In a world where automation is increasingly becoming the norm, it’s more important than ever for veterinary practices to adopt automated solutions to stay competitive.
You want to provide the best possible care for your pet patients, and you want to run a profitable business. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your practice that can help you achieve all of those goals. One way is by automating some of the tasks involved in running your business. Here are six ways that automation can help your veterinary practice:
1. Meet Client Expectations
Clients today have high expectations when it comes to the businesses they patronize, and veterinary practices are no exception. They expect convenience, transparency, and excellent customer service, and they are willing to take their business elsewhere if they don’t get it. Automation can help you meet those expectations by making it easier for clients to do business with you. For example, online appointment scheduling can make it more convenient for clients to schedule appointments. By empowering clients to schedule their appointments, they can do so after hours or on weekends when your staff is unavailable. Automated reminders can help clients remember to show up for their appointments.
2. Reduce Staff Burnout
Staff burnout is a common problem in veterinary practices. It’s often caused by compassion fatigue and the impact of staff shortages which can lead to long hours and extra stress. Automation can help reduce staff burnout by taking some of the workload off of your employees’ shoulders. By having clients fill out forms digitally and prior to appointments, your staff can have more time to spend with the patient rather than on paperwork.
Automated reminders for payment mean that your team has less time spent tracking down payments and more time to focus on the needs of your patients.
3. Improve Profitability
Profitability is an important goal for any business, and veterinary practices are no exception. There are several ways that automation can help improve the bottom line in your practice. For example, we had discussed how online appointment scheduling helps meet client expectations, but it can also help you fill empty appointment slots that would otherwise go unused. Similarly, automated reminders can help reduce missed appointments (and the revenue that goes along with them).
Many online store platforms also allow clients to purchase items one dose at a time. Not only does this help increase client compliance, as they’re receiving the items their pets need, when they need it, but you benefit from the profitability that goes along with it.
4. Maximize Staff Time
Time is one of your most valuable commodities as a business owner, so it’s important to make sure that your staff is spending their time on tasks that are valuable to your practice. Automation can help you do that by taking care of tasks that are time-consuming but not necessarily revenue-generating. For example, automation can free up your staff’s time previously spent on data entry or repetitive procedures, so they can focus on more important tasks like caring for patients or marketing your practice.
Consider having several preset messages available to easily publish to your website for situations of changed COVID policies, holiday hours, or inclement weather. By having notices at your fingertips or even prepublished in a draft state on your website, it will only take moments to prepare a message rather than 30+ minutes. Be sure to include the dates impacting your clients in your message as well as pertinent Emergency Clinic information should they experience an emergency with their pet when you’re unavailable. And, just as this technology works to have it ready to go in draft status, you can automate the message so that it goes back to draft status after the message window has ended.
These same messages can also work for social media channels, too!
6. Speaking of Social Media…..
Did you know your messages can be automated in social media platforms, too? In Facebook Creator Studio you can return a message to a client with pertinent clinic information such as phone, emergency information, business hours, etc. You can let them know how long it may be before you can respond and perhaps direct them to another means of communication with you, as well.
Automation is a fantastic way to improve your veterinary practice in many different ways—from meeting client expectations to improving profitability. If you’re looking for ways to take your practice to the next level, consider implementing some automation into your business model. Your clients, employees (and your bottom line) will thank you!
Image credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock