The Problem: Lack of functionality and integration made client communications a hassle
In 2015, Cat Clinic founder, Dr. Diane Steinberg, and former practice manager, Tracy Neurauter, returned to the office where they’d served side by side for years. Stepping in together as new co-owners, they were determined to restore the struggling clinic to be successful and profitable. But Dr. Steinberg had one key requirement—this time she intended to focus on practicing veterinary medicine, while Tracy took over as hospital administrator to manage all facets of the business.
Preparing to retake her leadership role, Tracy evaluated the existing grab bag of solutions, including DemandForce and MailChimp. She quickly realized that the lack of veterinary-specific functionality and limited integration with their DVMax practice management software would present serious problems.
At the time, DemandForce was helpful for mass client emails but couldn’t send the appointment-reminder postcards many clients, especially older clients, still relied on. Without an easy way to mark in the PIMS which clients preferred what form of communication, Tracy was sending both emails and postcards to everyone, incurring extra time and expense.
One day, while hunched over an “old dinosaur of a printer” preparing the latest batch of postcards, Tracy decided it was time to find an alternative. She’d heard about PetDesk at a veterinary conference, so when a company representative reached out to her, she was ready to learn about the features.
“I can’t imagine not having PetDesk at our clinic. Every feature we
use helps our staff immensely in caring for our patients and clients. PetDesk is specifically focused on helping veterinary practices improve their day-to-day. That’s what we needed. That’s what DemandForce was not for us at the time.”
The Solution: Appointment reminders and more, all in one place
By Tracy’s estimates, using PetDesk to reduce the number of daily appointment reminder calls would deliver immediate value, helping PetDesk pay for itself. A brief discussion was all it took to gain buy-in from her practice partners.
From there, the PetDesk implementation was “very seamless,” and training and onboarding presented no problems during initial set-up or today as new employees join the team. In fact, new hires from other practices notice the difference. “They’ll say, ‘This is neat. I wish my old clinic had done that.’ Just having the attitude of trying to make their job more efficient helps retain staff,” said Tracy.
Tracy also appreciates that pet parents don’t need to download the PetDesk app to stay informed. Text and email functionality facilitates communications with less app-savvy clients and encourages them to communicate electronically as well. A great example came during the global pandemic. “We were texting clients with Covid updates. I don’t know that we could have done that without PetDesk.”
“They’ll say, ‘This is neat. I wish my old clinic had done that.’ Just having the attitude of trying to make their job more efficient helps retain staff.”
The Results: 5+ hours in time-savings per day PLUS better client service
Using PetDesk, Cat Clinic can confirm 90% of appointments automatically, which saves staff at least one hour per day. The availability of electronic medication refill requests, appointment requests, and cancellations saves another two hours or more. And using text rather than phone to check in with clients or answer inquiries saves an additional two hours.
All told, PetDesk slashes five-plus hours of staff on a daily basis—over 100 hours per month.
What’s more, PetDesk has enhanced two-way communications with pet parents. “With some clients, we’d call and leave a message and never hear back,” said Tracy. But now, “If a boarding client had to rush to the airport and we have a follow-up question, we can text and get a quick answer. Or we’ll surprise them with a picture of their cat while they’re on their trip.”
Based on the positive impact PetDesk has had on Cat Clinic, Tracy frequently recommends the solution to other practice managers. What does she say to those who currently use DemandForce? “I can’t imagine not having PetDesk at our clinic. Every feature we use helps our staff immensely in caring for our patients and clients. PetDesk is specifically focused on helping veterinary practices improve their day-to-day. That’s what we needed. That’s what DemandForce was not for us at the time.”
We couldn’t put it better ourselves.