Get creative with client reminders


Take a personal approach when jogging clients' memories to boost practice visits.

If things have slowed down in your veterinary practice, don't just sit around lamenting your bad luck. Instead, find creative ways to fill up your appointment schedule. After all, you're sitting on a goldmine: client records.

Your charts are chock-full of information about what kinds of care your patients are due for, what they're overdue for—or what they've never received and desperately need. And sometimes, all clients need is a little reminder. (Turn to p. 18 for another example of how client records can generate revenue for your practice.)

Gary Glassman, CPA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and partner with accounting firm Burzenski and Co., in East Haven, Conn., has several ideas for reminders that go beyond the typical postcard:

> A letter on your practice's letterhead. A note that includes the client's name and address is a great way to send a personal message and encourage clients to bring their pets in for a visit—whether for wellness care or to pick up heartworm preventives. For a special touch, be sure the pet's veterinarian signs the letter.

> A minimum of three reminders. Send one 30 days before the day a service is due, one on the date itself, and one 30 days after the service is due if the client doesn't respond.

> E-mail reminders. Use e-mail to supplement snail mail, and try text message reminders for tech-savvy clients.

> Reminders for other services. Consider using reminders for lab tests, dental recommendations, grooming appointments, prescription refills, and refills for heartworm and flea-and-tick medications.

Reminders have always worked well for vaccines and wellness appointments, and they can be just as successful for other services and products your practice offers, Glassman says.

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