Founded in 1989, Lake Emma Animal Hospital in central Florida needed a loyalty program that improved the hospital’s revenue stream by solidifying client loyalty and helped staff navigate more confidently through the inevitable money conversations.
Customers since 2015, the PetDesk loyalty program was implemented and customized in 2017, and as helped create a loyal base of customers for Lake Emma.
Today, clients keep coming back to the full service, AAHA-accredited hospital with five doctors and staff of 40. Revenue is healthy with all the return business. However, the hospital has had to work hard to achieve these streamlined results. Most recently, it involved doubling their efforts to increase client loyalty.
The Problem: Competing for client loyalty, strained discussions about cost
Like many veterinary clinics, Lake Emma is always trying to maintain client loyalty. Competition from online sources and retail stores is fierce. Consequently, the hospital is always on the lookout for ways to motivate clients to keep coming back.
Likewise, the hospital was not exempt from the industry-wide problem of reluctant owners considering costly diagnostics and other treatment recommendations. The resulting “money” conversations made staff uncomfortable and negatively affected clients. And even though the hospital’s standard of care was top-notch—their AAHA accreditation was testimony to that—it could not guarantee client loyalty.
The Solution: A customized loyalty program that helps clients pay the bills
Jen, Lake Emma’s Practice Manager, had attended several conferences and noticed that other practices were offering rewards programs to strengthen client loyalty. She knew that PetDesk could help them design their own loyalty program.
She made a phone call to PetDesk and with their guidance, the hospital created a loyalty program that addressed the challenges they were facing.
Their program, Pet Perks, gives back to clients who bring their pets to Lake Emma for care. After they’ve enrolled, clients can redeem dollar rewards that are exchanged for points earned through services or products purchased.
Because Lake Emma’s staff recognizes the value of the loyalty program, they’re comfortable discussing and promoting it to their clients. During checkout, they always mention the Pet Perks program and encourage clients to sign up if they haven’t already. Front desk staffers are always pleased to witness the thrilled reaction of a client whose bill just shrunk thanks to loyalty points the client has earned!
Jen, Practice Manager, relays this story about a loyal customer whose dog underwent numerous, exhausting treatments at the hospital. “He had forgotten that he had loyalty points … when we checked, we saw that he had earned enough to cover the entire bill!”
The Result: Improved revenue, less stress discussing cost of care
Dr. Crainick, the hospital’s medical director, said the doctors at the hospital all love the program. “When I’m with a client and I know the bill might be a little high, I make sure to bring up the Pet Perks program and the app. I think it makes it easier to afford things, sort of like insurance.”
Apparently, Dr. Crainick was right. From September 2018 to September 2019, loyalty revenue for the hospital grew from $82,892 to $134,319 respectively. In addition, in September 2019, 12.4% of the hospital’s clients were part of the loyalty program and those clients contributed 47.5% of total revenue to the hospital for that month. In comparison, in September 2018, 32% of total revenue was attributed to clients in the loyalty program. In other words, as participants in the loyalty program increase, revenue increases as well.
Dr. Crainick also had this to say. “Clients know they’ll be getting some dollars off, so they’re more willing to do the bloodwork or buy the joint supplement because they know they can redeem their points and save money now and in the future.”
“When I’m with a client and I know the bill might be a little high, I make sure to bring up the Pet Perks program and the app.”