How to build a bond with your clients using an app powered by your practice data

10 min read

Just walk through an airport and it seems like everyone has a smartphone these days. The truth is that approximately 77% of Americans have a smartphone and the most rapidly growing demographic of smartphone owners is 55- to 64-year-olds – probably because if you want to talk to your grandkids these days, this is how you do it. And what are these people doing on their smartphones? 92% of mobile device users are using apps.

People using mobile devices

Use your smartphone to connect with your clients on a personal level

Getting to know your clients personally isn’t anything new. Our predecessors built our whole profession on this concept. I can’t tell you how many times I have had clients tell me they wished the level of care they received from their health professionals was as good as the care their pets receive from us.

Knowing your clients and patients is important because it makes them feel special. But these days, few businesses are successful when it comes to building personal relationships, so you have a huge opportunity to stand out.

But logistically, it’s harder than ever because our practices have evolved into medical centers and finding the time to personally communicate with each client is near impossible – unless you use technology.

Push technology can help you communicate more efficiently

A simple way to communicate with your clients is to send personal push notifications through your practice’s custom mobile app – for example, after you have finished surgery. Or, even better, send one when you are in pre-op, and another when surgery is starting.

[bctt tweet=”The beauty of a push notification is that it is just like a text message except the pet owner can’t reply,”] which makes it extremely easy to fire off messages to your clients without being forced to engage in conversation. This is particularly beneficial in a veterinary practice because there are many times when you can’t entertain a chat session with a client, such as when you’re preparing for surgery or monitoring recovery, as in the example above.

Push notification from custom app for a veterinary practice

A practice app is a great way to share the love

If you ask a pet owner to show you a picture of their pet, chances are they will have no trouble whipping out their smartphone and showing you their pet’s album. In fact, most pet owners have more pet photos on their phone than they do human loved ones. And they LOVE sharing their pet’s selfies with YOU – their vet – the other person in their life that “gets it” and enjoys their pet as much as they do.

[bctt tweet=”Invite clients to submit their pets’ selfies through your practice’s custom mobile app.”] Then, share the love by posting the pictures to your Facebook or Twitter account with one click. And, if you want to kick it up another notch, send back a “selfie reaction” push notification. For example:

Notification example on a custom mobile app for veterinary practices

Selfie reaction example with a dog
Selfie reaction example with a cat
Selfie reaction example with a dog

Use your practice data to keep communication relevant

My client Jamie made me painfully aware of this several years ago when he chewed me out after the room tech asked if he wanted to do a heartworm test for his dog. You see, Jamie owned a 12-year-old dog and for 12 years straight he had declined a heartworm test. Still, he had received an email and a postcard reminder that his dog was due, and this was the last straw.

Through the yelling, his message was this: “I’ve been coming here for 12 years and you act like you don’t even know anything about me.” And the truth is, he was right. We weren’t having the right conversations with Jamie. We should have been taking the time to discuss matters he cared about, like dental disease and osteoarthritis.

Back then, we really weren’t paying close enough attention to our individual clients’ needs because we didn’t have the tools to carve out custom communication channels…but we do now.

Make the most of your practice management system

The way we can use data from our practice management systems is to find the sweet spot, just like Luke Skywalker and the Death Star, because when we focus our energy on conversations that people care about, we get results.

[bctt tweet=”When we combine PMS data with push notifications, we can take engagement to a whole new level.”] For example, I got my first Miniature Schnauzer in 1979 at the age of eight and I love the breed. So, when I meet someone that has a Schnauzer I kind of feel like we’re related! But, the breed is really a complex medical nightmare decorated in an adorable furry outfit.

A message like the one above matters because it’s relevant. That’s where the importance of practice data comes into play. With the VetSuccess Compliance Tracker, you can easily sort patients into buckets based on individual pet’s needs, breed risks and more.

Remember, your data isn’t just for gathering; it’s for using. [bctt tweet=”Use (your data) to leverage the power of push notifications and keep your communication relevant.”]

Stacee Santi, DVM

Stacee Santi, DVM

Dr. Stacee Santi founded Vet2Pet, the only customizable, all-in-one client engagement system for veterinary practices, which was acquired by Vetsource in 2022. Since earning her DVM from Colorado State University in 1996, Dr. Santi has accumulated more than 20 years of clinical experience in small animal and emergency practice, has spent significant time serving on various industry advisory boards, and served as 2020 president of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. Considered a key opinion leader on mobile applications and veterinary reward programs, and selected as 2021 Continuing Educator of the Year—Practice Management by Viticus Group, Dr. Santi is passionate about helping veterinary practices better connect with their clients so pets get the best care and veterinary professionals enjoy more fulfilling, balanced careers.

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