For most veterinarians, the main reason they chose to enter the veterinary medicine field is because of their love for animals. It’s no easy feat to go through almost ten years of education to then take on the challenge to open up your own practice. That in of itself is a major accomplishment! But the reality is that starting a pet business brings up a unique set of challenges that may fall to the wayside as the business ramps up.
Practice owners with growing clinics have the unique challenge of juggling multiple duties at once. If you have a small staff, your team will most likely have to wear several different hats to get everything done. Your vet technician may have to work as a receptionist, kennel attendant, and a technician all in one day. The doctor may have to handle multiple surgeries, administrative tasks, and managing the office. With so many tasks to stay up to date with, it’s easy to lose sight of some basic priorities.
The main goal of a veterinary practice is to help animals live a long and healthy life. Through the bustling of the office, however, it’s very easy to forget about the pet parent in the process. As the sole provider for their furry friends, it’s imperative that you bring pet parents into your office on a regular basis to ensure that your patients stay healthy and happy. There are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that your clinic becomes a client-focused clinic – ensuring that pet parents will come back for regular visits.
Quick Fixes to Foster a Client-Centric Veterinary Practice:
Be Available When Your Clients Are
According to our user data, 65% of pet parents booked appointments after clinic hours. That means that if you’re only accepting appointment requests during clinic hours, you may be missing out on over half of the appointments that could be made!
Offer pet parents ways to book appointments after clinic hours, when it’s most convenient for them. This could be done through an online portal, by email, or through a mobile application. Your clients will thank you for it by scheduling more appointments and bringing Fido more often to your vet practice.
Reach Your Clients Their Way
In addition to you leading a busy life, your clients also have hundreds of other things on their mind that they’re thinking about at any given moment. If there’s one communication channel that they check more frequently than another, make sure to send messages to them that way!
Postcards are great for reminders, but some people are more likely to check their emails or respond to text messages faster. This is no surprise considering that the average US adult spends over 3 hours on their mobile devices daily. How often do you check the mail?
Personalize Your Messaging
Make sure to remember the names of the patients too! Getting tailored reminders will make them feel special.
Think about when you give your name to the barista at your local coffee shop. How do you feel when you look at your cup and see your name spelled wrong? Small customer service acts such as this can make or break a customer, depending on the kind of day they’re having.
Wow Your Clients With Customer Success
Many pet parents these days consider their fur babies as part of the family – meaning that they’re looking for above and beyond service to ensure that their pet will receive the highest quality of care. This also means that the service you’re providing the pet parent should be in tip-top shape.
Are you communicating everything that you need from them before the appointment? Are there any special instructions they need to follow before an operation? Is your waiting room welcoming and convenient for both the patient and the pet parent?
Simple changes, such as having separate sides for dogs and cats or offering bottled water while the pet parent is waiting, can make all the difference for pet parents. Provide them small changes such as these to show them you care about you, in addition to their pets.
Reward Loyal Clients
Ensuring consistent care with a healthcare professional that knows and understands their patients’ health history is important. Imagine having to recount your medical history every single time you switch medical practitioners. You would have to have your charts with you every time you visited a new doctor.
It’s the same issue for pets! If a pet parent enjoys visiting a particular veterinarian, then they should be coming in consistently for annual appointments. Remind your clients to come back to your practice by using personalized reminders and rewarding them every time they visit. Regular reminders can help increase compliance, reduce the number of sick pet visits, and increase the amount of revenue that the clinic produces.
Establishing a loyalty program, even a simple one, can help bring past clients in for another visit. Think about the airline that you use when you travel. Are there any types of points or rewards associated with using that specific airline? The same concept applies to your vet clinic. If they maintain a certain amount of points with your unique loyalty program, you can reward them with discounted offers or services, or even free swag.
Both you and your clients have the same goal in mind: to ensure that their pet is provided with the best care so they can live a long and happy life. Making communication simpler between your vet practice and pet parents is the first step to ensuring a healthy life for your patients.