Your first visit with a new client and/or new pet is of paramount importance. It's where you make your first impression, and, like our namesake, Positive Impressions, we want to make sure it's positive!
One way to ensure you'll knock it out of the park is to prepare your clients well. Let them know what to expect, what to bring to their first vet appointment, what your office is like, who will greet them at the front desk and more.
Here's some key information you can provide to your customers when they're bringing a new pet in for a first visit.
- Your location. This sounds obvious, but they'll need your address, and you may want to include major cross streets or other inside information like where to park and any road closures or traffic concerns. Providing them with this helpful information shows your concern and sets them up for a safe and hopefully uneventful trip to your clinic.
- What to bring to their first vet appointment. Ask clients to bring any medical records they have for their pet, including any vaccinations they've already received. You may also want them to bring a stool sample for examination. It's also a good idea for them to bring any medications their pet is taking, as well as the brand of food the pet eats. Finally, ask them to bring toys, favorite blankets or anything else that makes their pet feel comfortable.
- The name of your receptionist. This may be difficult to do if you're a larger clinic and have multiple receptionists, but telling a new customer, "Jan will check you in when you come on Tuesday," is a great way to personalize the experience and put the customer at ease. It can also help to provide the name of a person to contact if they have questions before their visit.
- A list of procedures for the first exam. Just as people like to know what to expect during their medical exams, pet owners like knowing what to expect for their pet's veterinary exams. Your list might include weighing, examination of organs, eyes, ears and joints, vaccinations, taking temperature and a discussion of food, behavior and more.
- A list of recommended vaccinations. Provide a list of what's recommended and the appropriate timeline for their type of pet. You may have these as fliers in your office. You can also provide them during the visit, but providing it ahead of time might help them prepare for necessary vaccinations promptly.
- Your cancellation Let customers know up-front what your policy is for canceling appointments. That way, there won't be any surprises, and they'll be more likely to keep their appointment or give you the proper notice should they need to reschedule.
Remember, a customer and pet's first visit is important, and what you do to prepare them for that visit makes a difference. The more comfortable they are with your clinic and its staff, the more likely they'll remain customers and recommend you to others.