For a new client contacting your veterinary practice, your on-hold messaging could be the first thing they hear from you. Like it or not, what the caller hears on the other end of the line will shape their first impression of your practice. And if what they’re hearing turns out to be inaccurate and out-of-date, well…that first impression probably won’t be a good one. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case for your practice. Stay with us as we cover a few key points on why on-hold updates are so important!
3 Reasons You Should Keep Your On-Hold Programs Up-to-Date
While it would be nice to have evergreen on-hold messaging that doesn’t have to be changed, change is inevitable. And your practice could run into some issues with clients if the information you’re putting out doesn’t accurately reflect your practice or align with your callers’ expectations.
Here are 3 reasons why updating your on-hold messaging is an absolute must.
1. Updates Help Your Clients Stay in the Know
Your loyal clients rely on you to keep them up-to-date regarding any changes being made at your practice. These changes might concern your staff, hours of operation, hospital policies, services, your product inventory, or all of the above. Whatever those changes may be, if they’re potentially going to affect your clients’ experiences with your practice, then it’s your responsibility to keep your clients in the know. This helps to maintain their confidence in your practice and increases loyalty to your brand.
2. Updates Can Prevent Needless Confusion
Naturally, you want all communications with your clients to be as clear as possible. Small misunderstandings can happen regardless, and these are often resolved easily enough. But giving callers the wrong information in your on-hold messaging can lead to confusion and, potentially, frustration that can affect your clients’ relationship with your practice.
For example, maybe your practice used to offer a low-cost vaccine clinic on certain days of the week, and people could just stop by during this limited period to update their pets’ booster shots. However, your practice is no longer offering this, but one of your on-hold messages is still promoting this service to your callers! This could lead to pet owners showing up at your door, expecting to update their pets’ vaccinations at a discount, and having a potentially tense conversation with your front desk team when they find out this service is no longer available.
Failing to update your on-hold messaging can therefore result in one or more disappointed clients who will feel slighted by your practice, and frustrated that they took time and energy out of their day to come to you for something your practice no longer provides. They might relay this experience to their friends and family as well, costing you clients, revenue, and your reputation! It’s a ripple effect, and can become a much larger problem than you might expect.
Simply removing this message or updating the information can prevent these losses and keep pet owners loyal to your practice.
3. It Makes You More Trustworthy
Trust is the bedrock of all veterinarian-client-patient relationships. If a pet owner doesn’t trust you, you’ll lose a client and patient, and potentially others, if this lack of trust is expressed to other pet owners.
Simply being consistent in providing up-to-date information with your clients helps to maintain trust. It demonstrates your reliability, credibility, and authority in your market. It shows that you care about your clients and patients, and can be depended upon to guide them in the right direction and help them make informed decisions.
As you well know, your clients are putting their pets’ health and well-being in your hands. If they feel any reason at all to doubt your trustworthiness, they are likely to look elsewhere for a vet to manage their pets’ needs. Trust takes time to build, but it can be broken very easily. Be mindful about the information you’re delivering to your clients and always check your on-hold messages to ensure they’re up-to-date!
When to Update Your On-Hold Messaging
You don’t need to update your on-hold programs just for the sake of updating them (though that’s okay, too, if you want to keep things fresh and interesting). Simply put, you should update your messages when the need arises. Above, we mention that if your practice is making any kind of transition into new hours or policies or is changing staff, you need to update your on-hold program accordingly.
Other situations for which you might want to update your program include:
- Providing answers to frequently asked questions
- Drawing attention to common pet issues and making a call-to-action
- Offering easy-to-implement pet care tips for people to follow at home
- Reminding pet owners of their pets’ essential needs
There is no right or wrong time to update your on-hold messaging. Your goal when making updates is to keep your callers and clients informed, and to prevent misunderstandings that could lead to conflict (and the loss of valued patients and clients).
Work with Experts to Update Your On-Hold Messaging
InTouch is the premier message on-hold provider for veterinary practices. We create custom programs that reflect your practice’s unique brand and keep your callers on the line. On top of that, we offer a convenient and affordable Flex Plus Membership, which allows you to make as many changes as you want to your on-hold messaging for a reasonable yearly fee. For more information about Flex Plus and our on-hold services, contact us at (800) 493-9003 today!