Veterinary Curbside Communication Series: Streamline Your Drop-Off Process
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
Use these tips to streamline your curbside drop-off workflow.
One of the biggest points of workflow friction during COVID contactless procedures is the drop-off process. Use these tips to speed up your drop-off process, improve pet owner satisfaction, and protect the sanity of your staff.
Everyone likes to know what's coming next. When pet owners book an appointment make sure you have a communication plan that let's them know what your appointment process is:
Phone Appointments: Verbally tell them know what your drop-off procedure is. Ask them for their cell phone number and email address and let them know you'll be communicating with them before, during, and after the visit by email, text message, and phone call. Make sure you are extra warm and friendly. Contactless procedures have taken the human touch out of the experience. Use every touchpoint to make pet owners feel your compassion. In your email appointment confirmations include a summary of your drop-off protocols.
Online Appointments: If pet owners can self-book appointments online make sure that your drop-off procedure is communicated both in the booking process and via an automated email after a successful booking. If you don't already ask for cell phone numbers and emails on your booking form, add them.
Instead of waiting for pet owners to arrive for their appointment -- proactively communicate via a text message 10 minutes in advance so they're prepared for what to do when they arrive. Yes you already told them what to do via an email and on the phone -- err on the side of over communication. People are busy and they might be experiencing anxiety about dropping their pet off without going into the clinic, especially if they are coming in for a problem visit or urgent care.
If you're using Fur Baby Tracker we recommend checking the pet in 10 minutes prior to their scheduled time and sending a note from the database communicating where the pet owner should wait and the number they should call when they arrive. You can also let them know that they'll be in the loop during every step of their pet's visit via text messages, pictures, and a treatment tracker via the Fur Baby Tracker app.
This process will improve your workflow in the following ways:
Reduced intake time: Less confusion about where to go and what to do will allow your staff to complete pet pick-up faster.
Reduced inbound phone calls: Pet owners won't call in advance to ask what to do. They will also call less during the pet's visit as they follow along via text and in-app updates.
Happier customers: Pet owners appreciate the effort to keep them in the loop like they are in the room and will feel more comfortable having the flexibility to either wait in the parking lot, go grab a coffee, or go home knowing that they can track their pet's progress.
Happier staff: Fewer inbound phone calls from frustrated, confused, and annoyed pet owners....win. win. win.