We did a survey of veterinarians and practice managers that attended two large veterinary conferences earlier this year. The questions had to do with telephone and texting capabilities for their practices. We then compared them to actual consumer preferences (i.e. what their clients want) and found some pretty big surprises.
How many of your clients come in daily to purchase refills, preventatives, food and other pet supplies? Chances are it is a good number...but it's declining. Competition from online providers, like Chewy and Amazon.com, has never been tougher. Some of these companies are so well-funded that they are willing to LOSE money in order to get your clients' online pharmacy business because they know that, once they get them away from you, they'll never buy medications/food from you again. We've even seen some online providers with retail prices that are less than the average veterinary practice pays wholesale!
Despite this trend, and while convenience and low price are important to the modern consumer (Are you really any different?), a significant number of clients would still prefer to buy these items directly from you. Why? Because they trust you.
The Digital Age is upon us. There’s no denying that the introduction of tablets and smartphones into our lives has made us more contactable than ever, and consumers are now expecting more from their service providers, veterinary clinics are no exception. I know we are busy and keeping up with the modern day customer isn't easy, but there are definitely steps that we can take to make it more possible.
First, gauge how digitally advanced your veterinary practice is. This quick 7 question quiz can help you figure out if your practice is stuck in the stone ages or if it's a place Judy Jetson would be proud to take their dog, Astro.