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How can you give your clinic a competitive edge? The total experience from the first appointment scheduling to follow-ups is different from clinic to clinic, so there’s no way for customers to make an apples-to-apples comparison. To give your clinic an edge, you should concentrate on building on your strengths and advertising them to both present and future customers.
Making Goals for Your Clinic
There’s no one-size-fits-all method to running a clinic, so you should look on building your own strengths, not trying to beat others. Figuring out exactly what you want to do will help you keep on task as you develop your practice. As you put together a plan, ask yourself these questions:
Is your practice focused on house pets? Livestock? Exotic animals? Some combination of the three? Would you do better to expand the range of animals you care for, or focus on one specific category?
What makes your practice stand out from others? Do you or will you offer unique medical services? Is there an area of health care missing from your area that you could be covering? Do any members of your staff have unique qualifications or experiences that help them stand out?
What is your eventual goal for your clinic? Do you want to stay small to provide a more personal experience for clients and their pets? Do you want to expand or open a hospital?
Create a Mission Statement
“Mission statement” may be a corporate buzzword, but even if you don’t find it helpful when focusing your clinic plans, it can be invaluable when pitching your services to potential and current customers. If you can sum up what your clinic does in a short paragraph, it can be used as an attention-grabber in advertising. From there, potential customers can get more details by checking out your website or contacting your clinic directly.
Become Part of the Community
Building a successful clinic isn’t just about what you offer, but how you offer it. You need to make sure your clinic is visible within the community both literally by finding the right location and name, as well as promoting your business through pet-related events in the area to put your clinic in a positive light.
If you offer a unique medical service, you need to build a relationship with local clinics for referrals. Make sure you have a way of announcing new services as they’re launched, and have a way to thank cooperating clinics, whether that means sending them a thank you card or sending some business your way. If a clinic offers services that you don’t have, talk to them about building a reciprocal relationship.
Treat Your Clients as Well as Your Patients
You may be treating animals, but it’s your clients that determine whether their pet will become a regular patient. Do what you can to make the waiting area as pleasant and stress-free for both clients and pets, and make sure you’re taking the time to communicate to your clients exactly what’s going on with their pet and how it’s being treated. Your clients may not be able to easily tell the differences between the level of health care they can get from different clinics, but they can definitely tell the difference in how they are treated.
Communicating to Customers
You know where your practice is heading, you’ve made it visible in the community, you know how to explain it, and you’ve found ways to help set your clinic apart from others in the area. Now you need to let both new clients and established customers know how and why to seek your services.
Since 2008, Positive Impressions has helped veterinary clinics connect with clients through products that can be custom printed with your clinic’s information. From veterinary reminder cards to veterinary labels and stickers, we have everything you need to keep your information in your clients’ hands, so your clinic will be the first place they contact when they need help with their pets.