Diederik (you don’t need to be the cheapest) Gelderman
Why Your Clients Will Pay More Than You Think
Veterinarians are in a very competitive market, and they’re feeling the pressure to drop prices.
Now their receptionist(s) tells them regularly about the consults, dentals and (routine) surgeries they lose because a competitor offered a better price so the client went with them.
When you have a string of clients who negotiate with you, you start believing that your reality. But not so fast.
Every Veterinary surgery practice gets their share of price shoppers. It’s inevitable when the mass market uses the Internet.
- Now, you would think that prospective patients are so educated they would take into consideration a lot more than just price, but some don’t.
- However, on the flip side, there are still plenty of clients who would be only too happy to pay more for your services even though those services seem identical on the surface. It’s the details that make all the difference.
These strategies create reasons why some clients (are happy to) pay more.
You’re easy to do business with.
Clients pay extra for ease, convenience and time savings. When you simplify your processes to get your clients and their pets in and out with no hassle, a majority of them will pay more for that added value.
Examples include no waiting (you run to time), express checkout with their credit card on file, and post-op ‘recovery kit’ of supplies they’ll need after surgery (recovery collar, bitterant spray). Your clients don’t have to go all over town collecting these themselves and that’s convenient.
You could email the surgical admit form the day before surgery so that on admission your clients can just drop off the pet and the (already completed) form and ‘run’.
Also, you offer unique ‘must-have’ features. Make a big deal out of something you include in your package that your competitors don’t, or they don’t make a big deal out of it.
For example; you use sub-cuticular sutures so there is no need for them to come back to have sutures removed.
Or – you can do your 3-day wound check via their phone – they sms you an image of the surgical site or they video the dog walking on the leg 3-days after the cruciate repair and you assess the video.
There are a whole host of ways in which you can create more convenience for your client by starting to use simple tele-medicine strategies.
Be creative and make it a package so they can’t price shop it.
Your customer service is friendlier.
Meeting client expectations can be quite profitable and exceeding them can be game changing.
Practices underestimate the anger or even hatred that clients feel when they experience horrible customer service. By contrast, clients will pay more when they’re treated respectfully. They love you when their problems are handled quickly and cheerfully. Quality customer service counts and it’s in the details.
For example, simply remembering the client’s and patient’s name and that she goes by Kay, rather than her legal name Margaret and that the pet is called Moo.
Create opportunities to make an impression.
Anytime you can go above and beyond what the client anticipated; you stand out as extraordinary, otherwise extraordinary.
That’s what gets the client to say yes. They’re excited about bragging about you to their friends and they write five star reviews online about you. You do that by putting yourself in their shoes and you listen to them closely and you watch their body language to be sure they’re comfortable throughout the entire process.
The client likes you personally.
Clients are humans and humans prefer doing business with people they like. That’s one good reason that developing rapport is so crucial in customer relationships. It provides a buffer that keeps the competition at bay. So, form a genuine relationshipwith your clients so they see your practice and only your practice as their pet care provider.
Here’s the bottom line, your “preferred” clients are buying value over brand and experience over price. It would behoove you to dissect every step of your patients experience with you to make it as user-friendly and extraordinary as possible.
For more proven practice building strategies be sure to check out the Veterinary Business Academy at www.veterinarybusinessacademy.com