DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fear Free Certified® Professionals say they have seen an increase in gross income, client visits, referrals, and new clients, plus improved client care and work morale, as reported in a 2018 online survey of 960 participants, including veterinary professionals, trainers, groomers, pet sitters, and other pet professionals.
The Fear Free Certification Program is an educational initiative that provides veterinary and pet professionals with the tools, protocols, and knowledge to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in patients and clients. It features a series of online courses, created and reviewed by recognized leaders in the fields of veterinary medicine, behavioral science, and business. It also gives members a host of other benefits, such as complimentary courses, webinars, podcasts, special pricing on related products, as well as a vast research and informational library. Individual professionals can be certified, as well as entire practices and hospitals.
An invitation to participate in the survey, conducted by Fear Free, was sent via email to all professionals certified since the program was initiated in 2016. The majority of Fear Free members are located in the United States and Canada, but they also reside in up to 40 other countries.
The survey found that 96% would recommend the Fear Free Certification Program to fellow professionals. Other highlights:
- 80% noticed an increase in gross revenue
- 96% agreed that patient care has improved
- 90% said their practice/business/organization has experienced a more positive image
- 82% noticed an increase in client visits
- 91% reported an increase in workplace safety
- 76% said work and team morale has improved
Personal experiences in the comment section included: “You slow down, take more time with each patient and client, enabling a better bond to form. The music, odors, visual stimuli, and lighting all are better not only for pets but for staff. Staff anxiety and stress have decreased along with the patients’ anxiety and stress.”
“My techs know at the end of the night that they didn’t have to hold down an animal until it urinated out of fear for something as non-essential as a nail trim,” another comment read.
The most valued tools to participants in their Fear Free practice were the closed Facebook group and research and information library.
Comments also provided valuable insight on what Fear Free can do to improve.
“We want professionals to understand that for their investments in Fear Free, there are many benefits that positively affect their teams, and most importantly, if clients increase their visits because they and their pets have pleasant experiences, their businesses will only grow,” says Ruth Garcia, COO of Fear Free.
More than 50% of survey participants (484) said they’ve had up to five referrals/new clients; 21% (205) said that number was up to 10; 13% (127) said up to 20; 8% (74) said up to 50; and 7% (70) said 51 or more.
The most repeated request from participants was to provide a tool to educate clients about what to expect from a Fear Free practice and how situations such as pets overwhelmed with fear before they even come in to see the doctor can be improved by new protocols. In response to that challenge, Fear Free initiated FearFreeHappyHomes.com, a pet-owner membership program that provides courses, videos, and literature on what to expect from a Fear Free visit, in addition to a host of other resources to help pet owners alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress for their pets and provide in-home enrichment. Membership options include free and paid subscriptions, depending on the amount of education, information, and product specials members want.
“Fearful pets can present all kinds of physical issues that can mask the real problem of their visits,” says Dr. Marty Becker, CEO of Fear Free. “If the heart is racing and blood pressure is rising, then the veterinarian is less likely to get to the root of the problem.
“We are grateful for the candid comments from the survey participants. It’s how certified professionals work to make a good thing even better,” he said.