5 Ways To Save Time For Your Veterinary Practice
Time is money. With everything you have on your plate as a veterinarian, it may be challenging to juggle everything you need to do and excel in your veterinary marketing efforts. Good time management is essential for providing quality pet care and running a successful veterinary business.
So, how can you grow your veterinary business while maximizing your time? Here are five tried and tested strategies to help you make the most of your time:
1. Streamlined Appointment Scheduling
Investing in an online booking system can be a total game changer for your practice. Giving pet owners the option to book an appointment on your veterinary website makes it easier for everyone involved. We’ll explain.
By allowing potential and existing clients to book appointments online your staff can save tons of time, pre-set online forms and calendars make the booking process easier. For example, local pet owners no longer need to call and relay all their information on the phone because everything would be automated. A widget embedded in your website gives visitors a seamless appointment request experience.
Your practice has a better chance of increasing appointments by using an online booking system. Some clients don’t have the time to call your practice within operating hours or navigate a lengthy automated phone menu. Instead, an automated booking system allows them to check your schedule anytime, anywhere. This is also optimal for avoiding double bookings and improving your practice’s reputation management.
Plus, an automated booking system would lessen your team’s stress levels. It can be challenging and time-consuming to attend to repetitive tasks. Imagine this – your team has their hands tied to handling incoming emergencies while veterinarians are performing surgery on injured pets. The phone keeps ringing, and when you answer, you discover that the calls are the same concern: booking an appointment next week.
With the help of an appointment schedule platform, your veterinary business not only reduces your phone calls but also allows team members to devote their time to more urgent matters.
Your automated scheduling system shouldn’t be limited to your website. It would be best to consider making that system available on your social media accounts.
With this system in place, you have better control of your schedule. Both your team and potential clients would automatically know which time slots are available. If existing customers cancel their appointments, other potential clients can book an appointment earlier.
2. Try Other Online Tools
Automation doesn’t have to be limited to booking appointments. You need to take advantage of technology for a stellar veterinary marketing plan. For example, you can invest in a tool that provides pet parents reminders not only of upcoming appointments but also about pet care in general.
Let’s say a patient hasn’t returned to your clinic in a few months. You can send practical pet care tips and invite them to book an appointment to give their pets the best care.
A structured communication channel is another online tool that can help improve your practice operations. You can reduce no-shows and improve patient satisfaction by enabling convenient two-way text messaging. If clients have any questions or concerns, it would be easy to contact your clinic. Moreover, as a business owner, you can easily monitor communication between patients and your team.
This communication channel shouldn’t be limited to communication between patients and your team. Have a designated group chat for your team to coordinate efficiently. While you can send each other messages individually, having a central messaging platform for everything work-related is more efficient.
It would also be best to consider developing an online registration form. It can be time-consuming for pet owners to complete registration forms manually so your team can understand the patient’s medical history. You can send clients with a scheduled appointment the registration form link in advance so they can complete it before entering your clinic.
This is an effective time-saving tactic because it also benefits your workforce. Encoding clients’ forms can take up a considerable chunk of your time. Some people might even find it challenging to decipher customers’ handwriting. All in all, you can ensure that all pertinent information is provided thoroughly and that your team can allot more time to manage walk-ins and emergencies.
3. Time-Saving Protocols
If you want your veterinary business to be efficient, you should establish standardized protocols for standard procedures. Regardless if you’ve been in the business for a while or you’re a new practice trying to find its footing, you more or less have an idea of what to expect once your clinic opens. You’re probably aware of what your patients expect from your team to deliver the best service.
Ponder on your customer’s journey in your practice. How can your team provide the best efficient care possible? It would help if you optimized the workflow in examination rooms and surgery.
As much as possible, your patients shouldn’t stay in your facilities longer than is necessary. You should develop ways to ensure that you’re able to maximize your operating hours and cater to as many patients as possible.
Another stellar idea you can explore is creating a checklist for routine employee tasks and putting it in bullet point form. This would make it easier for everyone to perform their duties efficiently. This checklist should vary according to the person’s role in the clinic.
Everyone in your team should establish a routine so they know what they need to do during business hours. This makes it easier for others to cover a team member’s duties if unavailable. While establishing a routine is vital, your team should be flexible to emergencies and other urgent matters.
You should advise your vet practice team not to multitask as much as possible. Why? Your team might spread itself too thin if they do too many things simultaneously. Moreover, it would help if you established hard deadlines so everyone has a daily goal to aspire for.
For example, the receptionist’s goal should be to encourage ten patients to sign up for your newsletter. This makes it easier for more people to see the veterinary marketing content you’ve worked hard on.
4. Employee Training and Delegation
As a veterinary practice aspiring to grow and improve, one of the most crucial aspects of your business you should focus on is employee training. Everyone on your team, from your digital marketing team to your receptionists, should be adequately trained to provide the best service.
When you train your staff well, they can deliver over and beyond their line of duty. For example, they’d be able to handle conflict situations calmly and intelligently. They wouldn’t need to confer with senior team members for every little matter.
You must delegate tasks to the appropriate team members. While you’d want to be hands-on as a business owner, you should trust your team to perform their duties well. This would create a culture of responsibility and accountability. You should trust your team to represent your practice well and be able to market your services to your target audience.
It would also be ideal to start the work day with a daily huddle. Huddles can help your veterinary team avoid confusion and identify bottlenecks that can wreak havoc on patient care, client service, and team performance. Through these meetings, your team can update each other on recent learnings and flag appropriate personnel on potential issues.
5. Update Information Online
You can save time by updating information on our practice on different platforms. From your social media pages to your business listings, you should ensure all information on your business operations is accurate and updated.
By now, you probably have at least one social media channel. You should update your website and other contact details so potential clients can find your clinic easily.
You also need to update your business listings. If you haven’t claimed your business listings on various websites, you should. This is a FREE tactic to elevate your search engine optimization strategy. When people search for veterinary clinics in your area, your business would be in people’s radars.
Of course, you need to update your company website. If you’ve recently changed your operating hours or moved clinic locations, your website should reflect all these changes. You should make it easy for pet owners to find your clinic and contact you if necessary.
Developing a Stellar Veterinary Marketing Strategy
If you want to apply all of these strategies to your veterinary business, you need the assistance of a veterinary marketing company to make things easier for you. Our team of veterinary marketing experts can help optimize your operations with tried and tested solutions. We can develop a stellar marketing plan tailored to your veterinary practice and take your digital advertising to the next level.
Call us at 800.792.8384 or click here for a FREE consultation with our team today.