The modern veterinary clinic depends on a whole series of tools to communicate with pet
The modern veterinary clinic depends on a whole series of tools to communicate with pet owners about their animals. These tools range from VoIP phones to email marketing software to text messaging. Among younger clients (millennials and Gen Z), there’s a premium put on the ability to text with their veterinarian.
If your clinic hasn’t adopted a text outreach yet, you might be wondering what’s so great about being able to text with pet owners. Isn’t a phone call easier and friendlier? Don’t detailed text messages take a long time to write? Can I multitask while texting?
As you’ll see, when texting is part of a unified communication platform, it becomes one of the most powerful ways to communicate with pet owners. Text messaging makes it easier to handle phone calls, simplifies scheduling, lets you collect pet information digitally, promotes online review gathering, and optimizes payments.
Here are five crucial text messages your office should be sending to clients.
1. Missed Call Text Messages
When a veterinary clinic’s text messaging is connected to a VoIP phone system, it ensures that no call goes unheard. During your busiest hours, pet owners that can’t reach the front desk automatically receive missed call texts. These customizable text messages let clients know their call will be returned and offer them the chance to begin a text conversation.
Most younger pet owners actually prefer text conversations. Texting allows them to respond to their veterinary clinic whenever they get the chance between work, school, and caring for their animal. Text conversations also provide relief to office managers and receptionists that are accustomed to bouncing between phone calls.
A unified communication platform extends texting capabilities to your mobile device. Mobile apps enable veterinarians and their staff to conveniently text with pet owners if they’re working from home or traveling. (Weave & Vetter have an integration that supports missed call text messages. Learn more about adding Weave to your Vetter suite here.)
2. Scheduling Text Messages
Scheduling texts in the modern veterinary clinic are facilitated through your website as well. Pet owners request an appointment time while visiting your site on their smartphone, tablet, or computer, and your staff confirms the visit or suggests another time by text. This process gives pet owners and veterinary staff the same flexibility as missed call texts.
Text messaging can also be used to make sure pet owners arrive at their appointments well-informed and on-time. Previously, office workers at veterinary clinics spent hundreds of hours doing reminder calls and sending out mailers. Now, office managers and receptionists are able to schedule appointment reminders to automatically send via text at specific times and dates.
If an appointment falls through, veterinary clinics should use Quick Fill lists to identify pet owners who might be willing to bring their pet to your clinic on short notice. Software indicates pet owners on a wait list or those who haven’t been to your location in a while, then allows you to select their numbers and text them about the opening in your schedule.
3. Digital Forms and Text Messages
Most veterinary clinics have already adopted electronic medical records for their patients. But did you know that digital forms can be linked to your text outreach with pet owners? Prior to appointments, share the necessary paperwork with clients electronically to increase your efficiency and decrease wait times.
Recently, many clinics have created curbside waiting rooms in order to cut down on the amount of animals and pet owners in their lobby. As part of your curbside instructions, include a link to all the forms you need completed before taking pets back for a procedure or checkup.
If your forms aren’t digitized yet, the right software makes it easy to convert them to an electronic format. Pet owners that have questions about documentation can text your front desk before appointments or from your parking lot. Texting digital forms to clients cuts down on office clutter, reduces printing costs, and improves the customer experience.
4. Review Requests
The way veterinary clinics market themselves has changed considerably over the last decade. Word-of-mouth remains perhaps the best method for building your clinic’s reputation, but traditional approaches to advertising are becoming less viable. Instead, clinics are finding new clients by getting positive reviews on websites like Google and Facebook.
After appointments, veterinarians should be sending pet owners review requests by text. These requests politely ask pet owners to go to sites like Google and leave a review with a star-rating. As your clinic compiles online reviews on key sites, your prominence in local search results for veterinary clinics improves.
A strong online presence is more valuable today than traditional marketing techniques like billboards and print ads. Gaining visibility through online reviews puts communication with potential clients at their fingertips. Once pet owners find your phone number or website, they’re one step away from a text conversation with you or one of your staff members.
5. Text Payments
The final crucial text message your office should be sending to pet owners is a message regarding payments. Like review requests, payment requests are sent out to clients immediately after their visit to your clinic. A personalized text message and a link to a site for payment collection allows pet owners to pay from the lobby, the parking lot, or the comfort of their own home.
Adding text payments to your veterinary clinic doesn’t mean ditching other forms of payment. Text payments work together with cash, checks, credit cards, and mobile wallets to give pet owners as many payment options as possible. Though older clients typically prefer traditional payment methods, younger pet owners like to utilize digital payments.
Text payments work in concert with missed call texts, appointment reminders, digital forms, and review requests to modernize the entire customer experience for pet owners. A unified communication and engagement platform makes it possible to create, send, and automate all these crucial text messages from one place.
To find out more about how Weave modernizes text messaging for veterinary clinics, contact us today for a free demo.