Write a winning invoice for veterinary clients


See how three different invoices got very different results in pet owners perception of value.


> A survey was completed by 2,433 pet owners via email or Facebook about three different invoices for a dog presenting with a three-day history of vomiting and diarrhea. They ranked the example invoices on whether they were clear and easy to understand, gave them a better understanding of their pet's care, and the amount of services received for the price paid.

> Of those owners, 86% owned dogs, 58% cats, 11% horses, 9% small mammals, 7% birds, and 18% another species like exotic or reptile.


> When asked, 61% saw no difference in cost of visits (there wasn't). Of the pet owners who saw a difference, 33% said Invoice #1 was most expensive, 53% said Invoice #2 and 14% said Invoice # 3.

> 63% of respondents saw no difference in care of visits (there wasn't). Of those who saw a difference, 90% said the pet in Invoice #2 received better care.

> Regarding perceived frivolous charges, 58% said none. Of those who said there were frivolous charges, 37% said Invoice #2 had the most.

Takeaway tips

> Include both layman's and technical terms on invoices to avoid confusing clients and explain the value of your services, products and expert knowledge.

> A separate line for “physical exam” in addition to “office visit fee” doesn't increase the perceived value of this service.

> Fees such as “biohazard fee” or “blood collection fee” should not appear on the invoice but rather be factored into cost of main line item.

Jacquelyn N.B. Olson will graduate from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine this year. Her BS is in Business Administration.

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