Looking for ways to enhance the client experience at your veterinary practice? Take a look at a few simple ways to make it better and more effective for both your clients and your staff.
Before the appointment
Let clients know what to expect and gather as much info as possible before the appointment to save both you and your clients valuable time.
- Give clients the opportunity to set up appointments and fill out forms electronically.
- Take advantage of Google’s Street View so prospective clients can see what your practice looks like before visiting. This gives them an idea of what building to look for and what the parking situation is like ahead of time.
- Set expectations for the appointment over the phone. Find out as much as you can about what the client expects from the appointment so the proper amount of time and resources can be allocated.
The check-in experience sets the tone for the visit and should be as welcoming and stress-free as possible.
- Set up a “welcome” whiteboard in your reception area. List the names of pets that will be visiting the practice that day — clients love this!
- Regularly walk through the practice to make sure it stays clean and tidy throughout.
- Take your time with clients so they feel calm, not rushed, and smile!
- Upload photos of your patients to your practice management system so your team can put names to faces.
- Check client contact information (especially email addresses) during each visit to keep your database up to date.
- Keep clients informed about the status of their appointments if there are delays. This will avoid unnecessary aggravation on their part.
During the appointment
Adding a personal touch to appointments helps clients recognize that you’re listening to their needs.
- When it comes to balancing tech time with doctor time, there are no hard and fast rules. Tailor the appointment to the client’s needs and preferences so you can provide the most value. Clients who have a great relationship with an experienced technician might be quite happy to spend most of their visit with that tech. New clients may feel better served if they visit with a doctor. Others (those that appear rushed for time, for example) may want to meet with both the tech and doctor simultaneously to avoid having to explain their concerns twice.
- Like the welcome board in the lobby, consider placing a board in each exam room with the names of that day’s visitors.
- Whether you’re a doctor or technician, explain what you’re doing and why during each step of the appointment. Clients will feel much more comfortable with the process, and you’ll be adding great value to your service.
- Promote and explain the value and importance of bloodwork, nutrition, and wellness exams. If your clients understand this, they’ll be more likely to comply with your recommendations.
Upon and after checkout
Continue the welcoming atmosphere and personalized touches to the end for a consistent and positive client experience.
- Walk your clients out to reception after their appointment. This added personal touch is a great opportunity to point them toward any recommended products.
- If you have a home delivery program, offer to place an order for the therapies the doctor recommended.
- Double-check invoices before handing them over to make absolutely sure they’re correct.
- Forward-book your patients’ next appointments. Use Vetsource’s Practice Overview Report to increase your forward-booking rate like this veterinary practice did.
- Email clients an online survey or hand them a printed one at checkout to get feedback about their experience. Use that feedback to make improvements to the client experience.
- Offer a carry-out service to clients, including those who call in product orders and those who order through your client engagement app. If clients are struggling with kids, pets, or paperwork, help them get their purchases to their car. It’s a small gesture, but one that helps build loyalty.
Try incorporating just one or two ideas from each section — implementing all of them at once may feel overwhelming and will likely be less successful. By focusing on a few simple things at a time, you’ll be well on your way to improving the service and care your clients receive.