COVID Message On-Hold Programs: Why Your Practice Needs Them
Keep confusion and frustration about your COVID policies to a minimum at your vet practice. We know the veterinary industry has had its share of obstacles over the last couple of years, and staying ahead of ever-changing COVID protocols and recommendations is one of them! If there’s one thing virtually every industry has in common, it’s dealing with COVID and keeping customers informed and happy. And your message on-hold program is a major way to do that.
COVID On-Hold Messages Benefit Your Clients
Creating COVID messages for your on-hold program provides your clients with important information about your current in-office protocols and health requirements. Clients can learn about the steps your practice is taking to keep them and your staff members safe, all while continuing to provide the same exceptional service for their pets.
Additionally, providing these up-to-date messages helps to set clients’ expectations. They’ll be able to anticipate and be prepared for longer on-hold or in-office wait times and reduced staff. Furthermore, messaging that helps clients better understand what your practice is going through can help reduce any stress they have about their vet visit. Not knowing what’s going on or why there are appointment delays can create conflict with clients when there doesn’t have to be. Being informed will put them more at ease and increase their sense of trust and confidence in your practice. When your clients are on the same page as your team, they’ll be much happier.
Plus, sharing these messages shows your clients that you care, and they will appreciate that.
COVID On-Hold Messages Benefit Your Staff
Message on-hold offers another avenue for your practice to answer questions. In this format, it can free your staff from having to answer certain COVID-related questions during a call or in person, and add on to the time they spend caring for your patients and clients. And when your team members have more time available to them, they’re less likely to feel stressed and frustrated.
Another benefit is that keeping clients informed minimizes uncertainty and clears up communication. As mentioned above in the previous section, when clients are on the same page as your staff, there’s a better understanding between you. Your clients will know what to expect when they visit your practice and they’ll likely be happier when they see their expectations are met. This translates to more positive interactions with clients and more friendliness towards your staff, which will help to improve their morale and make their work more fulfilling.
Promote Empathy and Understanding
Sharing timely information and reminding pet owners that like them, your staff also faces challenges each day due to COVID can break down barriers and help your practice create a deeper connection with clients. It’s okay to be honest and appeal to their fellow humanity. Let your callers know you understand their worries and frustrations, but also encourage a little more kindness and compassion. Veterinary medicine is very much a compassion-driven profession, not just toward companion animals, but people, too. This ensures a more positive experience for everyone.
Ideas for Crafting Your Messages
If you’re not sure what kind of COVID-related information you should be including in your on-hold messages, here are a few topics we recommend, if applicable:
• Precautions your team is taking to keep your practice sanitary and safe
• A disclaimer about reduced staff, which could increase wait times
• Any COVID protocols that have changed
• Changes in your opening hours/closings
• A thank you message to your clients
Whenever you have important information to share with your clients, make sure that, in addition to being included on your website and social media pages, that it’s also being featured in your message on-hold program!
How to Make Quick MOH Updates to Get Your Message Out
With COVID protocols changing frequently, it’s important to have a system in place that allows you to update your messages quickly to reflect these changes. At InTouch, we offer the Flex Plus plan, which gives our message on-hold clients the ability to request program changes, make as many changes as they want to their messages, and have those messages up and playing on their phone system as soon as possible.
If our experience with the veterinary industry has taught us anything, it’s that time is of the essence. Your practice is a busy place, and maintaining clear communication with your clients is crucial. You can count on us to take your concerns seriously and be there to help when you need to update your messaging and get essential information out to your clients right away.
To learn more about message on-hold with InTouch, call (800) 493-9003.