Meeting new people is an exciting experience, but most of the time, it’s much easier to keep old friends than it is to make new ones.
Your relationship with your veterinary clients works much the same way. In both cases, you need strong bonds to develop an enduring cooperation – and it’s more efficient (in terms of effort, time, and money) to retain your existing clients than it is to try to pull in new ones.
In fact, on average, customer retention costs about five times less than customer acquisition – and improving it can have a huge impact on your bottom line, as well.
According to research compiled by Invesp Consulting, increasing customer retention by just 5% can lead to (at least) a five-fold return-on-investment. It’s also much easier to turn existing customers into repeat customers (60–70% success rate) than it is to turn a new lead into the same repeat customer (5–20% success rate).
One of the best ways to improve retention at your practice is to ensure that your clients are satisfied – and that means looking at customer service. Is there room to improve? What can you do to improve your customer service?
1. Smooth out the chain of communication
Communication is a huge contributor in overall customer satisfaction. Are pet owners getting the same message in your practice, no matter whom they talk to?
The information you give pet owners should be the same from one person to the next. By making sure that they’re getting consistent messages across the board, you can avoid miscommunication and conflicting advice – which could otherwise leave the pet owner confused and dissatisfied.
One of the easiest ways to make sure that everyone is giving the same information is to set up your practice with consistent material. For example, by introducing established client education material into your practice and making it available to everyone on your team, you can ensure that pet owners walk away with the same information regardless of their points of contact.
2. Give pet owners homework
This may seem counter-productive to improving your customer service, but giving your pet owners stuff to take home with them can be a great strategy for client retention.
Sending your clients home with the same information you gave them in the clinic has two benefits: it’s both a great way to help improve pet health and to build your reputation as a go-to resource.
There are a few ways you can send home this information. You can:
- Send out instructions for future reference
- Direct pet owners to trusted online resources
Both methods enable pet owners to look into what you told them, and aren’t mutually exclusive. By showing pet owners that you can offer them additional resources to help them understand their pet’s condition, you’ll be building trust and inspiring them to become return customers.
Tip: Using a tool like ClientEd makes it quick and easy for you to give your pet owners homework. With over 1,800 pet health articles that you can email and share with clients, you’ll be able to satisfy their need for information right from your practice website – and keep them coming back for more.
3. Make it easy to remember
Obviously, giving pet owners homework is going to help them remember your recommendations – but it’s important to consider how you’re giving them this information.
The thing to remember is that while complex medical language might be second-nature to you, it isn’t to your pet owners. Make sure that you’re making it easy for them to understand the information by using simplified language. You don’t have to dumb it down, but you can’t assume that pet owners will know veterinary jargon.
How the information is laid out plays a big role in client comprehension, too. Even if the language is easy to understand, if it’s written in large blocks of text, people will be more likely to skim or skip over it entirely. Bite-sized information with plenty of imagery in between helps make it easier for readers to understand.
By giving pet owners homework that’s easy to understand and that helps them figure out their pet’s health, you’re showing them that your practice will go above and beyond to help them – and that can turn one-off visitors into repeat customers.Using educational resources at your veterinary practice can be a great way to build up your customer service. By ensuring that pet owners get consistent messages throughout your practice, and have the information they need to make educated decisions about their pet’s health, you can build your practice as a valuable resource – and keep clients coming back again and again.
Curious about how client education can help your practice? Book your ClientEd Online demo today!