1. Online Appointment Request Button
Providing an online appointment request function on your website is an easy way to attract new clients back into your clinic. Both new and existing clients will be able to book appointments and share that information with your staff, all without picking up the phone. Ensuring that you have a simple-to-use appointment request button online is a win-win situation for both sides – easy for the client and easy for your staff to book appointments.
>> Suggested Reading: 7 Ways to Tell if Your Pet Care Business Needs a New Website <<
2. Give Back to the Community
Partnering with a local animal rescue, shelter, or foster organization is an easy way to bring new clients in early on in their pet parenthood journey. You can offer a free or discounted exam to new pet parents. Starting to create those relationships early is important for bringing new clients in, but also is a great opportunity to keep them as a life-long customer.
3. Exemplary Customer Service
Providing great service with a smile can keep your current clients coming back and generate more word of mouth. Simply saying “thanks”, giving a firm handshake, or taking that extra effort to give a pet the best care can go miles! For example, one of our customers likes to keep large umbrellas at the front desk in case of heavy rain or snow. This small act of consideration helps prevent your client from getting a car full of wet dog smell and is just one of those little personal touches that makes your clinic unique.
4. Refer a Friend
Make sure your current clients have a reason to tell their friends! Offering a discount or incentive for clients to refer their friends can boost your numbers. Many practices offer a $10 discount for referred clients and a $10 credit to the client who spread the good word. But softer incentives can motivate as well; such as complimentary grooming, a gift card, a day of free boarding, or even a bag of treats for their pet! Whatever you decide, just be sure to reiterate the same referral benefit on your website, social media, and in-office handouts too!
5. Community Outreach
Build relationships with local pet supply stores, rescues, charities, doggy daycares, and others in the community. Chances are you have a favorite pet store or groomer for your fur babies, and you’d recommend them to friends. But does that favorite business of yours recognize how great your practice is and would they recommend you too?
Simply visiting or calling other local businesses is great networking, and can lead them to make your practice the #1 place to refer new clients. We suggest educating people in the community and local businesses about your service and values, get them involved in any events or fundraisers, and ask if you can post a flyer or sign about your practice. Don’t forget to reciprocate by asking how you can help generate more business for them in exchange!
6. Special Events
Host events at your practice like dog training classes, pet nutrition seminars, or hold an open house. You are the expert on pet care and health, so spreading the knowledge will build trust and show that you are a leader worth paying attention to.
7. Encourage Online Feedback
Online reviews are just as important, if not more so, as having social media accounts. Even existing clients are likely to Google search you before they call you, and they will see any customer feedback and star ratings immediately when they search. Your current clients remain loyal when they feel valued. Asking them to share their feedback online, and responding back, will let new and existing clients know you are listening and care about their experiences. The most important sites to have reviews are Yelp and Google. We can tell you how to start making the most of Yelp , how to claim your Google Place, and what to do if you receive a negative review.
8. Social Media
Lastly, if your practice does not have any social media accounts… make them! If you don’t know how, ask staff who likely use Facebook/Twitter/Instagram every day. You do not have to be popular and post all the time – just the visibility can be useful. Making an account and populating it with some content gives new clients another place to find you. You can run contests to engage your current clients and attract new clients – for example, do a random drawing or contest for a chance to win gift cards to a local dog-friendly restaurant. Your message will be shared with your visitor’s followers and can, in turn, increase your followers and visibility in general.