Uncover the five steps to attract more clients and increase the revenue of your veterinary practice.
There are a lot of opportunities out there for veterinarians. But it also means that there are plenty of other competitors ready to take your business and make it their own. Hopefully, you shook your head in defiance and thought: “Not on my watch.”
So how can you do just that? Here are five steps:
First things first…
Focus On Providing Excellent Customer Service
“If Dogs Don’t Like Your Dog Food The Packaging Doesn’t Matter.” Stephen Denny.
The point is that if your customers don’t like how you do things, then it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on advertising or how nice your website looks — they won’t come back!
While you want people to come into your clinic for appointments, you also need them to recommend you to other pet owners, give testimonials about your services, and send their friends and family members to see you when they need care for their animals too.
The following are non-negotiable:
- Foster a welcoming and pet-friendly atmosphere in the clinic, where clients and their pets feel comfortable and at ease, encouraging them to return for future appointments. This can be achieved through things like having designated play areas, treats and curb appeal, access, and staff trained in handling pets with care and compassion.
- Provide individualized attention to each client and their pet, taking the time to listen to their concerns and answer their questions.
- Offer convenience for clients by making it easy for them to pay their bills or schedule appointments online or over the phone.
- Be transparent by letting people know how much they can expect upfront.
- Offer house call services and after-hours support.
- Provide client education and resources. For example, educational resources such as classes on pet care or nutrition. Additionally, it could be an online resource center, where clients can access articles, videos, and other resources on pet health and wellness.
Additionally, you can consider the following tips:
- Utilize cutting-edge technology such as wearable devices, telemedicine, 3D printing, etc. to provide a unique and modern experience for clients and improve patient care.
- Continuity of care. It would help to build a strong rapport with the client and provide continuity of care for the pet.
- Flexible scheduling: Offer extended hours or weekend appointments to accommodate busy schedules, or provide the option for clients to schedule appointments outside of normal business hours.
After you’ve implemented all or most the above, consider the next step:
Add New Services Or Products To Your Practice Menu
The secret is to find a genuine need and fulfill it. The process is simple:
- Identify a service or product that would benefit your clients and their pets. You can do this by:
- Asking your clients directly.
- Find out what they’re already doing outside of your practice for those needs and fill any gaps in their care. (If they’re driving across town for something, why not bring it in-house?)
- Do market research with other veterinary practices in your area or on a nationwide basis if needed; look at what they do and see if there are any opportunities for offering similar services or products in your practice.
- Create a plan that will enable you to deliver the service or product at an affordable price point while still making a profit.
- Test the market by offering the service or product on a trial basis before making a full commitment to offering it full-time (to ensure customer satisfaction).
- Once proven successful, roll it out into your regular schedule of services offered to all clients!
Note: If you don’t have the time or expertise to develop a needed solution on your own, consider bringing in an expert consultant who can help you create something special for your patients or clients.
At this stage of your quest, chances are you’d need extra help. The solution?
Build A Strong Team
Building a strong team is essential for the long-term success and growth of a veterinary practice, as it allows the practice to provide better care, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve its goals more effectively. This is not just a matter of opening up positions for new hires or working with any vendor/supplier; it’s about finding people who are the right fit for your business, and who have the skills and experience to supplement your own.
Here are a few simple steps to follow when you need to build a team for your practice:
- Hire the right people: Find individuals who have a passion for animal care and customer service, as well as the necessary skills and experience, to build a strong team.
- Foster a positive workplace culture: Create a positive, supportive, and inclusive workplace culture, where team members feel valued, respected, and motivated to provide the best care possible.
- Provide training and development opportunities: Invest in ongoing training and development opportunities for team members. Leverage many veterinary conferences that provide opportunities for continuing education.
- Recognize and reward success: Recognize and reward team members for their achievements, including both individual and team successes, to boost morale and motivation.
- Lead by example: Lead by example and demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes that you want to see in your team, such as a strong work ethic, excellent customer service, and a commitment to excellence.
Market Your Practice
You need to get the word out about your practice so people know what services it offers, where it’s located, and how they can contact you if they have questions or concerns about their pets’ health.
The key to success is to think local – i.e. adapt your marketing strategies to your immediate community. Here are some suggestions:
- Host community events: events such as pet adoption fairs, vaccine clinics, or pet-friendly festivals, to engage with potential clients and build awareness of the practice.
- Ask for referral/ Offer a referral program: Encourage current clients to refer their friends and family to the practice. You can also take it a step further by offering a reward, such as a discount or a free service, for each referral.
- Utilize digital marketing: Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach new clients and showcase the unique aspects of your practice.
- Partner with local businesses: Partner with local pet-friendly businesses such as pet stores, grooming salons, or dog parks, to reach a wider audience and increase visibility.
- Join professional and local associations: Examples are the AVMA and state veterinary associations. Others include voluntary non-profit organizations. Use them to network with others and eventually, you’d get an opportunity to talk about what you do.
These marketing strategies can be effective in reaching new clients, building awareness, and promoting your practice.
That’s not all…
Attend Veterinary Conferences
Conferences where vets and (other industry professionals) come together for education sessions and networking opportunities provide opportunities for professional development, networking, and learning about the latest advances in veterinary medicine.
When you attend a veterinary conference, here are 4 ways it can help your veterinary practice succeed:
- Vet conferences provide the opportunity for continuing education on the latest advances in veterinary medicine, allowing practice owners to stay current on the latest developments and improve the quality of care they provide.
- They provide fantastic opportunities to network with other practice owners, veterinarians, and industry experts, allowing practice owners to exchange ideas and learn from their peers and gain new perspectives on running a successful practice.
- These events often feature exhibitors showcasing the latest products and services available to veterinary practices, allowing practice owners to explore new solutions and technologies that can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their practice.
- Attending a vet conference can be a great way to re-energize and gain new perspectives, allowing practice owners to return to their practice with renewed motivation and inspiration.
By following the five steps outlined in this post, practice owners can create a foundation for growth, build a strong team, reach new clients, and stay current on the latest advancements in veterinary medicine. Whether you are just starting or looking to take your practice to the next level, these steps can help you build a thriving veterinary practice.