Tips to grow your Veterinary Practice in 2017
It’s never too early to start planning ahead, particularly when it comes to your business. Have you thought about how you can move your business forwards in the new year? If you’re looking to grow your Veterinary Practice, here are five useful tips that you can put into action now and in the months ahead.
Survey your customers
Talk to your customers. Find out what they think of your existing products and services, and what else they might need that you’re not currently offering. Surveys can be excellent tools for assessing and improving the performance of your Practice; but only if they are conducted and evaluated effectively, and if something constructive is done with the results. Ask short, concise questions, and be sure to leave room for customers to explain any negative responses so that you can use this information to implement change.
Shake-up your reminder system
Take a look at your customer reminder system; if it isn’t at least 80% effective in terms of response rates, then there is certainly room for improvement. Are you sending out email and text reminders? How frequently are you sending them out? Generally speaking, sending three reminders 30 days apart is the most effective method; you should also send an email with each direct mail reminder. Use veterinary software to compile a report on the clients who have visited your Practice in the last 12 months but haven’t received a reminder, and those pets with expired reminders, and focus on these clients first. Not only is this important from a preventative care perspective, it’s good for business too.
Launch an outreach programme
Outreach programmes are a great way to connect with local businesses and develop relationships that can be mutually beneficial. Reach out to relevant businesses – such as doggy daycares, grooming salons, pet shops and rescue centres – and introduce yourself and your Practice. Having them recommend you to their customers is a great way to get new customers signed up, and boost your presence in the local community. Make sure that the business has a good reputation and provides excellent service, and that it’s offering doesn’t clash with yours – for example, if your Practice offers grooming services.
Harness the power of social
If your Practice doesn’t have a presence on social media, this could be the year that you finally make that step. Consider the demographics of your area and client base – if they are relatively young, then it’s likely they will not only prefer you to make contact with them on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, they will expect it. Social media can be a powerful marketing tool, extending your reach and boosting loyalty and engagement from existing customers at the same time. It’s also a great way to enhance your reputation, as you can share relevant content and knowledge that portrays you as the expert in your field.
Offer referral incentives
One highly effective way to get more people (and pets) through your door is with a graduated referral programme. Begin by creating a list of rewards for every referral that an existing client makes, and make sure that the value increases the more referrals they make. You might start small with a free packet of treats, for example, then move up to a mug featuring your Practice logo, a gift card for a nearby pet shop or coffee shop, and so on. Don’t let them see the programme, and each gift will be a surprise! After the 10th referral, that client should become a “preferred client” – the equivalent of a VIP, who should receive extra discounts or offers.
By being a little more creative and harnessing the tools at your disposal, there’s no reason why 2017 shouldn’t be a significant year to grow your Veterinary Practice. For more help with this, contact Vet Space today.