Commissioned by The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the survey explored levels of trust within the profession by sampling adults from across the UK.
Other key findings from the survey included that only 4% of respondents were dissatisfied with the veterinary services provided and 70% of those surveyed rated veterinary services as being fair, good or excellent value for money.
Commenting on the survey, Peter Heathcote, Managing Director of Budget Vets, an independent south Wales veterinary practice with six branches including a head office in Newport said, “Historically, some pet owners have expressed a lack of trust for veterinary professionals and to some extent this can be explained by the National Health Service. The public are often shielded from the true cost of medical care and can be shocked when they have to pay for equivalent services in a private, veterinary setting; therefore, it is up to us as an industry to ensure that our pricing is transparent and fair. Since the recession customers have become increasingly willing to move practices in order to find good value and excellent customer service and as a result the veterinary industry is becoming increasingly competitive; vets must inspire trust in order to retain clients”.
Explaining how Budgets Vets provide customer service and value for money for their clients Peter Heathcote said, “There is often a paradox between running a business and providing veterinary services. The majority of vets trained to enter the profession because they want to care for and treat animals. We also need to appreciate that to operate a profitable business we need to maintain relationships with clients and find new ones.”
Continuing he said, “Providing value for money was and remains one of the main reasons my wife and I started Budget Vets. In 2005 when we started trading, people were often unable to afford appropriate and effective veterinary care. We were able to build our business model to provide this by offering a comprehensive range of services charging affordable fees which has resulted in our clients using our services more frequently and recommending us to other pet owners. As the business has grown we’ve listened to our clients and delivered new services including discounts for the elderly and online users, packages for popular pets and also included subsidised surgeries. It’s a formula that works for us and one that our clients now expect, wherever they go.”