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.
Client communication is a universal challenge. We’re in a pivotal time for veterinary medicine where thoughtful owners and managers are re-examining some of their longest held beliefs. Many will say that they are client oriented but really they are still doctor oriented: the hours they are open, the inflexibility of payment plans, their overwhelming dependence on the telephone, etc.. If 90+% of your practice’s revenue requires a telephone at some point in it’s journey, you’re missing a huge opportunity to better serve your clients and care for their pets.
The data clearly shows that clients prefer texting, which should surprise exactly nobody. Why doesn’t your practice devote the same resources to answering emails/texts in the same timely fashion that they do for telephone calls? There are some very easy ways to get started on the journey toward making it insanely easy for your clients to connect and transact with your practice. Whether it’s appointments or refills, if you make something easier . . . you will get more of it.