Letter from Dr. Bob
Good day pet lovers,
It goes without saying that everyone is experiencing a dramatic shift in the way we conduct our everyday affairs. While most of us have generally accepted the changes that have been created around the pandemic, still, it has been a challenge for many of us to adopt new ways of doing things. Clearly, life is NOT the same, and it’s becoming less and less certain whether we’ll be able to re-create many of our routines of the past.
At Carolina Value Pet Care, we are definitely not immune to the changes. The ways we operate our clinics have changed quite a bit. And since we are “guests” at each of the locations where we hold our clinics, we are obliged to follow the guidelines and recommendations established by our host sites.
We are very well aware that some of the changes have created some frustration with some customers. And while I could simply say, “I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is”, that would be a disservice to you … and my CVPC team … but it would also be inaccurate.
Let me address the 2 most common comments / frustrations we have heard from some of our customers:
- The wait is too long
- It’s too hot to wait outside
THE WAIT TIME
Speaking with other veterinarians and staff members in our area, prolonged waiting times at ALL veterinary clinics have become a fact of life. One of our team members KH also works for a full-service vet clinic during the week. She said that at their full-service clinic, pet parents must wait in the car for approximately 1 hour, while their pet is inside their facility and totally out of sight for an extended period of time. (At CVPC, we want your pets to be with you !) In the words of KH, “those people will pay 3 times more at that vet clinic than at CVPC !” Something to think about …
Our team has ongoing discussions to find ways to shave time off each pet visit. We frequently examine the entire flow from the time you arrive until the time you leave. We take this very seriously, because you don’t like waiting … and neither do we. We know it’s hot. We also know that the only way to create the best experience possible for you is to see each individual as quickly and efficiently as possible.
At some locations we are limited by the amount of space available for us to work with. That limits the number of individuals we can service and check-out at any given time. While we are pretty resourceful, we work with small spaces sometimes, which means we have to keep a smaller staff on hand when there is simply not enough room for other team members to assist.
In many cases, a large number of people arrive at the same time. When that happens, we do as we always do: put our best effort into serving everyone as best as we can.
After a perfectly marvelous Spring, I wish I could alter Mother Nature. Yes, it’s too hot and too humid. No surprises here ~ it’s summertime in North Carolina. We all know it’s gonna get hot and sticky !
However, due to some of our host locations choosing to minimize the number of customers allowed into the store at any given time, we have had to shift our waiting area at a few facilities to outdoor seating. I wish it were otherwise, as we would all like to be inside where it’s cooler, but that simply isn’t possible at every site.
However, we make every effort to provide adequate shade (canopies), plenty of water for the dogs as well as ice water for our customers, and as many fans as the electrical outlet availability that our host facilities will allow.
Also, because cats tend not to cool down as efficiently as dogs … and since they are already so stressed from first being placed in a carrier, then followed by the trauma of a car ride … expect our team members to bring your kitty indoors and place them in front of a fan so they can be “cool cats”.
By all means, you may wait in your car with the A/C on after we take your chart. We can text you or call you when you are ready to be seen.
While this won’t help you feel any more comfortable regarding the heat, please be aware that the team members who take your charts to determine your pets’ needs (most often Amy, Becky, Jennifer, Katie, and Laura) and our greeters (Annika, Barry, Destiny and Shelly) are outside for the entire events. In some cases, they may remain totally exposed to the heat from 9am til 5pm ~ non-stop). They are truly our CVPC Everyday Heroes for coping with the extremes of the heat’n’humidity, while remaining committed to helping address your needs, answering your questions and working as efficiently as possible.
Now, I will absolutely speak up for my entire team and their incredible sense of duty and responsibility. While our clinics may appear as a chaotic mess to most folks, to those individuals who are keen observers, you will actually see the “dance” that each team member plays to make this all work. I am quite certain that you will observe that no one on the team is standing idly by, doing nothing, staring mindlessly at their mobile phone. Everyone is actively engaged to take care of the next pet and pet parent (although sometimes we may be waiting for the next customer to arrive at the proper destination). Breaks are few and far between. The days are long and demanding, and much more so in the summer heat. On top of all the activity and commotion of the events themselves that you see, there is also the time spent setting up the clinics, then breaking down them down, packing everything back up and then doing it all again the next day. I honor each and every one of them.
And I honor you as well. Thank you all for supporting our efforts.
All the best
Dr Bob Parrish & the CVPC Team