Some people would do anything for a dozen donuts.
It’s true. Back in the late seventies, I was a college sophomore working a few evenings a week at a Mister Donut coffee shop. I commuted to Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA, so I needed to earn gas money for my Mercury Comet with rusting-out floorboards.
I remember that Saturday evening like it was yesterday.
It was around 6 p.m., and the only people in the shop were me and two middle-aged ladies sitting at the bar drinking coffee.
Yeah, this was pre-drive-through days, when coffee shops had bars and swivel stools, and customers came in, sat down, ordered a coffee and donut, and consumed them there, drinking coffee from real mugs.
That Saturday night, I was behind the counter, mindlessly constructing donut boxes in preparation for the following day’s rush of donut sales. (Sunday mornings were always a goldmine for Mister Donut.)
I’d made up about 30 boxes when this kid pushed through the front door.
I stood up from behind the counter and looked at him.
“Welcome to Mister Donut. Can I help you?”
Barely glancing at me, he mumbled, “I’d like a dozen donuts.”
He was skinny, with short, dark tousled hair, and wore jeans. He kept his hands shoved in his pockets.
From under the counter, I grabbed a just-folded donut box in one hand and a piece of tissue in the other and, looking at him with raised eyebrows, signaled I was ready.
He rattled off his order. I don’t remember what he asked for because I was thinking about what donuts I’d bring home that evening. Since I was closing, I could help myself to donuts that hadn’t sold. I hoped there’d be some lemon-filled in my future.
After filling the box, I quickly closed the lid and taped it shut. I put it on the counter beside the register and rang up the sale.
The register drawer sprang open, and I said, “That’ll be $1.49, please.”
I looked at the kid, and he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking straight ahead. Both his hands were behind him like he was feeling for his wallet in his back pockets.
Then, suddenly, he grabbed the donut box from the counter, spun, and bolted through the doors and out to the sidewalk.
I was speechless!
With jaw dropped and eyes popping, I looked at the two women still seated at the bar. Their expressions were as dumbfounded as mine. After a few eternal moments, one broke the silence.
“Thank goodness he didn’t have a gun!”
So why did I tell you this story?
To illustrate the value of storytelling in your content.
It humanizes you and makes you relatable—a key ingredient to building a relationship, which content marketing aims to do.
Before you read my donut ripoff tale, you knew little about me except maybe what’s on my LinkedIn bio.
Now you know…
1. My age (yep, I gave details. You do the math.)
2. I’m partial to lemon-filled donuts; yum.
3. I drove a crappy car in college.
In the grand scheme of things, do these details matter? Who knows? But some of them you can likely relate to. (Everyone has to have a favorite donut!)
More importantly, you’ll see that I’m a person who, like you, has had a plethora of life experiences. Distinct, unique, but relatable, and that connects us.
As a practicing veterinarian or veterinary entrepreneur, the better your customers know who you are, the better the chances they’ll do business with you. Why? Because they’ll come to like and trust you.
And one other thing, those distinct, unique experiences belong to you. They can only be shared by you, not by artificially derived content.
So tell your stories and stand out from the rest.
Suzanne Quigley is a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. She works with clients in both the pharmaceutical and technology arenas.
Need help with content or copy? Email or call 508-277-4929!
In this post, I’m straying from the how-tos of veterinary content creation to the topic of veterinary stress. It’s a complex topic with no straightforward solutions.
Unfortunately, and sometimes, tragically, we hear how trying today’s veterinary industry has become, and because of this, many vets are leaving the profession in droves.
Life, in general, offers up an almost infinite number of stressors, and for veterinarians, theirs are compounded by the nature of the work they do.
Dealing daily with stressed clients (humans and animals), long hours, team dynamics, the business side of vet practice, and making the best decisions in difficult situations can rapidly lead to burnout and worse.
A common factor that contributes to stress
According to The American Institute of Stress, many of the stressors we experience in life can be directly linked to our inability to control them. And the more we seek control, the more frustrated we can become.
How we respond to a perceived stressful event is significant because it can affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally, influencing our attitudes and behaviors.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage overwhelming stress—good nutrition, exercise, meditation, prayer, and professional counseling.
But during your workday, these options may not be feasible.
So, what can you do to avoid things spinning out of control? This is where your practice management software can step in and help.
Four ways practice management software helps you maintain control
1. More and more practice management systems are cloud-based. Cloud-based software stores data online instead of saving it to a physical server or a computer’s hard drive.
Storing data ‘in the cloud’ means you can access it wherever and whenever you have an internet connection. If your internet goes down, or you’re in an area with no reception, or it’s spotty, you can work offline and synchronize your data later when you get back online.
Cloud-based computing lets you control when, where, and how you access your data. It also frees you from the costs of maintaining physical servers and space requirements for housing them.
2. Time and how you use it is an area you can control. Any practice management software worth its salt will offer a flexible and efficient appointment scheduling module. Use it to schedule patient appointments and block out chunks of time for meetings, lunches, personal appointments, and daily administrative tasks.
Starting each day with a set schedule provides a structure for you and your team. It also provides a point of reference if chaos erupts. No one must stop and think about what to do next.
3. The financial side of veterinary practice can be a significant stressor. Fortunately, getting a grip on it is possible with systems that allow you to link patient accounts to invoices for services, inventory, treatments, and prescriptions.
This feature decreases the headache of missed charges and lost revenue. More robust systems provide reporting and data analytics options and integration with payment processor partners to capture credit card payments.
4. Client communications is another area you can take control of. Practice management software allows you to reach out to clients and vice versa in multiple ways, such as texting, email, phone, and mail.
Some systems allow patient-specific emails and text messages to be organized in a designated location, avoiding cluttered generic inboxes overflowing with emails or texts that take forever to sort through.
Organized communication allows you to establish protocols for a timely response which helps improve overall efficiency and decreases the chance you’ll miss client messages.
You may never have considered your practice management software as a means to strengthen your mental health, but if it adds efficiency and order to your workday, that’s certainly a welcome result.
If you’re contemplating purchasing or changing to another one, here are several practice management software solutions. There are many on the market, and sure to be one suitable for your practice’s needs.
I'm a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. I work with clients in both the pharmaceutical and technology arenas.
Would you like some help with content or copy? Email or call me at 508-277-4929!
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter