Communication is key – how veterinary practices can drive growth
Loyalty and trust are important
Veterinary practices exist in a unique sector inhabited by passionate professionals, serving clients who are similarly committed to animal welfare. For this reason, the competition has never been fiercer when it comes to growing a loyal customer base through word of mouth recommendations. Loyalty and trust, whilst important, are joint by costs, even in this compassionate sector.
The drive to increase productivity and reduce costs in order to stimulate growth will never stop, so what is a sure-fire way to tick all the boxes?
In any sector which sees a constant battle for the attention of a finite potential customer base, customer service may be the single most important part of your business model. In an industry which provides care, the need to respond promptly and professionally to customer enquiries is magnified even further.
The challenge was highlighted by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ 2014 announcement, which placed a greater emphasis on owners’ legal responsibilities for their animals, as well as an underlining obligation for veterinary surgeons to provide extra information to clients on their out-of-hours emergency service.
Having an in-house customer service team will be a money drain, and usually comes with the problem of time constraints – after all, running a 24-hour office throws up facilities management and human resources considerations which you may not have taken into account.
How veterinary practices can drive growth
But there is a way in which veterinary practices can provide round the clock customer support, reduce their outgoings, and still offer a highly personal and efficient service.
The answer could be outsourcing. We provide professionally trained PAs who are available 24 hours a day, 356 days a year, giving you the capacity to respond to more incoming customer calls. It is a completely bespoke customer service function, delivered by skilled operators who are adept at everything from easing the worries of anxious callers to taking appointment bookings.
By adding an external customer service arm to your practice, you can leave your in-house receptionists and veterinary staff to look after more pressing matters, such as customers on the premises, treatment of animals and administrative work. Out of hours, your team will be recharging their batteries rather than having to endure an unpredictable shift pattern.
Outsourcing could have an effect on reducing your costs
There is also a large school of thought which says that customer service should be left in the hands of the specialists. The need to constantly monitor performance and mentor operators is often overlooked by veterinary practices, simply due to time constraints. If you are not sure what impact such a move could have on the bottom line, it is worth assessing your needs year-on-year to see if outsourcing could have an immediate effect on reducing your outlays.
For an industry in which emotional attachment plays a huge part in customer behaviour, a rapid and reliable response is one of the cruxes of a successful veterinary practice. Don’t be left behind by the competition – ensure that the customer facing side of your business is on its toes 24/7.
To find out more about the range of flexible and affordable customer care solutions available, contact the experts at alldayPA for Vets today or visit our Cost Saving Calculator to find out how much you could save using alldayPA.