According to client experience guru, Bruce Temkin, 2016 is the “Year of Emotion” - the year when businesses will awaken to the power of emotions in shaping their customer experiences. Emotion is not only the component of the client experience that has the largest impact on loyalty, but it is also an area where veterinarians tend to struggle and often seemingly ignore. This needs to change.
Generating positive sentiment about your practice is the first step in a feedback loop that will continue to drive results for your veterinary business well into the future. Each time a client interacts with your practice, it’s essential that no matter what the medical outcome for their pets, they see the interpersonal aspects of their experience as a brilliant ray of sunshine, rather than a dark stormcloud. This sort of emotional response is the difference between a loyal client - loyalty is defined as an emotional connection, after all - and one that’s likely to try out your competitors, looking for a better offering. From there, the equation is simple: loyal clients equals recurring revenue with low overhead, and personal recommendations that facilitate continued growth.
Here’s where mobile technology fits into the loyalty equation. The easiest way to engage more frequently and meaningfully with your clients is through mobile technology. The typical American spends 4.7 hours a day on their smart phone - don’t you think that veterinarians deserve some small share of that time? Our ability to get veterinary messages in front of pet owners’ eyeballs has a direct effect on compliance and medical outcomes. We need to seize this opportunity, for more reasons than one!
Many veterinary practices are now going beyond basic online marketing by creating mobile-friendly websites and incorporating mobile apps into their operating procedures. The latest data from Yahoo’s Flurry analytics show that 90% of an average user’s mobile time is within apps. This is a key insight. Mobile optimised sites are absolutely necessary, but clearly are no longer the gold-standard for user friendly design.
Popular apps like Uber, AirBnb, and iTunes have been widely adopted by smartphone users, from the most tech-savvy Millennials, to a large segment of the retiree community. Experience with cloud-based applications has built confidence in the general population with such tools, and to a larger degree than many veterinarians believe. In our experience, the VitusVet app has something for everyone, from appointment booking for impatient Millennials, to refill requests for busy parents.
Mobile technology, when used effectively, adds real value and in return evokes positive emotions towards your practice. A practice that can offer real-time, automated and intelligent services, like a mobile app, will increase client satisfaction. It’s 2016. Client behavior invariably includes mobile applications. If you want to engage with your clients on an emotional level, a faceless carbon-copy app design is not going to cut it. Give them an app that emphasizes value-first, and empathically holds the wants and desires of your clients in high regard. They’ll thank you, and so will your bottom line.
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