very beginning of the survey, clients will be asked to enter your PIN, which will have been provided to them, in the email or print invitation or on your website. They will then proceed to answer approximately 20 satisfaction questions and submit their survey.

How do I gather client emails?

Clients are afraid you will sell their email, so it is important that you explain why you need it and how it can be beneficial to them and their pet. It is imperative to stress their privacy and your integrity as a practice.

Strategies for collecting emails:

  • Ask for email addresses from new clients and update forms for existing clients
  • Offer a drawing or incentive to get email from existing clients; emphasize “freebies” on your website for both current and prospective clients to obtain in return for their email addresses
  • Be sure your practice management software and welcome forms include a place for the email address
  • Business cards are an automatic source of email addresses. Display your practice’s cards on the front desk, and have a sign and small basket next to the card holder that says: “Please Give Us Yours Too. Thank you.”

Once a relationship is established, email becomes an ongoing part of the rapport. You can use your email list not only for the Client Satisfaction Survey, but for marketing purposes, reminders, newsletters, birthdays, updates, etc.

What if some of my clients do not have Internet access?

You can direct these clients to their local library or Internet café to access the Internet. It might be helpful for you to develop a list of all free Internet portals in your area. We urge you not to allow those clients to use your practice computer to complete the survey. It’s important that they not feel “watched” and that the survey remains anonymous.

How do I get my results?

AAHA will compile the results and email you the link to your customized report. It is important for you to understand that there is no way for us to “turn off” your survey, which means that technically, clients can take your survey for an infinite amount of time. However, the compiled results you receive as a report will only use data gathered during the 90-day time frame mentioned above.

Who developed the questions?

The survey questions were developed by experts at AAHA based on in-depth research into veterinary client visit satisfaction. They looked at several survey questions to hone in on which were key drivers of satisfaction and which made the most sense for our accredited practices. Click here to see a sample of the survey.

What should we tell clients about the survey?

Because the majority of clients will receive an email invitation, they will have the information they need about the survey. When you send the email to your clients, it is a good idea to create buzz about it around your practice as well. Talk to clients that are coming in around that time and let them know what’s coming. On the same token, if you choose to hand out a printed invitation, the information will be included there as well, but verbal reinforcement is best. Reassure them that their responses are confidential and that you appreciate them as a client and want to be sure their opinion is heard. It will greatly help your response rate if you take a few seconds to explain what the survey is and how much you value their feedback. Here are some phrases that might be helpful when describing the survey to your clients:

  • “This month, we’re asking our clients to complete an online survey about our practice and your feedback is extremely important to us!”
  • “We want to make sure that all of our clients leave here satisfied with their visit. Please let us know how we’re doing.”
  • “Your feedback helps us find ways to improve the service we offer.”

What is the expected response rate?

Response rates will vary, but you can expect approximately 25% of the clients who are invited to complete the survey. Your response rate will depend largely on how the survey is presented to clients. If your staff emphasizes the importance of this survey and asks them to complete it right away, your response rate will be much higher.

What Standards of Accreditation am I meeting by asking my clients to complete this survey?

“CS09: Client and referring veterinarian's feedback is actively solicited. Such feedback might include focus groups, client surveys and evaluations, and client input discussed during client service meetings.”

Is there anything we should do prior to sending out the survey invitations?

We recommend that you implement some staff training before you begin promoting your survey. Reassure your staff members that the survey is not to check up on them or to get anyone in trouble. Tell them that the survey is intended to get overall feedback from clients and to help the practice provide excellent customer service.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Kate Wessels, kate.wessels@aaha.org.

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