For Clients Today, Convenience Is King

Consumers today demand convenience, and your veterinary clients are no exception. Here are a few ideas for increasing client convenience in your practice.
Maureen McKinney
Published: April 27, 2017
Hectic. Harried. Chaotic. These are just a few words that describe life today for many of us. Your clients are feeling the crunch, too, with busy schedules and never enough time to get everything done.
 
So why not give them reliable, efficient services that are easy to use when it’s convenient for them?

When veterinary practices offer these value-added services, clients experience the peace of mind of knowing that they can count on you to deliver what they need when they need it. And your practice benefits from loyal (and more compliant) clients who spread the word about you to their family and friends
 
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Here are just a few ideas for things you can offer your clients to make their lives (and yours) just a little bit easier.
 
Online Appointment Scheduling
Clients who schedule their pets’ appointments online don’t have to be put on hold when they call your practice, and they can arrange their appointments when it is most convenient for them — whether that’s 4 p.m. or 4 a.m.
 
Enabling clients to book online has benefits for your practice as well, including less time spent by your team on the phone and more clients booking appointments overall. Many cloud-based practice management software products allow you to offer this convenience as well as other client communication tools.
 
Extended Hours
Making the clients who visit your practice feel less time-pressured not only increases convenience for them, but it also gives your practice a competitive advantage. Many pet owners do not have 9-to-5 jobs and can’t necessarily take time off for veterinary appointments.

Survey your clients first to ask whether they’d take advantage of extended clinic hours, and then find out what extra hours would best suit them. Some may prefer more weekday evening hours, while others may request more availability on weekends. You might also consider looking at nearby practices to see what extended hours they offer and open your doors at times when theirs are closed.
 
Offering extended hours may be difficult for smaller practices, but consider it if you can. Of course, you’ll need to talk to your team to make sure staff will be available to man the clinic during off-hours, or you may consider hiring a new associate.
 
Home Delivery Options
Clients appreciate the convenience of being able to purchase the medications, food and pet products they need at any time and having them delivered right to their door step. In fact, many of your clients expect this convenience — and if you are not providing it for them, then someone else will.
 
Managing this service in house is not feasible for many practices due to space and time constraints, but keep in mind that an online store can be outsourced to a number of companies. Auto-shipping medications and pet nutrition products helps to increase compliance as well.
 
Online Pet Health Library
Pet owners have no shortage of websites to search when it comes to pet health, but not every source is reputable or credible. Your clients visit your practice because they trust you and they trust your knowledge and expertise. Why not provide some of that expertise on your website for clients to access at any time? By offering 24/7 access to pet health information, you give your clients what they need when they need it.
 
Think simple at first, with topics on nail trimming, medication administration and potentially toxic household items, for example. Just be sure your website is mobile-friendly, as that’s where the majority of Google searches now take place.
 
[Click here to learn more about Google’s push for mobile websites.]

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