Understanding clients' wants and needs is vital to the sustained success of any service business, and veterinary medicine offers no exception. The Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU-CVM) has successfully maintained a position at the forefront of the veterinary profession throughout most of its history. The staff has consistently been composed of clinicians who have been chosen because of their excellence and expertise. However, the assumption that emphasis on clinical excellence will, by itself, provide the foundation for sustained success in the client flow and business at the hospital has been unchallenged to date. In order to provide the best possible customer service, our clients' likes, dislikes, wants, and needs must be fully characterized and quantified. To assess client satisfaction with the VTH, a study was designed whose objective was to identify the areas in the VTH that are most valued and highly regarded versus those that need improvement in order to sustain the current success of the equine hospital. The results of this study can be used as an outline for the development of a plan to maintain and improve customer satisfaction and, ultimately, to sustain the teaching caseload and business of the hospital. In addition, this endeavor will serve to set a good example for our students by modeling the best management practices and establishing a critical blend of quality medicine/surgery and customer service.


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