9 New Ways to Give Pet Owners World Class Support…Without Taking Valuable Time from Your Staff

The demands of the modern pet owner are changing how veterinary clinics provide customer service, pre, and post-appointment communication. The foundation of how today’s pet owner is different is three-pronged:

  1. Today’s pet owner has money and is willing to spend it.
  2. It’s not enough to practice good medicine, the pet owner of today values the experience of visiting the veterinarian. This experience begins with appointment booking and ends with visit follow up.
  3. Pet owners do everything from their phones. They like texting. They like instant gratification. But they also want a high value experience where staff go above and beyond to be friendly and make them and their pet feel welcome.

It’s a confusing mix, right? They want quick-wins facilitated by technology, but the friendly human experience is equally important to them. What’s a clinic to do? Don’t sweat it! We’ve got 9 ways to give pet owners what they want.

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#1 A new way to deliver healthcare tips–text

It’s Animal Pain Awareness Month, are you emailing your pet parents? Maybe you’re hanging posters in the waiting room? Have you thought about texting them? Many of us are concerned about texting pet parents because it feels very personal to interrupt them on their cell phone, but the modern pet parent wants to get texts from you – if the information you have to share is valuable. For example, consider sending a text with a stat about pet pain, a preventive tip, or an early sign of pain they should look for with a call to action to schedule an appointment or extend a special offer in observance of Animal Pain Awareness Month. Customizing your text message to include the pet’s name and tailoring the messages based on their age will take your communication to the next level and wow pet parents with that perfect mix of “wow they know me!” and “wow that was efficient!”

#2 Expectation management goes to the next level

One of the best ways to create a satisfied pet owner is with expectation management, especially when it comes to surgical procedures. Pet parents who understand what will happen during surgery and feel supported during the recovery process are more likely to recommend your clinic to peers. Tools like Otto Flow allow clinics to craft personalized text messages and emails to give pet parents all the information they need leading up to the surgery and directly after. These customized messages may include information about how to prepare their home for their pet’s recovery, medications they’ll be prescribed after surgery, videos demonstrating post-surgical exercises, etc.

#3 An emphasis on wellness

Modern pet parents treat their pets like members of the family and are therefore very in tune with the importance of preventive care and wellness. In fact, according to AAHA appointment reminders and reminders to schedule a checkup are the top 2 reasons pet owners want you to text them. Text reminders with easy self-serve booking links give pet parents the preventive care support they want.

#4 2-Way texting, an unexpected environment for empathy

COVID shutdowns brought many interesting revelations, but one of the most curious ones was that a digital environment actually provided a forum for end-of-life conversations that pet parents wanted to have but were uncomfortable conducting on the phone. Clinics around the country discovered that pet parents were more comfortable texting or chatting online to ask the hard questions about euthanasia. These digital forums give pet owners a place to ask all the detailed questions they need answered to feel comfortable making difficult end-of-life choices for their pet.

#5 Sharing product info

You’ve probably got a ton of great pet owner-focused information from brochures and other manufacturer-provided information about the products and services you use in your practice. If you’ve got a new service, use text and email marketing to introduce the benefits to pet owners and give them a special introductory offer. Be careful that your text marketing isn’t too promotional, lead with the value of your new product and service. If you can target your message only to a relevant audience that is even better. For example, if you are offering a new service for arthritic pets, exclude any pets under the age of 7 from the message.

#6 Automated post-visit support

One of the most critical touchpoints for customer satisfaction is immediately post-visit. Automatically sending post-visit resources and support materials via text and email can significantly improve pet parent satisfaction. Include a post-visit survey to identify happy pet parents that you can ask for an online review.

#7 Participate in the community

Support pet parents and the community by sharing information about key community events including races, pet adoption events, etc. These kinds of communications can position your clinic as more than a destination for pet care, but as a key member of their local community.

#8 Easy RX refills

A simple way to increase pet parent compliance with giving prescribed medications is to make getting RX refills easier. Allowing pet parents to submit refill requests in a self-serve manner is also critical to keeping RX sales in your clinic and away from Chewy. Automate text reminders when prescriptions are due for refill with a direct link to request the refill, pet parents will be impressed with the ease of the process, and your proactive attention to their pet.

#9 Quick access to virtual consults

Virtual consults can provide quick peace of mind to pet parents who need quick advice when a text or chat conversation isn’t enough. Otto Care offers 24/7 access to teletriage connects pet parents with experienced veterinary professionals, providing immediate access to expert advice and guidance for their pets’ healthcare needs.

Ready to get started?

Otto Flow can help you quickly implement all 9 customer support strategies. Flow simplifies customer communication with 2-way texting, communication sequences that automatically trigger (like appointment reminders, post-surgical communications, etc), and real-time access to pet parents through email and text.

Book a Demo to See How Otto Flow Can Help Improve Your Customer Support and Wow Pet Parents