Welcome to Animalia
From the outside, Animalia resembles a comfortable home in Williamson County, Tennessee. The 1800s farmhouse was converted into a veterinary clinic, expanding into the general practice and rehabilitative service it’s become today. And the welcoming atmosphere remains. “You feel like you’re walking into a really warm, inviting house,” says Michelle King, Communications Manager at Animalia.
That open, caring atmosphere is central to the messaging for the clinic. The 37-member team focuses on giving back to their community, assisting with local rescues and adoption organizations. And to foster camaraderie and understanding between team members, their CSRs and assistants cross-train. The practice also has eventual plans for its technicians to shadow other positions. “We want everyone to appreciate each person’s position and value,” King says proudly.
Striking a Balance Between Clinic and Client
Animalia’s atmosphere of harmony extends beyond its staff. Eager to improve interaction with their client base, they switched away from the PetDesk app in the late 2010s. Glitches had arisen, causing problems with appointment scheduling and reminders. Rather than troubleshooting the issues, a Hospital Administrator excited the team about switching to VitusVet. VitusVet appealed to the veterinarians, offering incentives PetDesk lacked.
King explains, “When we switched to VitusVet, they were working on VitusVet Pay, where you could pay within the app, which was exciting. But they never launched it after we switched. So it was a big perk they were talking about when we originally signed with them, but it took them a long time to develop, so we never saw those benefits.”
Simultaneously, the client-facing side of the VitusVet app faced resistance. The predominantly senior demographic of Animalia’s clientele struggled with the technology. And faced with two apps—one for the general practice and another for the rehab practice—led to confusion. King began looking for a different app that would offer user functionality while still providing the usability staff craved. Several popular options were available on the market, but she kept coming back to PetDesk. And while memory of the glitches remained, it was overshadowed by PetDesk’s responsiveness to issues.
In 2020, Animalia returned to the PetDesk app. And with staff previously familiar with the system, no additional training was needed—an added perk of the switch.
“When we switched to VitusVet, they were working on VitusVet Pay, where you could pay within the app, which was exciting. But they never launched it after we switched. So it was a big perk they were talking about when we originally signed with them, but it took them a long time to develop, so we never saw those benefits.”
Solving Client Compliance
PetDesk’s lapsed client reports allowed Animalia CSRs to target clients who’d slipped out of compliance. With an astounding 6,453 digitally-reachable clients, they sent out 11,432 electronic notices in the past 12 months. (CSRs only needed to send postcards to 34 households!) And the service reminders kept the clinic running smoothly.
The data permitted Animalia to see a surge in client compliance. The possibilities presented with the app’s documentation features and mass messaging opportunities left King delighted: “If you know heartworm awareness month is approaching, you can target people who are out of compliance or soon to be out of compliance. And reaching out to them through PetDesk cuts down on phone calls and the work of our CSRs on the back end. I can’t imagine life without a client-facing app like this. I mean, I know we existed without one before, but I don’t remember those days. I don’t think I want to remember those days!”
The app has saved over 953 working hours in the past year, easing the burden on the clinic’s CSRs. And the team’s excited to discuss the app with new clients. Even staff members without pets download and test it out, ensuring they understand how to request appointments, medications, or prescription diets, enter microchip numbers, or send vaccination records to groomers and boarding facilities. And the app’s different methods of communication have kept clients AWAY from phone calls, allowing staff to focus on other tasks—saving Animalia about $160,048 between 2021-2022.
“... And reaching out to them through PetDesk cuts down on phone calls and the work of our CSRs on the back end.”
+96 NPS Score
The versatility of the PetDesk app has extended the practice-client relationship a step further, especially for a Communications Manager like King. “Reputation management is a big part of my job, and I respond personally to every review and survey that comes through PetDesk. It’s good for the clinic’s accountability. If there’s something we could have done better, we try to resolve it. If staff gets called out for a job well done, that helps boost morale.”
Acquired by Mission Veterinary Partners, Animalia had the option to use a third-party review program to manage their NPS scores and client reviews. But the system proved too confusing. PetDesk’s app offered a more accessible interface, allowing her to spend one day a week reviewing the practice’s feedback in one location.
Within the app, reputation management became an enjoyable routine. King can share feedback with the staff and distribute “Kazoo points” to anyone mentioned by name in a positive light. And she takes responding to reviews seriously. “I think responding to the positive reviews and feedback is really important. If someone took the time to write something about us and their experience, I want to take the time to respond.”
Her efforts have paid off. Animalia maintains a +96 all-time NPS score in the app. And via the Online Reviews and Reputation Tool, they have a 9.8 out of 10 survey rating.
“Our clients will want to use the app and check it regularly. That helps with compliance because the more they’re on the app, the more aware they’ll become of what their pets are due for.”
Creating a Loyalty Program for the Community
Looking to the future, Animalia is most excited to launch the loyalty program available through the PetDesk app. They hope the rollout will increase the clinic-client bond while contributing to the practice’s community outreach mission. “Our hospital is very much about giving back to the community with the rescue work we do,” King explains. “Instead of offering $25 off a client’s next exam, when they earn enough points through the loyalty program, we thought, ‘Why not invite them to give $25 towards an organization in the community?’”
Fostering a sense of community ranks at the top of Animalia’s priorities. King admits they may still throw in the incentive of a discount to entice participation, but the donations hold the most appeal to the staff; she believes their clientele will quickly champion the motive. And the loyalty program will continue to boost client compliance, something she’s eager to seize upon: “Our clients will want to use the app and check it regularly. That helps with compliance because the more they’re on the app, the more aware they’ll become of what their pets are due for.”