10 Mar The banana bread conundrum.
By this stage of the pandemic, there can’t be a household in Britain that doesn’t have a go-to recipe for banana bread. With time on our hands and too many ever-blackening bananas slumping gently down into the fruit bowl, turning out endless loaves of banana bread has become quite the thing to do in lockdown.
Don’t get me wrong, I love banana bread as much as the next person – I’ve even made a fair few loaves in recent months. It’s just that it struck me recently that the banana bread conundrum perfectly encapsulates the approach of many veterinary practices to dealing with client flows and practice protocols – we keep doing things to mitigate the problem, but we don’t fix the cause of the problem. We keep making banana bread to use up going-off fruit, but why don’t we just stop buying bloody bananas?! We keep telling clients to ‘give us a call when you arrive’ and then stress about handling increased call volumes with fewer team members covering more roles.
With the roadmap out of lockdown now published, and households booking summer holidays and breaks away (perhaps more in hope than expectation), it’s fair to expect a big increase in the numbers of clients wanting vaccinations for their pets, in advance of kennel and cattery stays. It won’t be a surprise when the phone starts ringing off the hook, so why not take steps now to manage inbound call volumes and plan dedicated vaccination clinics to boost efficiencies. It’s time to make your own roadmap – plot out the customer journey to and through your practice. Look at the process by which clients get in touch, make enquiries and book appointments. Where are the snagging points and where are there opportunities to work smarter? Do you offer online appointment booking and webchats so that clients can book their pets in without having to pick up the phone? If not, why not? Now more than ever we’re all used to doing things online, live chatting with customer helplines as so many call centre operatives are working from home. Booking home deliveries from the comfort of the sofa on the mobile at 10pm. Vaccinations are (banana)bread and butter for vet practices, you do them all the time and the process is always the same – perfect for managing via streamlined online bookings.
Customer journey mapping is just one of many areas where Onswitch has lots of experience. We can help you identify where doing things like you’ve always done them is, in fact, causing issues in the brave, new, post-covid world. Then, crucially, we’ll help you fix them – training the team with practical tips and techniques to work smarter not harder, recommending online solutions that not only address the issues today, but minimise them for future.
Workloads are going to increase as the easing of lockdown begins. Clients are going to need your help, and if you’re too busy to answer the phone they will simply go elsewhere. Spending a little time now to smooth the customer journey will save so much more time and stress in the coming months.
Stop making banana bread.
Stop buying bananas.
And if you look across to the bottom right of your screen, you’ll see a webchat button. Do get in touch if you’d like help or advice on mapping your customer journey and fixing your client flow. If it’s out of hours, we’ll get back to you when we’re next online (we might be busy, baking anything that’s not banana bread!…)