Case Study: How I bond clients to my practice


I want my clients to be personally invested in my practice. Here's what I do to better communicate my practice mission.

I want my clients to be personally invested in my practice. Here's what I'm doing to better communicate my practice's mission to clients—more online socializing, more pictures and articles on our Web site (, more client education seminars, better procedure estimates, and personalized coupons and thank-you notes for referrals.

1. Socialize online. One of my associates asked for a way to make more money at his job, so I assigned him a number of projects, including regular updates on our Facebook page. He writes blogs and posts pictures about weird cases, and he'll receive a bonus for updating regularly. He's also teaching lunch-and-learns for our team and kick-starting our pet weight management program.

2. Update the Web site regularly. One of our focuses is exotics, and I want our site to be one of the best exotic private practice Web sites in the nation. We appeal to owners of exotics with pictures and articles written by our own doctors. We're working on uploading new videos of procedures on exotics. We also feature an expanded dental services section on the site, which includes a dental case of the month and a slideshow of dental procedures from start to finish. I tell clients in the exam room they can see pictures of dental problems similar to their pet's on our Web site.

3. Teach more to clients. We offer monthly client education seminars. Each month a doctor or technician teaches a one-to-two-hour Saturday afternoon class. Subjects have included canine lameness, rabbit husbandry and diseases, canine separation anxiety, pet food labels, and requirements to be accepted to veterinary school. As many as 16 clients have shown up, and those who attend really enjoy them.

4. Give more and better estimates. Clients accept our fees more often now that we explain products and services and how much they cost. When patients are hospitalized, we call at least daily to update clients about their pets' status and any new, necessary additions to the treatment.

5. Offer coupons. Clients can balk at the price of a dental, so I give $50 coupons at exams to be redeemed within the next four weeks if they make and keep an appointment for a dental cleaning or procedure. We're up this year on dentals, so it's working.

6. Put the personal touch on thank-yous. When someone refers a new client to us, our doctors hand-write thank-you notes to accompany the redeemable thank-you coupon for services. Clients tell me it means a lot that the veterinarian took the time to write a note.

—Dr. Peter Fisher Pet Care Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach, Va.

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