Build better puppy and kitten kits


Don't whiff on this all-important chance to bond clients to your practice for life.

Confession time: Are your puppy and kitten kits a jumble of cobbled together materials you haven't even read? If so, you're missing a great opportunity to educate new clients and bond them to your practice.

When clients visit your practice, you face the age-old problem: Give them too much and it'll likely end up in the recycle bin. Too little, and you risk missing topics clients care about—and you may lose credibility, too. So what should you include?

"Your kits should introduce new owners to the world of pets and address pet owners' common questions and problems," says Karen Sabatini, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a receptionist at Ardmore Animal Hospital in Ardmore, Pa. "And the contents should reflect your practice's ethics and philosophy."

Use these tips to improve your kits:

  • Brand your handouts. All handouts should feature your practice name, contact information, and logo, which should reproduce well in black and white.

Keep handouts with tailored information on hand to customize kits as necessary, says Pam Stevenson, CVPM, a consultant with Veterinary Management Results in Durham, N.C. She also recommends practices develop a schedule of client education topics—from parasites and zoonotic diseases to behavior training—team members will address at each visit.

  • Offer free stuff—with your practice name and logo on it, of course.

"Clients should always leave appointments carrying an item with your practice name on it," says Stevenson. "This is even more important if your kits feature another business's information or product. So find a reason to give clients a bag branded with your practice, too."

Even better, give clients a branded gift, such as a leash, cat carrier, or calendar featuring your practice's patients. Another great gift: an identification tag with your practice name and phone number on one side and the client's and pet's information on the other, Stevenson says. "Name tag inscription machines are inexpensive and you can inscribe tags during visits."

  • Recommend additional reading. Your kits aren't all things puppy and kitten, but your practice can be. Use your kits to position yourself as the knowledgeable expert, and offer more information in print and on your Web site for clients who need to learn more about house training, litter box issues, and behavior.

Ideally, your kits arm pet parents with an arsenal of information without bombarding them. And remember to keep this first visit fun, Stevenson adds, by giving hospital tours, introducing available doctors and team members, or inviting clients to your practice's next event.

Fig. 1

"Excellent communication and service, combined with thorough kits and fun gifts, help bond clients to your practice," says Stevenson. "Just remember to offer the same high-quality service and communication at all future visits."

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