Veterinary Curbside Communication Series: Annual Exam Communication Tips
Are your clients sitting in the parking lot wondering and waiting?
We know...COVID has put an incredible strain on the patient/doctor bond, and nobody is to blame! Veterinary staff are hustling to provide great care while they navigate the new challenges of curbside workflow, and the endless ringing of the phone. Clients are complying with drop-off protocols with understanding, but, understandably -- apprehension.
In this post we'll look at a few ways to solve key friction points with annual exam drop off appointments that will improve both clinic workflow and client satisfaction.
Status Updates: Here's a simple analogy -- you order a pizza online. Do you patiently wait for it to arrive or do you continually refresh the provided pizza tracker to see when your dinner is going to show up? If your a millennial (like me), chances are you've become accustomed to an instant gratification world, and you want to watch your pizza's entire journey to your front door. If you're a pet owner sitting in a parking lot worrying about your pet, chances are you'd find immense relief in a "pizza tracker" for your pet. Fur Baby Tracker (maybe the name is making more sense now...pizza tracker...pet tracker, you get it) sends text message status updates to pet owners with two clicks! Send pet owners stress-relieving status updates with a simple 1-2-click-DONE! Sending proactive status updates reduces inbound phone calls -- freeing staff up to do what they do best -- care for pets! In extreme cases we've heard (this is real) of pet owners calling the police from the parking lot because they thought their pet was in the clinic too long and being "held hostage". Yes, that's an over-the-top example, but who knows, you might have pet owners sitting in the parking lot right now feeling the same way. If you could soothe that anxiety with two clicks wouldn't you want to?
Pictures: A picture is worth 1,000 words (maybe more!). Save words and time by sharing photos with pet owners. This can be pictures of problems you've found (think ear infections, proof of dental problems, etc), or snapshots of diagnostic reports. Share the picture and then follow up with a phone call to discuss with the client. This allows you both to look at the same thing in real-time, and have a productive discussion about next steps. Cute and cuddly pictures are also a nice value-add! Again with Fur Baby Tracker a picture can be sent as easy as 1-click, 2-click, send! Clients receive a text message that they have a new photo to view in the app. They can check it out and then call you per your instructions.
Next Steps: When you're ready for next steps such as a phone call with the doctor, send a text message that lets the pet owner know what's next. Include the description of next steps, who will be helping them, and a phone number to call (which will show up as a clickable link to call the clinic directly). This information allows reception to quickly triage calls, or can even put the pet owner directly in contact with someone in the treatment room eliminating a touch entirely from reception. We know, we know, it sounds simple (because it is), using Fur Baby Tracker and your saved note database these messages are sent with, you guessed it...two clicks.
We can't wait to get back to normal, but in the meantime let's streamline workflow and improve pet owner satisfaction -- together!