For veterinary practices, providing excellent digital client engagement can help enhance the pet owner’s experience and encourage pet owners to return for future animal care needs.
Like humans, pets can feel apprehensive or nervous before and during a medical visit. This can place additional stress on people who want to keep their anxious pets as calm and relaxed as possible in an unfamiliar environment.
Digital patient engagement tools can take some of the stress out of a vet visit by providing pet owners with digital resources that they can access before, during, and after their visit. Rather than spending more time in the office, they can focus on receiving the best care for their pets as possible and spend less time in the waiting room.
If you are looking to improve the client experience at your own practice, here are some of our tips for leveraging digital solutions to accomplish this goal:
Create a Virtual Queue for Patients
If your practice sees a high volume of patients on a daily basis, consider implementing a virtual queue system to help clients better manage their time. This type of system can notify pet owners when it is their turn to be seen by the vet, and allow them to check in online or via text message.
Instead of having to wait an indeterminate amount of time in the waiting room, the client can wait at home, in their car, or outside with their pet. This digital solution can help reduce stress for pets and allow them to wait in an environment where they feel more comfortable.
Use Texting and SMS to Communicate with Clients Beforehand
For clients who are new to your practice or those who haven’t been in for a while, it can be helpful to send them a text or SMS reminder before their scheduled time. This digital touchpoint can help improve communication with clients and ensure that they don’t forget their upcoming vet visit.
You can also use text messaging to ask clients any questions that will help provide the best possible care for their pets. For example, if you need to see which medications a pet is currently taking, you can text a reminder to their owner to bring the prescription bottles with them to the visit.
Lastly, digital messaging can also provide pet parents with the ability to communicate with your staff to more easily coordinate drop-offs and pickups. For instances where a pet may be away for an extended period of time, such as surgery or an overnight stay, you can keep your clients up to date with the latest news about their pets and schedule a time for them to return.
Though you can use SMS and texting to conveniently reach pet parents on their mobile devices, how responsive your team is to these messages also affects the patient experience. Make sure to have a digital strategy in place so that all messages are promptly answered and responded to in a timely manner, such as setting an expected response time window for all messages received.
Streamline the Check-in Process with Digital Registration Forms
Filling out registration and consent forms at the time of the visit can also affect how long clients wait to be seen. To help streamline this process, consider implementing digital registration forms that can be completed online or via an app beforehand.
Digital registration software will allow clients to fill out all of the necessary paperwork in advance so that they are ready to be seen when they arrive at the practice. Not only will this help reduce wait times, but it can also allow your team to see and treat more pets within business hours.
Study Your Reports and Analytics to See How Your Clients Are Engaging with Your Practice
Digital solutions will also provide you with valuable insights and data about your clients and how they are engaging with your practice. Reviewing this information on a regular basis can help you to identify any areas where the digital experience can be improved as well as where it has succeeded.
Improve Digital Client Engagement with ER Express
At ER Express, we equip veterinary practices with the most comprehensive digital patient engagement tools available to help both improve and streamline the patient experience. If you are looking to elevate the way that your clients interact with your practice, contact us today to request a demo.