I’ve written about veterinary excess capacity before, namely that there are too many veterinarians chasing not enough clients. So how do we fix that? Well, there are two broad possibilities: reduce supply and increase demand. As I’ve alluded to before, the former is far easier said than done. Whatever we as a profession will be able to do about veterinary supply will happen at such a slow pace that you should not consider it in your budgeting and short term strategic plans. You might as well assume that supply will remain high for the foreseeable future.
Increasing demand, however, is a much more achievable goal at the level of the individual practice. In the past, I’ve written about the importance of client loyalty, especially in light of the macroeconomic challenges facing the profession. We’ve talked about ways to measure it, with Net Promoter Score being something that is very easy to implement. Brush up on it and use www.surveymonkey.com to start measuring this vital indicator, and publish the results in your break room or on a team bulletin board. Improving client loyalty is a team effort, and everybody needs to be on board. I recommend you go over this number at every staff meeting and track the changes.
Many practice owners I have worked with will fixate on “new client numbers” but, for my money, NPS is a much better indicator. Finding out who your top 10-20 clients from a spending perspective is also a good thing to do, but ironically these clients may not necessarily be great “talkers” about your brand. Find out who the top 10-20 sources of new referrals are, as those clients are just as important. Focusing on these important metrics while never forgetting to “give value first” will get you more clients. Guaranteed.
Consider this study done in the banking industry:
Obviously veterinary practice is not the same as the banking industry, but we all intuitively know that not all clients are created equal. Lord Kelvin said it best: “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” It’s worth figuring out where your growth is coming from. Good luck and please share any comments or questions you have!