Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA

Recent Posts

The Annual Exam: A requiem

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA on Apr 17, 2017 3:15:20 PM

 Veterinary practices historically have been overwhelmingly reliant on the revenue from annual wellness exams to keep their doors open. Not just the primary revenue from the visit itself, but the dentals and procedures and lab work that arise from that visit. I’m increasingly of the opinion that this fairly predictable revenue stream is slowly but surely going away.

Why? As with every trend, there are many factors. Some are larger than others, but in this case it seems as though the factors that tend to reduce client compliance are more powerful than those that enhance it. Here is a non-exhaustive list of factors that, I believe, are leading to a fundamental change in the business of veterinary medicine.

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Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, For Practice Managers

Faxing - The Massive Drain On Your Team's Productivity

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA on Dec 5, 2016 1:32:51 PM

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Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, For Practice Managers

Postcard reminders: 3 reasons you're kidding yourself.

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA on Nov 8, 2016 3:07:52 PM

I go to a dentist, chiropractor, and doctor. Guess how many of them send me postcard reminders for my routine care? You guessed it: Zero. Zilch. The big Goose Egg. Nada. None.

Your practice has likely relied heavily on the use of postcard reminders over the years, but how effective are they? Perhaps not surprisingly, evidence shows that they aren’t working very well anymore. And what’s worse is that most practices don’t know how to track whether they’re working at all. Why aren’t clients as responsive to this form of recall reminder as they used to be? There are a number of contributing factors to their decline, and below are the top 3 reasons that you should stop wasting your time & money on postcard reminders.

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Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, For Practice Managers

3 ways you’re ruining staff and client relationships

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA on Oct 25, 2016 12:24:43 PM

Mark Opperman is right when he says, “It’s what’s up front that counts.” To me, this means that your front desk team members need to be completely focused on client service at all times.  This is especially true for those clients who are physically in your facility, as they rightly expect to be a focus of your attention. I’ve long believed that client reception is the most difficult job in a veterinary practice. In fact, I love the title “Client Service Representative (CSR)” as that’s really what they do. As one co-worker once told me, “Reception is an area…not a person.”

Why do I say this job is so difficult? There are many reasons but high among them is that it’s not easy to always be smiling, friendly, and “on.” To be calm in the face of upset clients and sick pets. Certainly you can and should hire for personality and bring on people who enjoy serving others, but on a busy Saturday morning when there’s a line out your door and the phone is ringing off the hook, even your best performers can be put to the test.

So you’ve hired the right people and are continually training them on the core values and standard procedures of your hospital…what are their biggest pain points?  What tasks not only make your CSR’s job the toughest but also lead most directly to poor client service? I think there are three specific areas where modern veterinary hospitals put excessive burden on their CSRs, that lead to poor experiences for your clients:

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Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, For Practice Managers

5 reasons why the telephone is killing your practice

Posted by Mark Olcott, DVM, MBA on Oct 11, 2016 1:21:34 PM

One of the most interesting things I learned in business school was that consumer communication preferences are changing very fast. This can be intimidating for veterinarians who, to put it charitably, don’t have a history of being early adopters. The fact that the average veterinary clinic is a good ten years behind the times with respect to consumer technology isn’t cute anymore...it’s a threat for those practices that don’t adapt.  And a tremendous opportunity for those that do. One of the biggest areas where this is evident is in the changing preferences with respect to the almighty telephone.  

According to Ian Bogost in his August 2015 article in The Atlantic entitled “Don’t hate the phone call; hate the phone.”

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Topics: Grow Your Veterinary Practice, For Practice Managers