Veterinarians and their teams spend a large portion of their days educating clients. Most of us believe that if you educate pet owners about general pet health and care, the chances of their pets developing preventable illnesses will decrease.
Here are five ways we can step up our client education game and help clients take an active role in their pet’s daily healthcare.
#1: Use push notifications to highlight monthly prevention topics
Push notifications are one-way messages sent to your clients through your veterinary practice app. They are easy to create and store in your app, and they can be instantly deployed. These notifications can be sent to individuals or groups, or can be customized to only reach a certain species, age range, breed, or sex. Your Vet2Pet notification library is preloaded with a wide range of client education topics, including holiday tips, safety tips, preventive medication information, food recalls, and more. You can also create your own educational push notifications that coincide with in-hospital promotions. Get ahead of the game and create a monthly calendar that will automatically send notifications. Take advantage of this set-it-and-forget-it method so you can focus your attention on other aspects of the daily workflow, and start educating your clients with minimal extra effort.
#2: Build up your video library to use with your chat feature
Consider getting your feet wet with short, postoperative videos that detail surgery after-care for pets who underwent a spay, neuter, tumor removal, orthopedic procedure, or dental cleaning. Further expand your library with brief client education videos covering common medical conditions that affect dogs, cats, and exotic pets. Examples include endocrine diseases, respiratory conditions, osteoarthritis, nutritional deficiencies and myths, and behavior problems. “How-to” videos are a great way to guide your clients without repeating the same advice over and over. Create instructional videos on how to clean ears, trim nails, apply eye drops, and give insulin.
At my hospital, I attach large-volume videos in the chat feature when conversing with clients. Being able to attach videos within my chat conversations not only saves me time because it is faster than typing out instructions or informational responses, but clients love to see me talking to them about their pet. This helps create a personal connection, even without face-to-face contact.
Another plus for building a video library is that clients can rewatch these videos as needed, since they’re saved in the chat feature. This helps boost compliance at home and build a stronger bond through elevated customer service.
#3: Create templates to attach to chats
In addition to building a video library, you can also build a written template library that can be inserted into push notifications and two-way messaging platforms. For forms clients need to fill out, you can use JotForm or Google templates to design the form, then attach it to a notification or chat. You can also create client education handouts that cover everything from postoperative instructions and feeding recommendations to behavior problems and house training instructions. The sky’s the limit when it comes to sending clients handouts through these features so they can have reliable information at their fingertips.
#4: Award loyalty stamps for clients who take advantage of preventive products and testing
Your veterinary loyalty program is a powerful way to engage and retain your best clients, so build your loyalty program around your preventive health recommendations. By understanding how to leverage your loyalty program, you can manage client spending within your practice and reward clients for following your recommendations. Educating clients about parasite prevention takes time and energy, and is often an uphill battle to reach 100% owner compliance.
#5: Create a survey and ask clients what they want to learn about
The simplest way to meet your client’s educational needs is to ask them what they want to know about. Create a survey that asks for your clients’ input on topics they want to learn more about, which may include nutrition, behavior, parasites, dental health, and wellness care. Asking your clients for their input is a great way to build bonds and make pet owners an integral part of their pet’s healthcare. And, sending your clients a survey is easy. Send it out via email, text, or social media, or take advantage of in-hospital surveys following an appointment.
Lifelong learning by support staff, veterinarians, and pet owners is an indispensable skill that promotes, develops, and nourishes our communication skills with each other. Education strengthens the bonds with our clientele and gives the hospital staff a gratifying sense of service to the community. Make the leap today and start partnering with your clients for the health of the pets you serve.
Interested in more information on how to successfully educate your clients? Vet2Pet clients: Visit App Academy to check out our corresponding webinar. Not a Vet2Pet client? Visit Vet2Pet On Demand!
Dr. Crista Wallis
Dr. Crista Wallis graduated from Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She co-owns and operates Monticello Animal Hospital in Shawnee, KS, specializing in small animal and exotic animal medicine. Crista has a wealth of expertise and experience in the field of veterinary telemedicine and is excited to help Vet2Pet clients on their journey. She believes that if you put your best self out into the universe, a ripple effect of positive energy will touch all those around you!