As a veterinary practice in the UK, you are likely familiar with the various challenges that come with running a successful practice. From managing client expectations to staying up to date with the latest medical advancements, there are many pain points that can arise daily.
In this blog post, we’re exploring some of the most common pain points and offering some solutions for managing them.
Staff recruitment and retention
One of the biggest challenges for veterinary practices in the UK is finding and retaining skilled staff. With a shortage of qualified veterinary professionals, finding the right people to join your team can be difficult. This may result in increased working pressures for existing staff and lower morale, leading to burnout and turnover.
Your website is your most powerful and predictable selling tool for recruitment. It needs to promote all that’s great about you and show staff the excellent standard of care you offer and the ethos of your practice. Offering competitive salaries can help attract and retain top talent and flexible working patterns to suit parents. It’s also important to advertise continuing professional development opportunities for your staff.
Tip 1: Add an easily editable job section to your website, so you can leverage your online presence to advertise jobs for FREE – Talk to us about adding a widget to your website if you have a WordPress website!
Tip 2: Don’t forget to add your new job to your Google business page for extra search juice!
Communication with clients is key to providing high-quality veterinary care. However, busy schedules and conflicting priorities can make it challenging to keep up with client communication. You could be missing crucial opportunities to promote your under-utilised services.
If clients don’t understand (or know) the benefits you offer, and are missing appointments or failing to pick up products they can become unbonded and dissatisfied, which could lead to lost revenue.
Investing in robust technology such as appointment reminder software, online scheduling, and telemedicine to help streamline communication and improve client satisfaction. Regular marketing to existing clients through newsletters and social media updates can also keep clients informed and engaged.
Tip: Leverage the power of Facebook! – A set of branded graphics illustrating your key services alongside a short description is a great way to put your practice back in front of your customer – schedule them on FB and forget about them.
Running a profitable veterinary practice requires effective financial management. This includes tracking expenses, managing cash flow, and staying on top of accounts receivable. If you are doing this yourself – we feel your pain!
Implementing a cloud-based practice management and healthcare plan management system can help automate financial tasks, provide real-time reporting, and improve cash flow. It’s also important to establish clear financial policies and procedures to ensure consistent billing and collection practices.
Keeping up with technology
Advances in veterinary medicine and technology are constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques can be difficult. This can lead to decreased efficiency and missed opportunities for better patient care. Clients are also tech-savvy and willing to embrace new advances, and if you aren’t offering them, they might go elsewhere.
Attend congresses and continuing education events to stay informed about new advancements and make the most of the information given out by exhibitors. Partnering with technology vendors and participating in pilot programs can also provide access to the latest tools and equipment.
If you don’t already, look into remote consult and chat services, online booking of appointments, and home delivery of parasiticides and chronic medicines for clients on your health plan.
Example: Some of our clients utilise Vidivet to provide a seamless consult service – Click to see how Vista Vets in Chelmsford are utilising that on their website.
You might want to gain new clients in order to employ a new vet, move to bigger premises, or look for investment. You might also feel that your revenue isn’t where it should be, your health plan membership is too low, or you aren’t getting the most out of your existing clients. Everyone has a job to do, and that often isn’t marketing.
Find a company that understands your pain and hand it to them, set a budget and let them do the work.
With the prevalence of online reviews and social media, it’s become more important than ever for veterinary practices to manage their online reputation. Negative reviews can quickly damage a practice’s reputation, but good peer-to-peer reviews are one of the best-selling tools for services, especially those where there is an emotional investment such as the health of a much-loved pet.
Utilise all the FREE tools you have at your disposal. Ask your customers to leave a review after every appointment or interaction – building a 5-star review on Google can really help put you in front of more customers.
Both Google and Facebook reviews provide the opportunity to reply, and you should! Try to resolve any negative reviews by publicly replying. Be professional and this can go a long way to mitigating any further bad energy, both from the person who left it and other customers that may see it.
Tip: Ensure good reviews are promoted on all your marketing touchpoints. sharing feedback on your website, social media and marketing emails can be a powerful way to build trust. What’s even better is a quick video testimonial from someone talking about care that’s made a difference to them.