Many veterinarians still rely on phone and in-person communications to transfer meaningful knowledge to their clients. Tech-savvy vets have found ways to make their website a destination for information and action for their clients, which results in freeing up time for the front desk and medical staff while reducing stress on the pet parent. This helpful guide will make your staffs’ lives easier by implementing a simple, modern approach to your website.
Veterinary clinics around the country, like yourself, have been forced to make temporary adjustments to their daily operations which unexpectedly, have continued for almost a year. While vaccines are rolling out and the days of reopening in a “normal” way are a possibility again, getting your website to better support your hospital is a quick path to some needed workflow management relief.
Digitize your forms onto the website
Jot forms and Google forms are good places to start and can be invaluable to your practice, reducing the number of phone calls received. While these general solutions will get the job done, forms built specifically for veterinarians, such as those from WhiskerCloud, will give you more flexibility.
When a pet parent brings their beloved pet to your facility, what is the first thing they do? Usually, they are given a handful of forms to fill out while they wait. Meanwhile, their dog is nervously panting or howling excessively, attempting to chase the cat sitting next to them. To be honest, waiting rooms can be a little overwhelming, especially with clients attempting to fill out paperwork by hand at the time of the appointment. Collecting information prior to arrival could prove to be incredibly beneficial for the veterinary office, the client, and the patient. Using the PetDesk platform, once all of the client information has been captured, you will also have the opportunity to send out reminders for upcoming appointments, changes in policy, and general post-visit information.
Why not encourage pet owners to fill out intake forms at home to expedite the process and reduce stress on pets in the clinic? You’ll be surprised with how much unnecessary anxiety this relieves from both your practice and the pet parent. Clients will now be able to fill out the form(s) digitally on your website or via email or text prior to their appointment.
Did you know that at least 59 percent of your clients would choose to make appointments through the internet? That’s great news, because veterinary online appointment request software allows you to provide your clients with online appointment requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week while also reducing the amount of time your staff spends answering phone calls to set, cancel, and reschedule appointments.
According to internal PetDesk reports, 65 percent of PetDesk app appointment requests were submitted outside of clinic hours. This gives the client the independence to conduct business with the practice outside of business hours and reduces the workload on practice employees coming in the next shift. Cancel the voicemail ping pong sessions and never-ending phone tag games.
Delivering best-in-class customer experiences is invaluable. Automating inefficient and time-consuming tasks is one way to spend as much time as possible with patients while strengthening their relationship with the practice. By having the ability to request appointments using computers or mobile devices, the amount of time your staff spends on the phone will be significantly reduced (PetDesk works with both Apple and Android systems).
You can make appointment requests available via your website, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites with PetDesk, exposing you to potential new clients in your area. Do you want to make your practice’s online experience better? The PetDesk team or our friends at WhiskerCloud will create a cost-effective, user-friendly website for you.
Accepting Online Payments
Accepting payments online can increase productivity in the office. When we pay a utility bill online or make a purchase on our favorite e-commerce platform, we rarely think about what happens in the background.
Since the convenience of online payments has increasingly become a given, many customers who visit your veterinary practice will believe that they will be able to collect and pay their bills from the comfort of their phone. Without an online payment option, clients are left with a decision – whether or not to leave their comfort zone and pay in-person or over the phone.
It’s never been easier to accept online payments at your veterinary practice. A payment gateway or a computer terminal may be used to do this. A payment gateway facilitates a transaction between a payment platform — such as your website, mobile device, or customized veterinary app — and a bank. In contrast, a virtual terminal allows you to process payments directly from your web browser, effectively converting your device into a credit card terminal. Both options are quick and safe, allowing you to offer clients the benefit of paying online at any time from any place.
Trigger Live Conversations
Live conversations via text keep the phone lines open for emergencies. At PetDesk, we offer a two-way text solution to make communication easy between your team and clients, while providing practice partners customization choices to manage client expectations. Two-Way Messaging allows for efficient communication of follow-ups, prescription reminders, normal test results, cancellations, and rescheduling options.
PetDesk’s Two-Way Messaging is a convenient way to communicate and interact with clients by sending text messages with images, video, and PDFs using your current phone number or a dedicated local number.
You can also send one-way messages, like push notifications and emails, about limited-time offers, deals, changes in business hours, or company updates using PetDesk Mass Messaging. In addition to these services, analytics allow you to see the total number of people who received the message, how many emails were opened, and how many people clicked on the information the message contained.
Sharing Hospital Details with your clients
Veterinarians are facing a complex set of challenges as a result of the pandemic. New safety initiatives have been implemented by veterinarians around the world, affecting how they care for sick and healthy pets.
As a result, you should be clear in what you are and aren’t offering including hours of operation, how to handle drop off and pickup, available services, and medication refills. And don’t be afraid to tell your clients more than once – everyone’s busy and they may not remember the shift to your new business hours. Successful clinics get these messages up in multiple spots especially with pop-ups on the website.
Social Media Presence
Veterinary offices are continuously changing. Fears of illness, coupled with lockdowns and restrictions, have forced more people online and into social media than ever before. Users on social media believe they are in a healthy environment where they can interact and communicate without fear of infection.
As opposed to altering your website frequently, maintaining your social media page on a regular basis can save time and increase engagement. Not only can you offer educational information, and adorable photos of your patients on social media, you can also let clients know if you are open or closed during periods of illness (like COVID), throughout the holidays, or during a storm.
The Bottom Line
Your website is a workhorse sitting idly by. It doesn’t get paid an hourly rate and it never needs to sleep so if you invest a small amount of time into building useful functionality for your clients, your precious front office staff can spend more time providing the kind of care your hospital is known for.