Today's Veterinary Business

DEC-JAN 2017

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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For example, post a video of a previously anxious patient re- sponding favorably to an exam on the floor as classical music plays in the background. Highlight a newly divided waiting room for cats and dogs. Write a blog entry focusing on a Fear Free-certified associate veterinarian in the practice and why certification is important to her. Take two photos of a patient — one showing fearful or anxious body language before an exam and one displaying a relaxed posture after pheromone therapy and pre- visit sedatives. Clients today want a tailored, personalized and positive experience, and what better way to demonstrate this than to blog about the benefits of low-stress handling and high-reward treats? When blogging, it's very import- ant to include other key words to narrow your practice location and help optimize searches. The great thing about this digital age is that metrics exist for just about every- thing. Place videos and photos on social media platforms and on your website blogs, and then measure the views and consider boosting the posts to get higher engagement and further the client reach. Is It Working? However, there is no reason to invest significant time and money in a website, social media or SEO analytics unless one follows the re- turn on investment. Certain param- eters should be measured monthly so you can watch for trends. These include phone calls originating from website traffic, appointment requests from new or returning clients, and conversion rates. For so- cial media platforms like a business Facebook page, important per- centages to measure include page engagement (how often people interact on the page), new page likes and organic reach (how many people viewed the post without an additional boost or advertisement). If all this sounds too intimidat- ing, don't stress! The work should be low anxiety. Many marketing companies in the veterinary space can assist and partner with practic- es to compile and analyze data. This is a new language to most veteri- narians and one that can take time to digest, understand and interpret. Client Reviews Matter I encourage you to start small. Since Google is the national search engine of choice, begin with two essential building blocks: Establish your Google business presence and a practice Facebook page. These require minimal social media knowledge, and they offer the op- portunity for you to ask clients with favorable experiences to review your practice. Most of my practice's positive reviews comment on the Fear Free experience of the patient and client. Once posted, these reviews can be placed strategically on your website. Speaking of your website, when was the last time someone took a hard look at it? How long has it been since new content was added and hyperlinked? Has the practice promoted the Fear Free-certified veterinarians and staff? Does the website have a sep- arate page describing the practice experience? Can clients find infor- mation about how to reduce a pet's travel anxiety before a veterinary appointment, such as how to safely place a cat inside a carrier. After one social media plan becomes easier and more routine, add another, like Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, and keep adding as long as the practice can commit to consistent nurturing of these pieces of the business. All these platforms are designed with the overarching goal of keeping clients coming back and encouraging new business. Embrace the world of social media and see a direct correlation of more clients coming through the doors, higher average client transactions and increases in gross revenues. Clients want to give their pets the best veterinary experience possible, so show that they will find it at your practice. Fearless columnist Dr. Natalie Marks is co-owner of Blum Animal Hospital in Chicago. She is Fear Free certified. ® The EXEL logo is a registered trademark of EXELint international, company. EXEL HAS PROVIDED VETERINARY PRODUCTS WITH UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS. ? LOOKING TO SAVE MONEY L o o k o er...

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