08 Aug Onswitch Vet Bounceback Tip
Onswitch June Vet Bounceback Top Tips
Weekly blog 3
If you follow Onswitch on Facebook or Twitter, you will know that throughout June we are posting a daily top tip to help your practice bounce back from the pandemic. Each week we’ll post a summary of the week’s blogs, giving you clarity on the steps you can take now to ensure your business emerges from the current challenges in good shape.
We began the week by looking at another practical tip for the Operational Effectiveness quadrant of the Balanced Score Card. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to focus on activity numbers, not value.
Right now, your procedure backlog is undoubtedly significant and needs tackling ASAP, in addition to the pending summer workload. You already know that you will need to do more tasks than usual in less time, and so you should be communicating and discussing with the team now, in preparation.
- Deal with the backlog as a separate project – give it a separate workflow, name the project to give it an identity
- Create a team responsible for the project. Let everyone working on it know they are in catch up mode so things can be done differently
- Create backlog days – run a vaccine catch up weekend, day or evening. Similarly, run backlog ops and dental days along with evening or night shifts to get the backlog away before summer arrives
- Call owners proactively with allocated appointments
- Count down the backlog as it gets smaller to show the team you’re all making real progress
- Celebrate your success!
Even in the middle of a pandemic we can make small improvements across the whole team that will make a big impact. So, as we do new things (remote consults, posting out meds, distanced surgery etc.) we must train the primary call handlers in how to talk about these new processes, words and systems. It’s easy to say there’s no time to do this now, but taking a three-hour session out of the diary to focus on this key issue will save time and stress in the long run.
- Define your inbound call process
- Define your outbound call process
- Train the team in both
- Introduce a process map for call handling (what the owner needs and why they are ringing) – it changes how you answer the call
- Measure and listen to calls, review, coach and help people make these small changes. If you don’t already record your calls, get some Call Coaching calls made
For more help, why not try:
Onswitch’s Call Coaching programme. More details on the website
It’s important to remain focused on the consultation experience throughout, as this is the key place where an owner can experience rapport and trust as you care for their pet, horse, flock or herd. Our ConsultCoach process is a really useful way to help the team reflect and learn about the way they consult, whether remotely or face-to-face.
- Capture videos of your consults – most apps or remote consult hosting platforms can do this.
- View and review the data
- Find areas to improve in the process, both pre- and post-consult
- Hold a team remote consult skills session, finding the little things that make a big impact
For more help, why not try:
Next we turned our attention to making life easier for clients in the near future, because as their own situations change they will inevitably have to do some things differently.
Given that online sales of veterinary medicines and parasite control have grown significantly during lockdown, this may be the trigger for clients to move permanently to online purchase and home delivery of everyday meds.
We can help enable this by reviewing how you can make your services easier to access:
- Investigate and set up home delivery of repeat medications and parasite control
- Set up (if you haven’t already) online ordering of meds and booking of appointments
- Make payment easier. Use all options available so that clients can pay in as many ways as they can (and in advance), just as they do elsewhere. Set up your systems to accept PayPal, Apple Pay, BACS transfers etc.
Continuing in the Customer quadrant of the Balanced Score Card, here are some top tips for driving footfall to the practice. Now more than ever this can be virtual as well as physical, so it’s important to keep in touch with your clients and find ways to maintain great service without requiring a trip to collect items or access advice.
- Redefine your footfall plan around driving digital footfall rather than physical
- Find new processes to send meds and food out, so that people don’t need to come in to the practice to buy from you
- Keep in touch via blogs, online content, social media and newsletters
- Embrace your customers’ behaviour changes as a positive opportunity
Back to Finance now, specifically looking at how we can make producing estimates easier by looking at your common procedures and getting to a fixed price approach. After all, most cats are the same size and dogs generally fall into two clusters of weights, with very few giant ones.
Review what your last 100 image work ups were for, along with the resulting cost of treatment. You’ll see that most fall within a range, so dog dentals typically range from £x to £y with a few exceptions, and they usually require further oral surgery.
From this you can produce fixed pricing for your most frequent activity, reducing time spent producing estimates when you don’t have the time to spare:
- Run the data
- Find the pattern
- Get to a fixed price approach
Finally this week we looked at reviewing practice marketing spend, in order to ensure a strong Return On Investment (ROI). The biggest single cost in your practice is the team, and every day they interact with hundreds of owners. How can you put them to best use as a set of mini marketing managers?
First and foremost, it’s essential that they know what the practice story is:
- Why are you the best vets in town?
- What makes you the best choice for each particular patient?
- What is special about you?
- Why should a new client choose you or stay with you?
What have you done to embed your values, beliefs and processes in the hearts and minds of your team? Now is a great time to review and re-focus, by:
- Allocating a budget for brand training for the whole team
- Building an induction programme for new starters covering who you are, what you do and why you are different
- Delivering the induction programme to all who have missed it
- Allocating CPD budget to everyone on the team specifically for ‘Delivering our customer experience’
- Writing down how you want everyone to behave, so that you get a consistent approach (don’t forget to tell them!)
The team experience is what creates memories for clients, and these become your lived brand experience; what people say about you to their friends and family.
Build your story to ensure that those memories match what you want people to say.
More top tips to come on Facebook every day through June, summarised each week through the blog. It’s tough right now, but you’re not alone