According to Forbes, acquiring new customers can cost four to five times more than retaining those you already have. During a time when veterinary visits are down 2% and practices are short-staffed and have already raised prices, it’s more important than ever to focus on growing revenue. The least expensive way to grow revenue is to retain and re-engage the clients you already have. Read on for ways you can set the stage to effectively and efficiently reach clients and fit in more appointments — without overworking your team.
Maximize your veterinary team’s efficiency
Fitting appointments in when your clients need them is key to improving relationships with them — and growing your bottom line. And to do that without hiring more staff, you must make the most of the team you have.
Credentialed veterinary technicians play a vital role in the effective use of your veterinarians’ time. Properly using their skills to the fullest extent of what’s allowed in your state will help you reduce expenses and grow profits. Veterinary technicians can give your veterinarians more time to focus on evaluating, diagnosing, prescribing, planning, and performing surgeries.
Give credentialed technicians patient care tasks, such as collecting blood, administering fluids, placing catheters, assessing overall patient care, taking radiographs, and running diagnostic tests. While focusing on these tasks, your technicians should delegate cleaning and general animal care tasks to your skilled veterinary assistants.
When scheduling appointments, keep in mind what your team members are capable of handling — not every appointment requires a veterinarian. Fit more appointments in by scattering technician appointments throughout the day and placing medical appointments between preventative care appointments.
Use technology to simplify and streamline tasks
Leverage technology to save time for your team. Tasks that can be automated or simplified include:
- Appointment confirmations — Use your veterinary client engagement system to automatically send appointment confirmation texts.
- Reminders for upcoming and past-due services — Send automated reminders via text, email, or direct mail through your client engagement system.
- Prescription management — Order your clients’ prescriptions and sign them up for AutoShip while in the exam room so they won’t need to call your practice for refills. If they aren’t ready to purchase during the exam, your prescription management platform should allow you to send your recommendation, including AutoShip, directly to their email so they can order when they’re ready.
- Client education — Use an automated email service to educate clients and improve compliance with medications, parasite prevention, and prescription foods.
- Client re-engagement — When was the last time that patient visited your practice? Use your veterinary data service to help you identify lapsed patients and automatically send emails encouraging them to book appointments.
- The check-in process — Create a check-in form using Jotform or Google Docs, and include the form with appointment confirmations and reminders.
- The check-out process — Send invoices and collect payments digitally, whether for in-person, drop-off, or virtual appointments.
Get proactive about preventative care
Use your blog, social media posts, emails, and other client communications to emphasize the importance of preventative care. Encourage clients to sign up for AutoShip to ensure their pets never miss a dose of their recurring medications and parasite preventatives. Educating clients and encouraging preventative care will help to increase your wellness visits while decreasing your sick appointments and the time your team spends managing preventable conditions.
It’s also important to know how compliant your clients are with your preventative recommendations. Compliance data is nearly impossible to pull from veterinary practice management systems, but you have to measure it before you can effectively manage it.
Knowing your numbers is key to understanding client behavior trends and identifying re-engagement opportunities. Work with a veterinary data service that can help you monitor compliance in key areas such as:
- Annual physical exam
- Wellness bloodwork
- Heartworm and fecal testing
- Dental cleanings
When you know your compliance numbers, you’ll be able to target specific clients with messaging that applies to them.
Enhance client communication with digital tools
Interact with your clients virtually between in-clinic visits. The following (and more!) can be done via text, email, or video chat:
- Review or triage symptoms
- Discuss diagnostic results
- Provide surgical or medical instructions
- Send educational materials
- Answer questions about prescriptions
Digital communication expedites access to care, which is a win-win-win for pets, their owners, and your team. When pet owners can conveniently reach your team digitally, they’ll be more likely to comply with your recommendations and stay loyal to your practice.
Now’s the time
The past few years have been tough for veterinary professionals, and the problems plaguing the profession aren’t going away any time soon. At Vetsource, we understand that you’re trying to do more with less, improve client relationships, and maintain profitability in a demanding environment. Our comprehensive platform is designed to help you navigate these challenges. Our solutions do more than simplify tasks — they enhance client relationships, improve preventative care compliance, and drive business growth. The results? A more efficient team, happier clients, and healthier patients.
Reach out to learn how Vetsource’s Prescription Management, Data & Insights, Client Engagement, and Payment Processing solutions can make a difference for your veterinary practice.