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Recently, I finished my own, largely amateurish and subjective, but personal and direct acquaintance with the veterinary clinics of my hometown of Kemerovo, and today I want to share my observations and conclusions.
From the very beginning of work on the project of the future functionality of the vetworld.net network, the creators were divided into two conditional teams:
The first is programmers who advocate the creation of the maximum number of user tools and all kinds of "chips" on the principle: "a lot is not enough", and something will be useful for users.
The second is a group of “social engineers”, to which I also belong, who believe that users do not need to be overloaded with an abundance of tools, but each tool must solve a specific user task and be useful for it, that is, “less is better” .
Since the truth is always “somewhere nearby”, and to draw up a plan for developing additional network functionality, a “card of interests” of users is needed, my team members started collecting and compiling information and impressions about the current state of our provincial veterinary sector, the results of which I today post in this article.
Immediately, I would like to make a reservation that our “research” does not in any way claim to be rigorous and complete because it was carried out in half by “partisan” methods, and not all of the interviewed veterinarians even knew about the true purpose of questioning, and the “researchers” themselves were not always presented, but what happened, turned out, and judge for the value of conclusions yourself.
And so, let's get started:
In total in Kemerovo, we counted more than thirty veterinary clinics, centers and cabinets, which is not so small for our relatively small city (550,000+ people), and the competition between professionals providing veterinary services is quite high, although very peculiar.
For simplicity of perception, we will call all places where veterinary services are provided “clinics”, although they call themselves differently - veterinary clinics, veterinary services, veterinary centers, veterinary clinics, stations, laboratories, etc.
The organizational and legal forms of all clinics are different, but the options for organizing this business by individual entrepreneurs (PI) prevail, although there are clinics in the form of LLCs, and even institutions, including budget ones.
According to the level of service quality and “promotion” (popularity, success, profitability) all clinics can be divided into three conditional categories:
Successful - they have been working for quite a long time, they are located in spacious and well-equipped premises, have a full staff of trained personnel, provide a wide range of veterinary services, are regularly advertised, have an established circle of regular customers from all parts of the city, suburbs, and even neighboring cities, and take care of reputation of its own brand.
Serednyachki - try to be similar to successful, but for all indicators, while "a step below." This is felt literally from the very beginning - not the most comfortable premises, insufficiently attentive staff, the list of services provided is very limited, and for the most part declarative. Clients, in contrast to the "successful", mainly from nearby areas and half "one-time". They place their advertisements irregularly and erratically, often do not even have their own website, limited to a neglected page on a social network of general purpose.
Outsiders - everything is sad here, and it’s not only, and not so much as the occupied space and the scarcity of material support, but in an unsuccessful and uncomfortable organization for clients, low qualification and goodwill of the staff, questionable quality of the services provided. In this segment there is almost no advertising, and the information available on the Internet about such clinics often consists of feedback from former clients, mostly negative ones. The main clients of such clinics are retired people from nearby houses, focused on territorial proximity and low prices.
In general, the classification of veterinarians is similar to the gradation of the clinics in which they work, and this is quite natural, since in Kemerovo there are not too many true professionals in the veterinary industry, and unfortunately, not even all doctors working in veterinary clinics have a specialized (veterinary ) education.
Since the overall level of quality of education has declined significantly in recent years, most graduates of veterinary universities, right after graduation, have little practical experience, and after being employed in the blade, they actually begin a new level of education, which does not end with good veterinarians, but for the others ... it comes down to a trial and error method, or “walking on a rake”.
Professional interests and professional development of veterinarians:
In accordance with the above conditional classification of veterinary clinics and veterinarians themselves, the range of their professional interests and aspirations also significantly differs - if successful veterinarians working in good veterinary clinics seek to master new equipment, new methods of diagnosis and treatment, and even are ready at their own expense to participate in various events regularly held in different cities of the country by leading industry experts, the situation with “middling” and “outsiders” is often different ...
On the condition of anonymity, some veterinarians even told that they are in principle not against attending any veterinary congress, but only at the expense of their employer, and even then, not so much for their own professional growth, but for “walking through” the capital and "Hang out" with colleagues in the hotel ...
Unfortunately, so far few veterinary practitioners are willing to share experiences with colleagues, although some are members of professional groups in social networks and professional forums, but communication in them comes down to short questions and answers on specific cases, and practically does not affect them. general professional level.
