5 ways to rock veterinary practice marketing


Forget fancy logos, social media strategies, and branding. It's time build your marketing from the team up.

Las Vegas -- Marketing doesn’t start with social media, logos, or branding strategies. A veterinary practice’s best marketing comes in the form of great service to clients, according to Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM, a veterinary practice consultant in the Sacramento, Calif. area.

“It makes no sense to promise excellent service [in your marketing efforts] before the practice team is ready to provide excellent service,” Walsh told an audience at Western Veterinary Conference Feb. 18 in a session titled “What Clients Really Want.”

“Marketing is about what you and your team do each and every day,” Walsh continued. The No. 1 way many veterinary clinics find great new clients -- word-of-mouth -- comes from the entire team’s work every day.

“We have to treat our clients like gold if we want them to refer their friends to us” she said.

The first step is to start with the right players on your team. “Focus on the interpersonal skills and the communication skills,” Walsh counseled the audience. “Train team members well to focus on the client and on the pet.”

Walsh shared what she felt were key steps in successful client experiences in the veterinary practice in reception, in the exam room, and at check-out.

> The intentional handoff. The receptionist must let an arriving client know what and who to expect, and technician and the doctor must follow suit.

> The verbalized exam. Technicians and veterinarians making observations during a physical exam and while taking vitals should do so out loud in language the client understands.

> The drug instructions. Show clients how to administer medications in the exam room, not in the busy reception area at the end of the day after drop-off procedures.

> The guided escort. The technician or assistant should escort clients back to the front desk and explain to the receptionist what’s needed and when to schedule a follow-up exam or other procedure.

> The courtesy walk. Last but not least, Walsh explained that she is stunned when she visits hospitals where front-desk client service representatives don’t offer to carry pet food or multiple animal carriers for harried, grunting clients on their way out.

Best practices like these amount to some of the very best marketing your veterinary practice will ever need, Walsh says.

“You make sure the entire has the right mentality [to care for clients] in your practice,” she says. Her practice’s mantra? “Every client, every patient, every record, every time.”

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