A survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that around 90 per cent of veterinary school graduates borrowed money to fund their education, meaning many start their careers in substantial debt.
This statistic, paired with a slowing economy and increased competition from other veterinary practices puts pressure on many vets to make profits fast, whilst still retaining customers. If your veterinary practice is experiencing fewer visits, this blog post will help you bring in more clients to your clinic, while keeping profits high.
1. Ensure You Are On Top Of Appointments
Sending out regular reminders are a great way to keep both yourself and your clients organized, as well as giving the client an opportunity to make changes to their booking if other commitments come up. You can even use more than one method of communication to send clients reminders, sending a letter or email to confirm the appointment, and a text on the day of the appointment.
If clients fail to show up for their appointments after significant reminders, reiterate that this is a spot that could have been filled by another client. You may also choose to implement a 24-hour cancellation policy to ensure you don’t lose out as a result of no-shows, and to encourage clients to show up for their appointments on time for future visits.
2. Join The Social Media Revolution
The fact that 1,870 million users are active on Facebook alone shows that social media can be an extremely effective marketing tool. For this reason, it’s vital that your practice has a profile on each of the major platforms, keeping existing clients up to date as well as bringing in new customers as a result of shared posts and tags.
You should also make sure your website is intuitive and easily allows for online booking, as well as containing helpful information and links. Ensure images are of high-quality and your website looks professional, enlisting the help of a website designer, which although costly, is an investment worth making.
3. Give Your Clients The Best Experience Possible
A pet’s visit to the vets can be a stressful time, but it’s also important to think of the owner’s needs too. Put yourself in the client’s shoes and think about what you can offer them to make their experience more enjoyable, such as free parking, WiFi, a coffee machine, and of course dog and cat treats where applicable to put pets at ease.
As well as ensuring their visit runs smoothly, continue to offer great customer service beyond the appointment, for example, through a follow-up call to check in with owner and pet. This not only reminds the client that you care about their pet’s wellbeing, but also gives them the opportunity to ask any additional questions they may have.
4. Offer Incentives For Referrals And Revisits
One of the best ways to keep your veterinary practice profitable is to offer clients rewards for referrals. Rewards can be as simple as offering clients a discount off of their pet’s next appointment, and you may implement a system whereby the more friends that clients refers you to, the higher the discount.
Other rewards might include gift cards, t-shirts or mugs with your practice logo printed on them. You should also reward those clients who are loyal to your practice as an incentive to come back.
For more information on how you can expand your veterinary practice, take a look at our veterinary clinic appointment booking software.