How does a veterinary practice set themselves apart to attract and retain clients?
One way is by providing an excellent client experience. This can certainly be done the old-fashioned way—for example, caring gestures like helping elderly clients get their pet out of the car can make a great impression.
However, client experience also involves things like ease of scheduling and communicating, use of modern equipment, and other technology factors.
Here are some reasons why many pet owners care about technology…
Why Should Veterinary Practices Adopt New Technology?
The needs and expectations of pet owners have changed in recent years, especially since tech-savvy Millennials have become the largest pet-owning population in the US.
One study showed that Millennial pet owners are interested in things like online appointment scheduling and text messages (rather than phone calls) for simple tasks like appointment reminders and medication refills.
And younger generations are likely to have similar expectations to Millennials, since they’ve lived their whole lives with texting, apps, and other technology.
In other words, the demands for modern technology are likely here to stay.
It may feel intimidating to make changes to your veterinary practice, especially since the tasks of seeing patients and running a business can consume the whole day. However, it can be valuable to invest in something new.
Maybe one of the following suggestions is a good fit for your practice and your clients…
Apps for Veterinary Practices
You may have noticed that a lot of businesses have apps (software applications designed to run on a mobile device) nowadays.
Many veterinary practices are following suit. An app can be a convenient way to keep clients engaged and stay in touch. A few common uses of an app for a veterinary hospital include:
- Online appointment scheduling.
- Easy access to a patient’s records.
- Appointment reminders.
- Prompts to schedule wellness appointments.
- Sending messages to the vet team.
- Promoting compliance via push notifications for a patient’s medicines.
- Setting up or hosting a telemedicine appointment.
One nice thing about apps is that there many different options to meet the needs of your practice and your clients. And many sync with practice management systems.
So, you can choose an app that works best for your preferences and practice flow, or even hire someone to create an app for your hospital.
Sharing Valuable Content With Clients
There is a wealth of information on the internet. And while it’s true that much of it is untrustworthy, there are also many credible sources of information online.
This content comes in many forms, including websites, blogs, YouTube videos, and more.
Online content experienced a boom since the pandemic started in 2020. When many businesses were forced to close their doors, they found a solution by reaching customers online.
Many consumers expect this trend to continue—and pet owners are no exception.
In addition to providing excellent care directly to pets, your practice can also provide high quality information online to educate clients, build confidence and trust in your practice, and even attract new clients via online searches.
So, what form could this online information take?
Blog posts (think of them as articles published online) are common. These articles could also be shared as an email newsletter and on social media.
YouTube, the second biggest search engine after Google, is also gaining in popularity. Veterinarians could take advantage of this engaging platform by posting videos such as how to clean a dog’s ears, how to brush a cat’s teeth, what to expect at your first visit, etc.
Investing in New Equipment
Technology isn’t limited to what happens on computers and phones. Don’t forget, amazing new technology is available when it comes to the equipment you use in your hospital to care for pets.
For example, what would your practice be like with a surgery suite stocked with the latest tools? Or, what about a high-quality digital x-ray machine that comes with a built in, easy-to-use fluoroscopy function?
Modern, advanced veterinary equipment can be valuable for several reasons…
- Clients who wish to provide the best level of care to their pets may seek out veterinary practices who have advanced technology.
- Newer generations of equipment are often easier and faster to use than previous ones. This improves efficiency at a practice and therefore could increase revenue.
- The latest software makes sharing results (such as diagnostic images) easier, whether that means creating a report for clients or easily sending images to a specialist for a second opinion.
- If you’re the first practice in your area to have a new piece of equipment, you may have a competitive advantage. Colleagues may, in some cases, even refer patients to you for diagnostics or procedures that they can’t perform at their own hospital.
Technology is advancing all the time. Things that were once uncommon (such as cell phones in our personal lives and digital x-rays at work) have now become nearly universal.
So, don’t be afraid to be at the cutting edge with new products that could potentially benefit your patient care AND your practice’s bottom line.
What sets your veterinary practice apart from the rest?
In addition to providing excellent care for your patients, think about the ways in which new technology can improve the client experience and keep clients bonded to your practice.