Have you ever stopped to consider the impact that putting customers on hold or sending them to voicemail can have on their overall experience with your clinic? While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, it can actually lead to frustration and even cause them to seek out other veterinary options.
Imagine you're a pet parent with a sick or injured furry friend, or your pet is due for a wellness check. You need to schedule an appointment. You call your trusted veterinary clinic, but instead of being greeted by a friendly voice, you're put on hold or sent straight to voicemail. This can leave your clients feeling ignored and undervalued, which can ultimately lead to them seeking veterinary care elsewhere. Sadly, 30% of all calls into veterinary clinics are sent to voicemail or immediately put on hold.
The good news? You can easily stand out from your competition, earn the trust of your clients, and get these pets the care they need quickly. Here are two suggestions:
- Use an online scheduling tool - In this digital age, many clients, regardless of age, prefer to book appointments online at their own convenience. They’re already booking hair appointments, vehicle service appointments, and even appointments with the DMV! If the DMV can accept online appointments, so can you! By implementing an online scheduling tool that is fully integrated with your practice management system, clients can easily book their appointments without having to wait on hold or leave a voicemail. Not only does this provide convenience for your clients, but it frees up your staff to focus on higher value tasks, like creating a great in-clinic experience.
- Automate vaccination verifications - Using a tool like VetVerifi, which is free to vets, automates the verification process with third parties such as airlines, kennels, and pharmacies. This frees up your front office staff to take care of your most important priority - your clients and their pets!
What doesn’t work? Appointment requests, call-back systems, and voicemails. Why? Because more often than not these solutions create more back and forth between you and your clients. The data shows that once the initial outreach is submitted, the client moves onto other tasks. So, unless your response time to these inquiries is immediate, by the time you reach back out to your client, they’ve moved on and may not be able to respond. Remember, your staff is only replying during normal business hours - while your clients are at work, running errands, or spending time with their furry friends.
As veterinarians, it's important to remember that our customers and their furry friends are at the heart of everything we do. By prioritizing their needs and implementing these simple solutions, we can create a more positive and welcoming environment for all who seek our services. So, let's work together to provide top-notch care and a delightful customer experience!