5 Ways To Improve Digital Engagement and Strengthen Veterinary Client Bonds
As a veterinary practice owner, you want to ensure your clients are satisfied with the level of care and dedication you show their pets, and the service you provide to the clients themselves. Because, rest assured, if your team does a subpar job, the entire social network of that disgruntled client is going to hear about it.
In today’s digitally connected world, maintaining your clients’ happiness and loyalty is essential for staying out of the doghouse. The good news? You can use a robust digital communication strategy to provide better client experiences, strengthen client bonds, and keep your practice in good standing with the people who matter most: the pet owners in your community.
But digital communication is impersonal. Only in-person communication holds real value in forging relationships, you may be thinking.
That is not true. Today’s veterinary clients want to be reached where they spend the majority of their time and in the ways they communicate with family and friends—they want to be reached digitally. Try the following tips to improve your digital communication game, and your clients’ satisfaction with your practice.
#1: Allow clients to reach you via text or chat
Fido has always had a strong constitution. He can eat just about anything without experiencing even the slightest abdominal discomfort. Until a few days ago.
For some reason, Fido wouldn’t eat his breakfast that morning.
That’s weird, his owner thought. I’ll keep an eye on him. He’ll probably be back to normal by dinner.
That afternoon, Fido had diarrhea twice.
He must have a little stomach bug, his owner thought.
At 6:30 p.m., Fido wouldn’t eat his dinner. Now, his owner was really worried.
What was Fido’s distraught owner to do? Well, if she didn’t have such a fantastic veterinarian, she would have to take Fido to the emergency vet. Talk about ruining a perfectly good evening.
But, since Fido’s veterinarian has an after-hours text/chat option available to clients, his owner shot a quick text to the practice, and the team member monitoring incoming chats and texts let her know that Fido didn’t need to visit the ER that night, but that she should watch him and call the practice the next day if Fido’s symptoms continued.
Phew. What a relief. And, what great service Fido’s owner received.
Don’t want to make staff available after hours for incoming texts and chats? The next best thing you can do is to add an interactive chatbot to your website. While a chatbot can’t replace a real person, it can answer a large number of common questions, ranging from what your business hours are to whether you treat guinea pigs.
#2: Engage with clients using social media
Driving social media engagement can be challenging, but rewarding when your clients participate. And, what can encourage your clients to participate? Sharing photos of their pets on your social media channels! Everyone loves to show off their furry friends, and, when you share the photos on your practice’s social media, your clients will be inspired to share your posts on their personal channels, too.
Everyone loves veterinary television shows. Give your social followers a show by sharing real-life action from your practice (with client and team consent, of course).
Promote monthly specials or hold contests and giveaways on social—your clients will enjoy sharing and commenting in hopes of winning a prize.
In addition to strengthening relationships with current clients, regular and engaging social media communication can help draw in new clients who vibe with your practice’s culture and mission.
#3: Fill a tutorial center with pet-care videos
How often do you receive phone calls from clients asking you to explain how to give an insulin injection again? What about nail trims? Ear cleaning? Eye drop administration?
All of these pet-care tasks and more can be filmed by a team member and uploaded to your practice’s YouTube channel or a digital library on your website. Not only will creating these tutorial videos help reduce the number of phone calls your team receives, it will strengthen your bond with clients as they look at familiar faces explaining how to care for their pet. They will appreciate the ability to watch an instructional video time and again to ensure they are performing the task properly. Plus, it’s easy to drop the video link in an app notification, text message, or email so your client has the right one at hand.
#4: Allow clients to check in digitally
Time seems to be in limited supply these days, and pet owners are busier than ever. Make check-ins easier and more efficient for clients and your team with digital forms. These forms can be customized to include common questions your team asks about a patient’s history, along with spots for the client to add their signature for consent and their phone number.
You can create digital check-in forms using Jotform or similar, or there are client engagement and communication platforms that include digital check-in capabilities.
#5: Consolidate your digital communications
As a veterinary practice owner, you may think you need to have it all—a Facebook page, TikTok account, Instagram reel, email newsletter, interactive website, phone tree, texting service, and practice app. However, consolidating your various communication channels into just a couple of efficient, streamlined methods will simplify life for your clients and your team.
One way to consolidate your communication methods is to choose a client engagement platform that allows clients to reach you in multiple ways through an app. Depending on the features you’re looking for, a practice app can handle a great deal of your clients’ needs, all with just a few taps on a smartphone. Many apps and platforms allow clients to:
- Schedule appointments
- Request prescription refills
- View their pet’s vaccination history
- Chat with a veterinarian
- Earn loyalty rewards
- Pay virtually and securely
- Check in digitally
Having such a convenient tool at their fingertips will go a long way toward making your clients happy and satisfied with the level of care you provide. And, it can help your team more efficiently do their jobs and get home on time for dinner.
There are several veterinary apps and communication platforms available, so be sure to do your research before choosing the right one for your practice.
Your veterinary clients are looking for ways to make caring for their pets faster and easier, and your digital communication strategies can help. Schedule a demo of Vet2Pet’s robust client connection platform to discover all the ways you can strengthen client bonds while increasing team happiness and client satisfaction.
Veterinary writer Melissa Murray, RVT, lives in rural Indiana with her human and animal family members. She enjoys the best of both worlds by working part-time at a small animal clinic and staying home to write pet owner education the rest of the time. She is passionate about pain management, senior pet care, and teaching pet owners how to better understand and care for their pets. Learn more about Melissa at rumpuswriting.com.
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