Do you get lots of clients coming into your practice saying; “You guys REALLY care don’t you!”
Would you LIKE to get that sort of feedback?
Just apply the strategies that I share in this short video (or you can download the podcast or read the transcript below)
Click Here to listen to the Podcast
P.S If you need a hand implementing this, just hit REPLY on this email and we’ll set a time to work through exactly how to apply this in your practice
Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here again. Remember, we’re talking about marketing this week…
Last week, we’ve talked about the welcome system to increase your client retention from the average of 40%-45% up to 80%-85%, so that was the welcome system for retaining your clients.
Now, we’re going to talk about Bonding Your Client and keeping them forever. I could talk literally on this all day, absolutely all day, quite easily.
Last week’s video was a little bit long, 20 minutes, so I’m so going to try and keep this one down, and just give you some really pertinent, relevant, short and crisp things that you can do really quickly that’s going to increase your client bonding rate immensely.
The first one is the Courtesy Call.
There are two kinds of courtesy call in my model of the world.
The first one is the call when the pet’s in recovery. This needs to be listed/recorded on your surgery white board. So, on your white board, your surgery white board, you’ll have a list of things; pre-med given, PAS done, IV fluids attached, pain meds given, etc. You’ll list whatever it happens to be that happens for your surgical patients.
Just add another column there and that column should say ‘Courtesy Call’.
So, when the pet’s in recovery, your nurse Jody is going to do one of a couple of things.
The simplest thing is “Hey, Mrs. Smith, it’s Jody here from the vet. Just letting you know that Amy is in recovery. The surgery went well. Just relax and get on with your day and we’ll see you at four o’clock for you’re scheduled to pick her up.”
That’s really quick and easy. If you were a mother or a father and your child was in surgery or in a hospital, wouldn’t that type of call really relieve your anxiety?
Well, pet’s these days are part of the extended family, and when you start doing this, the feedback and the “Oh, my golly, thank you so much”—type responses that you’re going to get are going to give you goose bumps on how delighted these clients are that you’ve actually thought about extending that sort of courtesy to them.
An extended or more ‘involved’ (and arguably more effective) way to that, and many of my coaching clients do this. And they’ll do it when they have time, so that courtesy call always happens but they’ll add a little bit of an extra spark if they’ve got the extra time, and that may be the nurse actually sitting in the kennel with the pet and another nurse will do the quick video.
Or they may do that selfie thing, and they’ll have ‘Amy’ or whatever I called the puppy a couple of minutes ago, waving her paw and saying “Hi mum, etc., etc.” or whatever it happens to be.
Adding the pet into that scenario – the clients LOVE it. The nurses will video plus say something like ‘relax and get on with your day,’ and that video can obviously be sent as an SMS quite easily to the client. so, that’s one kind of courtesy call.
The other kind of courtesy call in my world is the call that occurs, say, two days after a visit.
So, in our practice at Greenhills, every single owner was rung two days after the pet’s visit; so, two days after the surgery, two days after the medical exam, whatever it happens to be.
You’ve got to script these phones call really carefully because it’d be terrible to have a nurse ring up and say “Hey, Jody here from the vet. Dr. G just asked me to ring – was everything alright with Fluffy after the vaccination?”
Because the client could say, “Oh, what was wrong with the vaccine?”
So, you want to script it—obviously with ear problems and skin problems—surgery cases, it’s quite easy, “Hey, are you getting the meds in? Is Fluffy walking on the leg? Is the ear looking better? Were there any questions you forgot to ask?”
So, that’s fairly easily scripted, and yes, it should be scripted so that the nurses all do roughly the same thing.
With a vaccination exam, the scripting may be a little bit harder. The way I like it is;
“Hey, it’s Amy from the vets. Dr. G asked me to ring you to see whether there were any questions that you forgot to ask and were you 100% happy with your visit?”
You did a comprehensive physical exam, there’s a number of things that came up, was there anything the forgot to ask, or was there anything the vet didn’t explain as well as s/he could have? That’s the thought behind that scripting.
It’s also important to ensure that the client was delighted with their visit!
The phone calls in both those scenarios always appear to originate from the vet, so that the vet is the hero as it were, so that the vet looks very good in their client’s eyes.
Now, when I talk to my clients about courtesy calls, or when I talk about courtesy calls in seminars, – I USUALLY hear… “Oh, we don’t have the time. Oh, my god not another thing to do. We can’t do that.”
Well, yes you can. You can start to think that actually that this call does not need to originate within your practice.
I’ll give you an example…
Richard in Western Australia. One of his daughters is off in in Perth doing Uni, and so, she dials into his PMS system every day through Team Viewer and then rings the people that are due to be rung today.
Now, she is an 18-year-old Uni student. She’s never worked in the practice, she doesn’t have medical knowledge, but she’s great on the phone and she’s a really nice person.
And, if there’s a question she can’t answer she says, “Let me contact Dr. Richard (or one of the other vets in the practice) and I’ll get him to ring you straight back,” or whichever one of the vets was responsible for the case.
So, you can outsource these calls to someone that’s on maternity leave, a nurse that you may not have the hours for in the practice but is happy to work from home for a couple of extra hours, etc.
