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Is your vet practice feeling the economic squeeze yet?

Whilst the veterinary industry is still 12 months behind discretionary retail, many vet practices are beginning to experience the effects of a financial downturn. 

Clients are absorbing a significant increase in mortgage payments, the cost of living is higher than ever, and their budgets aren’t unlimited.

Some practices are seeing lower client volumes, average spending is down, healthcare plan cancellations are rising, and chronic medicine compliance is dropping.

This might not be you, but it’s worth being aware of. It’s always good to be ahead of the curve and to strengthen those battle plans! Independent practices are well placed to respond quickly to changes in the community you serve, and this ability to adapt as required is one of your USPs. 

You hear what people are saying, you see what’s happening to those you care for, and you can then help them take the best care of their pets.

So what can you do to come out of this time thriving?

We’ve got some real solutions for tackling this head-on whilst responding with compassion to clients who still want to take the best care of their pets but have finite resources. You can implement them all today!

Problem: Client volume is decreasing

Solution: Ensure regular contact with your clients. Stay at the front of their mind with social media, blogs and emails

If you aren’t communicating with your clients, you can guarantee they aren’t thinking about you. You should regularly remind and educate them on the services you offer and the pain points you can solve for them.

Use your social media engagement to your benefit. Post good news stories, start a weekly photo, ‘Fluffy Friday’, where your cutest visitors get a mention (and a photo) with their favourite staff member, and use it to mention the services they received. If you’re clever, you can highlight patients who use a less-known service you offer, like BOAS surgery or blood tests – link to a relevant blog on your website!

Send a monthly email, or even once every two months – make a regular connection! This shows that you care about their convenience and are always ready to provide helpful information.

Your email only needs to include a few paragraphs about new services or clinics, link through to your website where there’s a longer article on something that might help their pet, and act as a reminder of the benefits of being on your health plan (always include a link to sign-up if they aren’t already a member!)

Talk about your health plan. Write a blog, create some social media graphics that show your clients how it helps them budget for essential preventative healthcare, how it gives them great savings across the year, and enables them to still take the best care of their pets in an affordable way.

Targeted emails are even better – senior screens, heart scans for particular breeds, dental information for those over two years old… anything you offer that would be useful to a group of people is of value.

Email Marketer

Send regular and consistent email newsletters for your clients

Problem: Healthcare plan cancellations are rising

Solution: Regularly remind your members why they joined. Engage and excite with member-only offers.

Remind members why their pet’s health plan is the best way to care for their pet and the best way to budget for it. Clients will not remember all the benefits they have access to, or that they are saving money!

Remind members that regular health checks can nip more serious conditions in the bud before they become expensive.

Member-only special offers e.g. Save XX% on a scale and polish or FREE head-to-tail health check for members this month.

Excite and reward loyalty – send a personalised health plan anniversary card.

Excite with exclusive member-only invitations to an evening talk by a nurse on first aid, nail-clipping, or looking out for signs of pain in a senior pet. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – just something that exceeds expectations and makes clients feel valued.

Consider adding chronic medication discounts to your health plan. See below for some more information on this.

Client Retainer

Reduce plan cancellation rates

Problem: Chronic medication compliance is dropping

Solution: Add a discount for health plan members then introduce non-members to your plan. Make it more appealing and add a home delivery option.

If a pet requires costly monthly medicines, you might find that clients feeling the pinch have to make hard decisions such as trying to go without or having to swallow the embarrassment of asking for a prescription to get filled at a cheaper price online.

It’s unlikely that any of your clients will actively want to do this. They know it’s less than ideal, and probably feel guilty about it or they wouldn’t have had the condition investigated/health check in the first place.

To get ahead of this, you could add a discount on the most consumed medicines as a health plan benefit. Then, remind non-members with pets with chronic conditions they could join and save on the medication each month in addition to the other savings.

Easy Directs Debits even offer a wide range of chronic condition medication that can be home-delivered, so this could also be an option worth exploring.

It’s another way to recognise your client’s pain points, it offers a solution that doesn’t leave them feeling embarrassed or guilty and enables you to still take the best care of their pet.

Shout about it. Show your community that you care, and that you’re trying to help as much as you can. Be aware that you might need to consider a price increase on renewal, but most people would be happy to pay a few extra pounds each month and get this benefit.

Healthcare Plan Innovations

Add new plans to your range to boost revenue

Don’t have the time to implement these changes? We can help.

Our marketing packages are designed to provide done-for-you solutions to your pain points...

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