The veterinary industry is progressing fast and your practice must keep up. The big question is: ‘’How to do this and avoid an eye-watering price tag!?’’
It is often to easy to get caught up in a highly expensive arms race of diagnostic equipment with the local competition and forget one simple truth: The vast majority your customers will never set foot beyond your reception and consulting rooms, remaining unaware your X-Ray machine is cutting edge, your operating table would be welcomed by most referral hospitals or that you have a CT scanner (not uncommon these days!). It’s the customer service and communication they receive from your staff that is still the most important.
Hence, modernising your customer service is an extremely effective way to modernise the overall look of your practice. Thankfully, it’s not going to cost a fortune either!
Vet Clinic Companion has worked with many veterinary practices around the world. Here is a collection of the best, most cost-effective ways, we have seen practices modernise and improve the service they provide:
1. Vet practice mobile app:
Get a mobile app to interact and communicate with your clients. Effectively extending your customer service to clients when they are at home, in a modern, relatable, cost-effective way.
VCC YourVet mobile app allows clients to:
- Send updates and pictures of clinical cases from the comfort of their sofa.
- Request repeat medications and appointments whenever they remember, without your staff having to be at the end of a phone line.
- Easily access the health information you want them to read, not what an internet forum suggests.
- Receive all your latest clinic news with double the interaction rates of an email campaign.
- Sends reminders for anything they need it for, including giving short term medications.
- Allows you to send pictures of hospitalised patients to their owners.
2. A display screen in reception:
Put a screen in the reception that displays pictures of pets (especially staff pets!), case studies and even funny memes from social media. Allowing other businesses to advertise on this space will also generate revenue.
This will provide entertainment for clients as they wait to be seen. It might sound like an expensive enterprise, but providing some advertising space will quickly cancel out the costs.
Please contact us for more information on how you can install this system and produce a presentation.
3. Taking great pet pictures:
Train a member of staff to take brilliant animal pictures. You now have instantly tapped into a huge source of client entertainment that will be greatly appreciated on social media and your reception screens.
There is usually someone in the team that loves photography. Taking pictures on a phone camera is ideal for social media but to make them any larger (e.g. for reception display screens), you will need a digital camera.
Always get written consent from the owner before you display pictures of their pets as case studies. This is easy as owners are usually delighted for their pet to have a moment of fame!
4. Reception radio:
Get a radio in the reception area. A popular channel provides enjoyable listening for customers waiting to be seen.
Make sure it is only background noise, so staff can still talk to customers and take phone calls easily. You may also require a music licence.
5. Feature wall:
If you feel some redecoration is required, a great way to do this is making an animal picture a feature wall.
There are thousands of stock pictures on the internet that are perfect for this. Make sure the picture is capable of being expanded to the correct dimensions. You can go one step further and use pictures of staff pets taken by a professional photographer.
6. Making customers a cup of tea or coffee:
If it looks like a customer is going to have a wait over 15 minutes, your receptionists can offer them a free cup of tea or coffee. It will be much appreciated, making their wait into a positive experience.
The gold standard is to purchase an urn, so that reception can make the brew as fast as possible. Disposable cups are also a good idea to save washing up!
7. Medical follow-ups:
Encourage all your vets to call the owners of 3 medical cases they have seen every week. Following up these cases is greatly appreciated by your clients. It does not take long and fits perfectly into the category of ‘going the extra mile’.
Ideally, vets should make the call on Monday or Tuesday to clients seen the previous week. Most of the time the news will be all good, the animal will be making a great recovery and there will be smiles all round. If there have not been obvious improvements, then it allows the vet to find a day and time to re-examine the animal that week. (Calling on Friday usually results in a weekend re-examine with a different vet).
8. Screensaver messages:
Computer screensavers are a great way to communicate a message and usually an under-utilised resource. If the computer screen is easily visible to clients, display something useful for them to read. Clients often have a 5-minute wait in consult rooms whilst the vet gets required drugs, takes bloods etc. Screens (especially with moving images/slideshows) catch the eye more than posters. If the layout of the room makes the screen only visible for the vet, make a reminder on it. e.g. medical follow up calls, checking the repeat prescriptions list etc.
9. Animal behaviour classes at the clinic:
Get in touch with a local animal behaviourist. Request them to run an animal behaviour workshop at your clinic in the evenings. It’s win-win for all involved. You are offering another service to your clients which requires very little extra effort (except a bit of promotion), the animal behaviourist gets more trade, and there will be a large number of clients who are delighted to attend. The animal behaviourist will usually receive the money for the lessons directly from the clients. It is your decision if you wish to take a commission or not.
10. Client notes:
Clients will often tell staff about events in their lives (getting married, starting a new job etc). Remembering these events and asking about them at a later date is a great personal touch to your customer service and is always appreciated. Some people have the god-given ability of easily remembering these things, for the rest of us mere mortals, writing a client note in the practice management system, with your initials beside it is an easy way to remember these things before the client enters the consulting room.
11. Veterinary supplier promotions:
Like our Facebook page and get the latest promotions for loads of veterinary supply companies displayed in one place! We monitor and share the latest promotions and interesting news from the below list of companies.
- Royal Canin
- Black Hawk
- Boehringer Ingleheim
- SVS … and many more!