With our clients, we started off at Greenhills, we outsourced them to a lady that was a client.
She had a number of children, and she was at home because she just recently had twins and another boy just before that so she couldn’t actually go into work anywhere. She’d never worked for us, she was a client with two boxers, but she was an intelligent woman and she was really empathetic.
So, she came in, picked up—we used cards back in those days—the cards, made the phone calls, brought the cards back to the practice put the cards back on the table in the morning, and if there are any challenges made notes about this and left it with the cards.
So, one of the vets or one of the nurses, we’d ring that client up the next morning.
So, you don’t have get hung on the fact that it’s got to come from the inside of the practice. You can outsource it. So, that’s the second thing.
The third thing that you need to do to bond the client is to keep in touch.
Whether that’s a newsletter that you do monthly or bi-monthly, whether that’s a blog that you do monthly or bi-monthly. You can have a newsletter one month, a blog the next month, a newsletter the other month, the blog the next month. It’s very easy to do.
Facebook posts are GREAT; and the thing I want to say about Facebook is either do it well, or don’t do it at all. Doing it and doing it well means that you need to post on a regular basis. If you’re going to post just once a week, if you’re going to post twice a week, that’s fine, if you’re going to post three times a week, that’s fine, but BE consistent when you do that.
Some of the practices I’m working with, they’re saying that their Facebook is working really, really, really, really well. They’re posting three or four times a day.
I’m not saying you need to do that, but whatever it is that you do, do it properly. Don’t post five times this week and once next week. The clients are going to feel let down. And, don’t just post cat videos and dog pictures and pretty puppies because all the client thinks that you’re good for then is cat videos and dog videos and pretty puppies.
You need to really get some meaty content into your Facebook posts, some real substance—that’s the word I was after—some substance into those Facebook posts.
You can have the odd one or two puppy picture, but you want to tell them about things that have happened to clients, things that have happened to staff—good things, I mean. Share that sort of commonality. Talk about new things, talk about patient outcomes, interesting cases; three or four or five or six a week.
If you haven’t looked at Richard Lucas’ Facebook live post, then head over and listen in to Maggie’s story; maybe it’s so far down their newsfeed now that it will be hard to find.
But if you go to Bustleton Veterinary Hospital try and find [Maggie story, it had over a thousand views in three days. That was a mixture of Facebook and Facebook Live. And that was the next thing, the next thing I want to talk to you about
Facebook Live is an awesome tool.
There’s a gentleman called Cody Creelman a cow vet, and what he mainly does is repros and post mortems and bull testing. He’s up in Canada, Vancouver, Canada.
He has something like over a million views on his YouTube site, and he has 18000 YouTube subscribers. He’s 31 years of age, and he’s built this up in 15 months. Go figure.
He does a mixture of YouTube and Facebook, and he says that this wins him in between 3 and 4 new clients a week.
Now, they’re a very small demographic area those cattle people…it’s not as if there’s three to four new dairies, or three to four new beef herds moving into his locale every week. It’s at a max that area, there’s other vets, but because he’s so active on Facebook, and YouTube—and he’s showing post mortems, etc. – maybe not all the gory bits, but he’s showing post mortems and what he can do, and he’s telling them what he’s doing when he’s doing a repro exam or stitching up a slashed teat, or treating a foot abscess, and those beef farmers and those dairy farmers love it, and like I said, his practice is growing exponentially.
So, if a cow vet can do it, then certainly, a small animal practice can—there’s enough collateral coming in their door every day to share interesting stuff with the clients.
And then, the last thing I was going to talk about for bonding with the client—like I said, I can go on for two days, but I’ll just pick a number of things that I think are going to give you the biggest benefit back immediately, and that last thing is patient report cards.
Patient report cards do a number of things.
Number 1, that report card that they walk out with is an incredible value building tool, it’s an incredible concrete representation of the value that they’ve gotten in the consultation.
Number two, studies show that 47% of the clients that leave your practice—47%, so let’s say half. Half the clients that walk out of your practice have unanswered questions, have challenges or are confused. So, when you give them a report card with things that are written down on it, then that number drops hugely.
Now, you don’t need to fill out a report card like a story novel, you make some brief notes, and that’s it. You tell them, “Here’s some memory joggers, if you get home and any of this isn’t a 100% clear, ring up and talk to me, or talk to Laura the nurse.”
Those report cards should be very visual. You’ll find plenty of examples on the net. They should be very visual, picture driven, a separate one for a cat and a dog would be my suggestion, and they should take no more than 60 seconds to fill in, and then you’d give it to the client, and on there, you’ve written in red, “This needs to be done by the 12th of August, teeth cleaning” for example.
The perception of value is one thing that I’ll say, and the second thing that they do hugely is increase future uptake of services, if that makes sense.
So, when you talk to them about teeth and lumps and x-raying elbows for arthritis, or whatever it happens to be that you’re talking about, you’ll find that when you use report cards, that they there’s many, many, many more clients that are going to come back to get those procedures done because they’re there on the fridge, they’re looking at them every day, they’re still height mind, and they’ll remember.
So, that’s it for today. I’ll catch up with you again next week. Enjoy and get cracking.