Dr. Ashley Jones had a dilemma: Her newly purchased practice, Valley Veterinary Clinic, located in rural, upstate New York, has a client base that’s a bit unique. Most of her clients are stationed at nearby Fort Drum, a military base. Not uncommon to the military population, people come and go.

Due to the demographics of this group, Dr. Jones believed that the best way to stay connected with them and keep them coming back regularly was through an app. She felt that her staff would embrace this method, as well. Dr. Jones selected PetDesk, a client communication software that works with her existing practice management system. With PetDesk, Valley Vet gained an instant and easy way to communicate with clients in a format that they preferred, while decreasing phone time and missed appointments.

The Problem:

Phone Calls and Postcards weren’t Cutting It

Dr. Jones bought the clinic in early 2018. She had a list of things to tackle to improve and grow the practice. High on that list was solving her client retention problem.

Her military clients ranged from 18 -35 years old. Dr. Jones knew that she needed a communication method that was familiar and useful to them; one that would make caring for their pets easier. Additionally, she aimed to lessen the time her staff spent on the phone and streamline the front desk and reception processes.

In February of 2018, the practice management system at her new clinic had just 168 client email addresses. Postcard reminders were mailed to clients and appointments were scheduled over the phone.

These inefficiencies were a problem. Dr. Jones believed that her best approach would be to abandon the current postcard-centric system and adopt a method that would center around digital communication.

“I felt an app would be more accepted and welcomed by my clients, given their demographics.”

The Solution:

Up and Running in 66 Minutes

To say implementation of PetDesk was a breeze would be an understatement. Dr. Jones explains, “All I had told my staff initially about PetDesk was that it was an app and would help with client communication. We had scheduled a lunch session with a guided webinar that demonstrated how to work with the dashboard.” PetDesk does all on-boarding and training via screen-sharing with a phone call.

Not long into the training, Dr. Jones remembers, the staff began using PetDesk on their smartphones. “Within 15 minutes, everyone could use it and began loading patient history, finding patient records, that sort of thing.”

The two calls required to set-up the entire system and prepare for deployment were completed in 1 hour and 6 minutes. In that short amount of time, PetDesk was able to custom build the dashboard for the clinic, set up automation for health service reminders and appointment confirmations, and train the entire clinic team!

The Results:

A Decrease in Phone Calls, an Increase in Completed Appointments

Since implementation, Valley Vet Clinic has gotten a 58.67% conversion onto the app from the emails they have collected. On average, confirmations done via the new digital channels have saved the clinic 32 hours a month of phone time. In August 2019, 407 appointments were completed through the use of PetDesk’s digital tools instead of the phone. “PetDesk has been the easiest and most seamless change that I’ve made to the practice in the past 18 months,” said Dr. Jones.

Hours Saved Per Month of Phone Time
App Adoption from Collected Emails
Appointments Completed via PetDesk

Brittany, the clinic’s lead customer service representative, says that it’s so simple to get clients on the app during client checkout. To download it, they just send them the link and it adds a pet (or pets), and sets up notifications automatically. With clients readily accepting the app, they’re more willing to share their email addresses and cell phone numbers, which hadn’t always been the case. Valley Vet’s staff has encountered no problems using PetDesk. Any questions they had were emailed to PetDesk’s Customer Success and prompt responses were the norm. Valley Vet’s Office Manager, Megan, says PetDesk’s Live Chat is “quick, supportive, and instantaneous.”

“I feel that, as a practice owner, I’ve received great value from what we’re doing with PetDesk and what we’re spending on it monthly, especially how it lets us reach out to clients. And the clients find value in it as well because it’s free to them, something they’re interested in having, and they view it as a solution.”

I got so excited about PetDesk. I knew it would fit well into the practice. My clients prefer to communicate in a manner that PetDesk allows. That’s the preferred method of my front desk staff, as well. It’s a two-way street.

Dr. Ashley Jones

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