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.
I’m sure you find it a constant struggle to have clients perform specific tasks in order for you to keep their pet healthy. In many cases, the primary struggle is getting a client to return to the practice for their pet’s annual exam. We’ve discussed overcoming this obstacle prior in some of our previous blogs on why clients aren’t returning to see you and why you’re kidding yourself if you’re using postcards. But, the primary focus of this blog is to discuss the other actions your clients need to take in order to make their trip to the vet a successful one; a trip where you can actually do your job.