(This post was originally published on August 26, 2015, and has been updated to be even more educational!)
When we are told to do something by a professional from whom we have sought help, it seems pretty straightforward that we would do what we are told. So when you tell clients they should give medication for a prescribed interval and report back in two weeks, they should do it.
But we all know that’s not what happens. It can be frustrating and baffling.
When you turn the situation around and look at your own life and the advice you’ve received over time, there will be cases when you didn’t follow through. Think of something that’s outside your knowledge and comfort zones – maybe something you asked a mechanic, repair person, or salesperson.  They gave you some explanation, but you either forgot, didn’t see the significance, or for any other reason, did not follow through – and exactly what they said would happen came to pass. In order to follow your advice, clients need to understand what they need to do, why they need to do it, and what could happen if they don’t. Not just be told – really understand.
That’s where educational videos come in. While you will still have the discussion in the examination room, and provide an informational handout or written instructions, providing a link to a video on the subject gives clients one more opportunity for your clients to review and understand the advice.

Benefits of Video

1. Improved comprehension

When you explain something to a client in the examination room, they will nod and indicate their understanding. In some cases, they do understand – or believe they do – at the time. But then when they get home and have to actually follow your instructions, they may realize there is a gap in their understanding. In other cases, they aren’t quite clear, but for whatever reason, are not comfortable asking you to explain further.
With video, viewers can go at their own pace. They can pause, repeat small sections or the entire video, and they can return to it at a later time if they forget any of the key tips.

2. Increased retention

Have you ever heard a long explanation for something and promptly forgot it all? Information overload! The ability to go back and look at information at one’s own pace and repeat it as necessary means people will remember more of what you’re trying to teach. And in 10 days when they are supposed to come back for a recheck, if they can still remember why it’s important, and what could happen if the problem isn’t resolved, they are more likely to follow through – improving retention and compliance!

3. It’s effective

There are some things that are so much easier to demonstrate than to write out. So if you give a demonstration of how to brush the dog’s teeth in the examination room, then the client can watch the video later, it’s probably more effective than watching you do it once, followed by reading up on it. This is especially true since they can sit down with their dog and try to follow along with the video more easily than if they have the written steps beside them while they’re trying to get the hang of the technique.
Being able to watch something being done before their eyes over and over again can be beneficial for learning comprehension. For naturally visual learners, a video can help them move from knowing to understanding, and increase their confidence that they are carrying out your instructions correctly.

4. It’s good customer service

With video, your explanations, advice, and demonstrations are available at your clients’ convenience. If a pet owner is trying to give a pill to a cat at nine at night, the demo is right there at their fingertips. They’ll think highly of your practice for having the foresight to provide them with visual instructions…and they might even tell their friends how helpful it was!

5. It can bring clients to you

Research shows that people love online video. As technology improves, consumption of online video continues to increase – and that’s great – it gives you even more ways to reach out to pet owners.
If your clients and other area pet owners are online, they’re likely watching videos – and if you can reach them there, you can actually increase your appointment bookings.
For example, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and Connecting with Today’s Clients (CTC) recently conducted a study that found that:

  • 70% of people who did research online have made up their mind about the product or service they want before they come to see you.
  • 78% of pet owners said that their veterinarian is their most trusted resource for parasite information.
  • 89% would make an appointment with their veterinarian if they had information about local parasite prevalence.

That means that if clients see a video explaining the prevalence of heartworm in the area and showing how easy it is to prevent, they will come to you. It’s not a stretch to assume this would apply to other topics.
So using educational videos in your online marketing is effective and proactive. It can bring clients to your door, help them understand your recommendations, and help them to help their pets.

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