With rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis beginning to impact pet owners around Australia, veterinary practices are seeing a marked increase in pricing shopping, deferment of recommended treatments, and sadly in some cases, euthanasias.
Of course it’s not feasible to price match competing quotes without compromising your standards of care or devaluing the work of your team, but there are a few ways that you can get more appointments without breaking the budget.
1. Phone your overdue reminders
Overdue reminders are your low hanging fruit! These patients already visit your practice and your clients are generally happy to hear from you. Show them that you care and that you are thinking of their pets—even when they are not visiting your practice.
When reception is quiet, get your team to make a few calls to clients with overdue services including:
- Blood tests
- Wellness checks
A quick phone call is also the perfect way to follow up on dental estimates, as this gives clients the opportunity to ask questions. You can counter price objections by offering payment plans, or stay in touch by booking a free dental check in 3 months time.
2. Run a promo / giveaway
Get your industry reps involved and ask them if they will donate products or provide discounts for an in-clinic promotion.
Promote your offer via:
- Your website
- Your social media channels
- In-clinic posters
- Vet recommendation in consult
- On the phone when taking bookings
3. Pre-book the next appointment
Get into the habit of asking clients to pre-book their next vaccination or dental scale and polish when they settle their account after a visit.
Puppy and kitten parents should be offered a desexing appointment for when their pet is 6 months of age.
4. Send a newsletter
Leverage your client database and send a monthly newsletter with pet healthcare tips and advice, accompanied by a strong Call to Action to encourage bookings.
5. Promote payment plans
Vet Pay, Zip Pay, Deferit and Gap Only are just a few of the payment plans on offer for veterinary clients. We just have to remember to keep mentioning them!
- Display these logos in your veterinary practice
- Display these logos in a prominent position on your website
- Share on social media at least once a month
Unfortunately the recession is hitting everybody hard, including pet families, but we can mitigate the impact on our veterinary business by working with our existing tools and resources, and putting them to good use during the quiet times.
Do you have a success story or ideas to help generate more bookings for your practice? I’d love to hear them!