Unless you were operating a veterinary business during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic chances are you are swimming in unchartered waters right now. As COVID-19 quickly moved from bad to worse, no one really knew how self-quarantine and lockdown regulations would affect business performance.
So it has been heartening in my conversations with vets and practice owners over the past few weeks to learn that for many businesses things are actually going pretty good! Some even said they were experiencing their busiest sales period ever.
So why are some practices performing stronger than others? Here are my observations on what these healthy practices are doing right …
- Google Ads: Practices with an optimised online search presence are reporting larger than usual numbers of new clients streaming in, as well as a surprisingly high proportion of puppies and kittens. If you don’t have Google Ads and business is slower than usual, that’s the first area you should be looking at.
- Emails and social media: Communication with clients is vital, all of the healthy practices ramped up their email and social media communications to reassure clients that they were, in fact, open (confusion over essential status didn’t help matters) while providing advice on how to safely access their services. This type of messaging goes a long way to reducing any fear and apprehension amongst clients, minimising the chance of putting off their pet’s healthcare requirements.
- Client engagement: Check your practice email and social media notifications regularly, keep posting content online and keep engaging with your clients – they want to keep hearing from you! Maybe now more than ever.
- Adapt: All of the healthy practices were working out new ways to do things – from video Q+As and ‘drive-through’ consults, to split team setups and implementing new telemedicine tools. It’s not business as usual, adapting to new processes and systems is essential.
So how is your practice going? Are you seeing fewer paws through the door, or are you rushed off your feet? Send us an email, we would love to hear about your experience.
by Dr James Ramsden