Also, few veterinarians are able to write not even a scientific, but at least a practical article about their activities, but in my opinion this is a consequence of the common, and independent of the profession, desire for excessive “brevity” that was formed in recent years not without the influence of social networks with their short posts, replicas, and not full-fledged articles.
Unfortunately, in our day, the inability of a coherent presentation of one’s own thoughts (if any) is perceived by the majority as “ordinary and normal,” and rare exceptions are associated mainly with scientific or teaching activities.
At the same time, many professionals still express an interest in studying other people's articles (lectures, seminars) on professional topics, but at the same time, due to excessive shyness or usual laziness, they are not ready to share their own work.
Few of the practicing veterinarians care about their own advertising, building a personal brand, and professional positioning themselves on the Internet. Most, even if they have accounts on social networks, they rarely write anything at all, and even more so on professional topics.
Almost all respondents complain about the prevalence and harmfulness of pseudo-professional online forums, in which anonymous “experts” give completely illiterate tips on treating pets with “folk remedies”, after which vets often have little help.
At the same time, the veterinarians usually shrug their shoulders, agree that it is necessary to do this, but they don’t have to do it themselves, and just lazy ... questions about their own “counter-propaganda”, explanatory and educational work on the Internet.
In general, the majority of veterinarians in the first place is interested in increasing their own income, which in itself is not something abnormal, unseemly or shameful, and all issues of professional growth and advanced training are only a means to achieve the main goal
Veterinary business owners:
Unlike most of the veterinarians working in their clinics, the owners of the veterinary business whom I was able to meet are much more interested in developing their own clinics, building up business processes for interacting with customers, recognizing their brand, good reputation and positive feedback about their activities.
Unfortunately, not all heads of veterinary clinics are living in the XXI century - some people generally have little understanding of the possibilities that the Internet and modern methods of communication with clients can give them, and still prefer ads at doorways and in local free newspapers ...
One of the leaders of the veterinary clinic of the “middle type” type, to the question: “what gives you your own website?”, Honestly answered: “ yes, they did nothing so that it was like the others, but no one really deals with them ”.
On the proposal to participate in our network and get your own Internet representation free of charge, she said: “ Why do I need this? But your site will not buy me a car, apartment, or fur coat. I have no time to deal with this nonsense! "- this is an understanding of the perspective, or rather the complete absence of any understanding ...
For the sake of fairness, I note that most of the heads of clinics do understand that nowadays the presence of Internet representation is no longer just a tribute to fashion, but an urgent need, but justifies its own passivity with a lack of time, skills, people, although in my opinion, behind all these Excuses hide the usual laziness and unwillingness to learn new methods of communication with clients and colleagues.
The attitude of the heads of clinics and veterinary business owners to advertising is interesting - most consider their activities to be exclusively local, oriented at best to the residents of their city (more often even nearby areas), respectively, and they choose the same local channels for advertising their activity - leaflets in mailboxes, advertising in elevators, leaflets on bulletin boards and fences, street billboards, etc.
However, with a small (for the time being) part of the most progressive and “advanced” managers, there is already an understanding that the population is becoming more mobile, and for some of their clients, the distance is no longer of key importance - people can bring their pet for treatment to a good doctor and 200-300 kilometers away.
This category of managers is no longer limited to local advertising, but places information about their clinics in regional media, on various maps and guidebooks, on social networks and on specialized Internet sites.
Unfortunately, we have not yet found any Kemerovo clinics (maybe they were just looking badly) in which we could make an appointment online or create a personal “grocery basket” for our pet, although almost every clinic has its own pet store. This direction has practically not been developed yet, although there is definitely a demand.
Competition and ethics of relationships among veterinary clinics:
For me, it turned out to be completely unexpected dispersion of opinions about colleagues and competitors in different segments of our provincial veterinary community - if in successful clinics questions about colleagues from other clinics, and expressing opinions about other clinics are actually forbidden, then the staff of veterinary clinics of other categories, practically they limit themselves to negative evaluations of competitors' activity, either in conversations with customers or in reviews on the Internet.
Summing up, we can conclude that there are good clinics and high-quality veterinarians in our city, but there are not as many of them as we would like. Pet owners want to find real aibolites for their pets, focusing on the professionalism of veterinarians, and not only on the proximity of the clinic to their home or the promise of low prices.
PS I deliberately did not mention in the article either the names of the clinics or the names of the veterinarians, but if someone recognized himself in the characters described, do not be offended, but make the right conclusions and try to become at least a little better. Good luck!
This is an automatic translation.
Click here to read the publication in the original language.