All veterinary practices experience change and growth. New services are added, doctors retire, a second location opens… you get the idea. With so many things happening at your practice, it’s important to keep your clients in the loop. At InTouch Practice Communications, we often tout the usefulness of our custom on-hold programs, and you may have an on-hold program that our team created playing on your practice’s phone system right now.
One thing we cannot stress enough is how important it is to keep your on-hold programs up-to-date. You clean your house regularly to keep it nice and tidy; you get your car serviced on a regular basis so it runs smoothly; so why not take the time to “freshen up” your on-hold programs?
Here are some reasons why it’s a good idea to continually freshen up your on-hold programs:
- Clients receive the most up-to-date information about your practice.
Let’s say your practice hours have changed. Keeping your clients informed will reduce confusion, and reduce the likelihood that they will show up at your practice when you’re closed. Imagine what would happen if one of your clients came to your practice with an emergency. The last time they were placed on-hold when they called your practice, they heard your old operating hours. They bring their pet in seeking help, only to find out you aren’t open. Avoid situations like these by updating your on-hold programs regularly.
- Client retention remains steady or it increases.
Do you have a new veterinarian on your team? Perhaps the new veterinarian is a board-certified veterinary surgeon. Telling your clients about the new veterinarian and their skill set will keep them coming to your practice because people want to have their pets cared for by someone who has experience and training. Also, prospective clients who are searching for top-notch surgical care for their pet will be drawn to your practice because:
A: They were referred by an existing client who heard your announcement about the new veterinarian on your team while they were on-hold.
B: The prospective client found your practice in an online search, called in to get more information, and heard the message about the new veterinarian with their own ears.
- Clients get in on specials and promotions at your practice.
Let’s use National Pet Dental Health Month as an example for this one. National Pet Dental Health Month takes place every February, and veterinary practices all over the country have specials and promotions their clients can take advantage of during that time. Your practice is no exception, and you plan to offer a discount on dental cleanings for your four-legged patients all throughout the month. Well, February is a short month, and there’s no time to waste. You diligently have your on-hold programs updated to include your dental promotion, and your clients react positively to it.
But then February ends… and so does the promotion. If you have the dental promotion removed from your on-hold programs, or if you swapped it for a program that didn’t contain the promotion, then all is well. But what if you forget? What if a client is placed on-hold in mid-March and they hear your promotion that is meant only for National Pet Dental Health Month, but they want to take part in it? You may end up with a disgruntled customer.
- Silence speaks volumes.
Being on-hold with nothing but dead air playing in your ear is the worst. Give your clients something to listen to that piques their interest. Tell them about a new parasite preventive you’re carrying at your practice, why wellness exams are so important for pets, the importance of having dogs vaccinated against canine influenza, or you can simply change the background music. Not only is this informative and new, it can also lead to these thoughts:
“Oh yeah! I forgot to schedule a checkup for my cat. I’ll do that when one of the staff members comes back on the line.”
“Canine influenza? I heard about the recent outbreak… I don’t think my dog has been vaccinated against it. I’ll get more info when someone comes back to my call.”
“What? Ticks can get into my dog’s fur… in the winter? I didn’t know that. When a staff member comes back on the line I’ll ask them about this and see when I can get Scruffy in for an appointment.”
Our on-hold programs are easy to update. We have experienced scriptwriters on staff who are well-versed in veterinary medicine, and they can edit your programs however you see fit. If you don’t have a custom on-hold program, and you’d like to learn more about how you can get this service for your practice, call us at 800-493-9003 or request a FREE custom-made demo, and one of our talented team members can tell you all about it.
Reviewed by: Lisa G. on Nov. 21, 2019