Alison is a well-known and thought provoking speaker.
Following qualification as a veterinary surgeon from Liverpool University (last century!) she entered practice and worked in Small Animal practice for several years prior to leaving to pursue a business career first with Hills Pet Nutrition and then MARS.
As founder and managing Director of Onswitch she and her team are constantly provoking new thoughts and ideas for the animal care professions in their relationships with the consumers who have cared for animals in their lives.
The basis for Alison’s passion for the consumer starts its life in her time in FMCG with MARS. During this time she spent time working to understand the consumer
and why they do what they do.
This apprenticeship in consumer understanding led to the formation of Onswitch which today is at the leading edge of understanding what pet owners do and why they do it!
Central to the work that Onswitch do is the evidence that consumers with pets are behaving less like “clients” and, more and more like “shoppers”. Their decision making is driven by convenience factors and the concept of a loyal and bonded pet owner is less and less likely.
Onswitch are Market Research Society Company partners and members of the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association, and Alison is a member of the Market research society and is a visiting lecturer at Nottingham University Vet School covering customer understanding. She has spoken at WSAVA BSAVA BEVA VPMA BVNA and various other animal health meetings.
Alison is married and has a son Alex, a cat Shamii, a dog Luna and a long suffering Husband, Donald. In any spare time that she has Alison is a huge fan of Man Utd and will talk for hours on this subject.
Bridget’s life first collided with Alison’s when they both worked as Veterinary Advisors for Hills Pet Nutrition. Two spells with that company, giving a broad perspective on our profession, have been interspersed with setting up and running two vet practices, moving from an early “rescue everything and hang the consequences” venture, to an infinitely more informed and focused practice with a passion for great pet and client care.
The full house of a vet’s menagerie has diminished over the years to an alarmingly pet-free, hair-free and mud-free existence, which surely can’t last for ever. Training on Bertha and working with Onswitch in practice seems a logical conclusion to life’s experiences!
Based in the North West, Diane is one of the consultants on Bertha. In 2004 she set up an ambulatory 100% equine practice in Manchester with her veterinary business partner. Being passionate about horses, but not veterinary-trained, Diane is able to make clear business decisions, unclouded by clinical concerns. ‘Managing equine health throughout Greater Manchester’ – the team of three vets and three administrative staff strive to consistently deliver a first class personal service coupled with superior clinical expertise.
The decision to join Onswitch in 2012 and deliver this message more widely was a no-brainer. Prior to vet world Diane spent 10 years managing Customer Service within a large multinational insurance company adopting many of their business principles within her own practice. Diane lives with her partner Scott and together they are responsible for 3 horses and 4 cats.
Growing up in a pub at the start of the ‘Mystery Drinker’ era, Helen was destined to work for Onswitch! After qualifying as a Veterinary Nurse in 1996 she was drawn to the reception desk ahead of the theatre, and it was this affinity for customers that led to Helen setting up as a veterinary business consultant in 1997. After a spell working for Pet Plan as a Business Developer, in 2007, Helen opened her own practice – PriceLess Pets, employing the veterinary surgeon. She enjoyed getting to know her patients again and helping owners but it was hard work!
After five years, the practice had grown to 1,200 clients but it needed a veterinary partner to continue to grow, and so Helen decided it was time to pass the baton on. These previous experiences help a great deal when she is training on Bertha, and she particularly enjoys helping RVNs and SVNs attending the 7 steps consulting skills training.
Susie grew up in Mid Wales riding horses . She pursued a career with horses moving to Scotland where she had her own competition coaching business for many years. A riding injury prompted a total change of career into the veterinary world in a territory management role. Susie has worked all over the UK but particularly Scotland,Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands for company’s such as NVS ,Petplan and Hill’s.
She is married to John (a vet) who is part of a 3 site mixed practice.She lives beside one of the practices in Co Antrim with a large garden, 4 dogs and a whole load of honey bees! Beekeeping is passion for Susie, not only does she help teach beginners, manage the local association apiary but is currently chairman of the Ulster Beekeepers. Susie is thrilled to part of the Onswitch team using her 25 year of vet world experience but also her passion for animals and effective communication.
After qualifying as an RVN in 2001, Verity has since successfully juggled an impressive range of roles in the animal health care sector, alongside her regular netball commitments! Her experience in veterinary nursing initially led Verity into a nine-year career at Novartis Animal Health, working in sales, marketing, business development and management; and latterly into managing a thriving six-vet small animal and exotics practice in Kent with her vet husband Ian.
Verity’s role at Onswitch is Trainer and Business Consultant, working with practice teams to raise their understanding of, and passion for providing, an exceptional customer experience. Verity and Ian are allowed to share their home with cats Guinness and Bulmer, along with Ronnie the guide dog puppy (seen here) who they are helping to train and socialise.
An RVN with twenty years’ experience in the animal care sector and veterinary profession, Lisa also holds a BTEC & NVQ in Business Management, level 3 and has extensive experience in small animal and equine practice, clinical coaching and teaching.
Lisa first started out as an animal care student before progressing to the role of trainee vet nurse at a small animal and equine hospital. The next step was a move to a small animal practice on the East Yorkshire coast, where Lisa was soon promoted to head nurse and then ultimately to practice manager. Lisa has joined Onswitch to share her passion for excellent customer service, drawing on her own skills and experiences in order to help delegates onboard Bertha deliver an exceptional customer experience back in practice. Home is in Yorkshire with her husband and two children, Harry and Maisy.
Born in Suffolk, lived in London for 20 years, Australia for 14 months (where she sold flowers and stencilled people’s shop windows at Christmas time); and now in Grantham with her husband, two daughters and 2 fish. Jane is a keen photographer and maker of things, loves tennis and yoga.
Jane has worked in advertising, market research, restaurants, design studios, orthotics etc. She loves communicating from the office with all the people who make our business work from designers and suppliers to clients and of course our excellent team.
Sophie has joined us after her 16 week internship with Onswitch. She recently graduated with a first class degree with Honours in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at Nottingham Trent University and has taken on the role of Project Coordinator heading up the CX Club. Sophie lives in Nottinghamshire with family and is excited to be driving the Cxclub project forward so customer care teams get the opportunity to become part of a Customer Experience movement.
I joined Onswitch in the spring of 2014 as a sales administrator. Having always believed that great customer experience should be the norm, Onswitch was an obvious choice for me. I moved away from retail sales and sales management roles in the mobile telecommunications sector to try something different – learning all the time in a completely new area is exciting and I’m looking forward to the future.
My hobbies include swimming and football. I live with my long-term partner Emily and our beautiful daughter Connie (who keeps us both very busy!) as well as Sox the cat, Flower the Guinea Pig and two fish that don’t answer to their names!
I was born in Leicester and I lived there with my husband Neil and our two Labradors, Bruce and Sam. We ran our own bus and coach company for several years. I then moved over to the East Coast and spent 7 years in Skegness with my best friend Kim, a black Labrador and 2 goldfish – Flip and Flop! I have spent most of my working life in the travel industry, I love animals, especially dogs!
I was born in Harlow, Essex. I’m a true Essex boy! Lived there for many years and started work as a driver, delivering items all over the UK and Europe. I got involved in the events industry over 10 years ago, before that I was a warehouse manager which involved fixing, painting, building the props as well as loading up and delivering the displays for childrens parties to conferences for over 700 delegates.
I follow Tottenham Hotspur as a football club and try to go and see them when I get the chance. When you see me and Bertha travelling around the country come along and say hello.