In this article we are going to outline 4 easy steps for turning a Price Shopper into one of your best customers – without having to cave into pricing demands or compromise your standards of care.
Calls from pet owners comparing prices occur on an almost daily basis in most veterinary clinics. By learning how to increase the odds of converting these calls into bookings, we can start to welcome these calls instead of resenting them.
1. Build Rapport in 60 Seconds
When people grow to trust a veterinary practice they are less likely to price shop.
- Make it personal. Introduce yourself in a friendly tone and ask for the client and pet names. Then use those names throughout the call.
- Ask a little about the pet. This doesn’t have to be a long conversation. If your tone is genuinely open and interested you can build rapport in 60 seconds flat.
2. Not All Veterinary Clinics Are The Same
- Provide pricing with inclusions. Explain what is included in your service, e.g. fluids, pain relief, e-collar, re-check. What does your practice do differently?
This is an opportunity to showcase your high standards of care and pride in your practice.
- Rather than be offended by price shoppers, commend them for taking the time to do their research. Let them know that service inclusions can vary significantly from one practice to another. By advising customers to compare apples to apples when they phone around, you are conveying the message that you still want to help them, even if you don’t win their business.
3. Know Your Worth
- Never apologise for your pricing! Most people are willing to spend more money for a high quality service. Be proud of your standards.
- Just because they may not choose you for one particular service, doesn’t mean that they won’t be back for other reasons later. I’ve spoken to many pet owners who shop around for the cheapest vaccinations, but will still visit their preferred practice in the event of illness or injury.
4. Offer a tentative booking
- You’ll never know unless you ask! If your intention is always to help the customer, then it becomes much easier to ask for a booking.
- Give them an ‘escape’ option. Let the customer know that they can always call back to reschedule. Offer to SMS them the booking details and phone number in case they need to change their appointment.
- Create urgency e.g. “Our Saturday schedule usually fills quite quickly. We could tentatively book your appointment now to secure your preferred time, and you can always call back to reschedule if you need to.”
- At the end of the phone call remind them of your name and invite them to call back if they have any more questions. This reinforces the personal rapport that you established during the phone call and leaves the door open for a future visit.
Pricing enquiries can either feel like an intrusion or an opportunity to stand out from the pack. However when you have a nurse on sick leave, a full surgery load and two walk-ins at reception it’s difficult not to try and rush these callers off the phone.
By implementing these 4 steps you will not only save time and retain your fee structure, you will create a memorable experience for the caller and boost your chances of securing an appointment.
For information about staff training and mystery shopping: