Traditional ads and marketing strategies do not work too well for veterinarians compared to other businesses. Capturing the hearts and trust of clients is more difficult for veterinarians due to the nature of the service they provide. Compared to casual consumers, pet owners are more researched and would trust recommendations more than other marketing materials. Thus, it is important that you know how to keep your clients satisfied, ultimately keeping them loyal.
Here are simple but effective practices and strategies that are often overlooked by veterinary businesses:
Be consistent both in your services and your offers. Before you offer promotions and packages, ensure that these are offers which you can keep going for a long time. This goes the same for products in your supply store. More importantly, be consistent in your practices and services. Make your clients feel that you consistently practice the same degree of care and expertise in handling their concerns. Lack of consistency or change in practices open doors for the competition.
Building a Personal Relationship
More than their pet’s doctor, your clients trust you to care for their family. Pet owners treat their animals like family and expect you to do the same. Make them feel that they made the right choice by being attentive and responsive. Go beyond the consumer-supplier relationship and foster a healthy personal relationship. Show genuine care for the well-being of their pets. Go the extra mile by sending them thank you cards, get well soon notes, and messages in the form of veterinary sympathy cards. Make the messages and the cards personal, to show that you took the extra time and effort.
Clients tend to shy away from veterinary clinics which they perceive to be “too cold” and “too corporate”. Unlike hospitals and other service-oriented enterprises, homely veterinary businesses succeed better as they cater to the preferences of their clients better. As clients treat their pets like family, they would be more willing to trust veterinary doctors who have the same attitude towards pets and animals in general. During their casual consultations, tell them a story about your own pet or your experience when they get sick. Clients who relate better to service providers, in general, are likelier to come back.
Providing Good Value for Money
Pet owners are more willing to spend for their pets than they were a decade ago. But this does not mean that you should egg them into paying for items and services they do not need. Quite conversely, you should provide them with better value for what they pay for. Throw in free doggie bags, bandanas or calendars when they pay for certain amounts. Send them notes and cards randomly, or simply check up on their pets. These items need not be expensive as customized bags, notes, or cards, and veterinary sympathy cards can come cheap with the right supplier. When you go the extra mile and pay more detailed attention, they will feel that they are getting more than what they paid for.
Keeping your customers loyal need not be complicated. Pay attention to the simple things and amplify good practices. Determine what sets you apart from the rest and you will see why your clients keep coming back. Reinforce these practices to gain new clients, and keep your old ones.