Vet practices are brands, and just like Tesco’s or Starbuck’s, different brands evoke different emotions in different individuals, resulting in positive, negative or indifferent reactions to that brand.
In today’s too-busy-to-stop society, a split-second can be all it takes to judge that logo or jingle that can ultimately determine if we’ll ever interact with that brand at all.
‘Brand equals trust’ and businesses need to earn their clients’ trust as soon as possible, constantly inventing clever ways to engage with potential, existing and sometimes even ex-clients to increase their bottom lines.
A classic stumbling block for vet practices is the waiting room – the ‘front of house’ – often one of the first and most important interactions with your brand (as well as website, Yellow Pages advert, phone calls).
As a locum, assistant and partner I’ve sat in a lot of waiting rooms but only a few have ever got it spot-on in my opinion.
It’s simple – distract the waiting client from thinking about waiting. This can be achieved in so many ways, some now quite traditional.
Everyone loves their pet to be made a fuss of, and all staff should be communicating with clients and if possible cross that intimidating desk-barrier to stroke their pets.
Clients should each be given a branded practice newsletter (e.g. VetIndex) quickly engaging them with practice information, and encouraging valuable feedback.
As well as the local paper, show your clients that you’re forward-thinking by requesting their email address and adding it to your database. Better still why not install Wi-Fi in your waiting room with the log-on page connecting straight to the practice website’s home page/e-newsletter sign-up?
There are many others, but remember clients don’t mind waiting as long as they know your brand cares about them – and the service you offer is worth waiting for!