Click image for larger version  Name:	Simon Power.jpg Views:	0 Size:	65.3 KB ID:	50047Click image for larger version  Name:	Cathy U'Ren.jpg Views:	0 Size:	57.1 KB ID:	50048

Throughout my career, some of the most memorable highlights have involved making the smallest of changes; but ones that have had considerable impact.

Even today, nothing gives me more of a buzz than finding the tiny things, often requiring minimal effort, that can make the biggest, most positive difference. Sometimes these changes seem obvious after the event, but for whatever reason, no-one picked up on them before, therefore opportunities to significantly change things for the better are often overlooked.

An example of this would the time I suggested to a Practice Manager that the current external sign be replaced. The sign was well-branded with logo and opening times; nice enough but not really doing the job as effectively as it could. The Manager took my advice, replacing it with one containing just three letters - V-E-T - large as life, white letters against a royal blue background.

So, what did that achieve, you ask? - it was only a sign after all. The answer is: more than even I expected”….

Over the next few weeks and months, a succession of locals walked through the door, saying, “we didn’t know there was a vet practice in town even though we drive past your door every day!”. The new sign drove footfall. The practice gained clients and business boomed. Small change; massive impact.

It’s inspirational to hear other people’s success stories too.

Recently, I learned of a vet practice bucking the trend of todays market where there are unprecedented challenges in recruitment. Whilst others invest significant sums of money in print advertising but continue to struggle to find the right people to join their business,Vets1 in West Norfolk have no problems whatsoever attracting real talent to their growing, thriving practice. What is more, they achieve this on a shoestring as the only advertising platform they use for recruitment is Instagram, which costs nothing bar a bit of time, but it delivers results that most practices can only dream of!

Now picture this: There’s a dog in your practice kennels waiting for an op or owner to turn up and the dog, understandably, is not happy. It is expressing discontent in a way that dogs often do as it is continually whining. This noise is upsetting everyone, including staff, and it can be heard by waiting clients. So, what can be done?

Well, how about one of your vet nurses throwing on a canine backpack, placing the dog in it, then going about normal duties such as mopping the floor, with the now happy-and-contented dog on their front or back? What do you think that might do to change the situation? Might this also create great PR opportunities in the form of appealing social media posts (picture: nurse mopping floor with “practically-smiling” dog on her back) along with comments from clients who find it all very cute?

A practice on Australia's Gold Coast, called The Pet Wellness Centre, is where Cathy U’Ren came up with this innovative but simple solution to a problem that you may be familiar with too. It’s another great example of a small change with potential for massive impact…all for the cost of a backpack!

The examples above are delightful as they represent simple, innovative solutions to every day problems within veterinary practice. It hasn’t taken a rocket scientist to come up with these ideas either; just a little bit of creative problem-solving by people who refuse to accept the status quo and “do what everyone else does”. I like that. I like that a lot.

And so it is that I am grateful to have taken some time out recently to attend CX Congress 2019, as this is where I heard Simon Power from Vets1 and Cathy U’Ren share their novel ideas; they and several others prove to be very engaging speakers.

This years Congress included some of the most entertaining and inspiring presentations I’'ve heard in a long time; this is where I learned about the Instagram recruitment drive, the backpack phenomenon, the benefits of fixed pricing and many more brilliantly, simple solutions to everyday problems in veterinary practice - all focussed on the delivery of better client service and improving patient care. Not surprisingly, they are good for business too.

So will we be seeing you on June 12-13th at next years Cx Congress too?