You probably use some type of reminder for your veterinary clinic, whether it's postcards, emails, or pigeon carriers. But surprisingly evidence shows that they aren’t working as well now as they used to.
It's not cost....prices aren't higher than they were 10 years ago when corrected for inflation. So why aren’t clients as compliant as they used to be? There are a number of contributing factors to why they aren’t coming in for their appointment when they should be, the most significant reasons are because:
You’re Spamming Your Clients: It’s not unusual for a practice to utilize an online pharmacy, reminder service, and appointment confirmation company (i.e. DemandForce). Add up all their client communications and you may be driving your clients crazy with too much “stuff.” Of course you want to grow your practice, but too many emails is a short amount of time leads to your clients accidently ignoring your “important” vaccine or lab work reminders, or worse, unsubscribing.
Digital Behavior: Postcards add an extra step and are easy to forget. Emails are better but only if they have the ability to schedule appointments. Convenience is key! Your clients have gone digital and to capture their attention you need to go digital too. Those forgetful clients of yours need to be able to schedule those much needed appointments after practice hours, when that “oh yeah! I forgot I needed to do that.” moment happens. According to the VitusVet app appointment scheduler, many vet appointments are being scheduled after work hours, because that is when pet owners see their pets and your office is top of mind.
Their Bad Excuses: Millennial pet parents, the largest generation of pet owners, are busy and tend to think twice about spending their money. Again, price doesn't matter they just need to justify it. It is hard to justify the money if they don’t understand the purpose of a vaccine or why their pet might need blood work done if they “look” fine. As a vet it is your responsibility to educate your clients, and if you can only do that during your 20 minute meeting every 18 months, promise me, they won’t remember.
The REAL key to compliance isn’t the reminder itself at all but rather what’s happening the other 364 days a year. Your MUST start looking at your entire marketing plan from your client’s viewpoint. Forget what you know having worked in the industry for 5, 10, 20+ years. If the only time you communicate with your clients is when you want something from them (and it's not a coincidence to them that it's never free) they will turn you off. Stop selling. Start giving.
Give with no thought of repayment. If you don't like change, you'll like irrelevance even less.