Welcoming New Patients to Your Clinic

Welcoming New Patients to Your Clinic

Posted by Positive Impressions on Sep 12th 2019

New business is always a plus! Yet, how do you turn a first appointment into repeat visits? It's all about how you welcome your clients to your veterinary practice.

While you probably concentrate your marketing on getting new patients in the door and retaining established clients, it's easy to forget that you need to make a good first impression. A well-planned goodie bag and patient packet help make new clients feel comfortable at your practice, answer common questions, avoid problems with future appointments and show you're both organized and ready to care for their pet long term.

Here's how you can build a new patient package that highlights your attentiveness and willingness to build a long-term relationship with each client:

New Patient Forms

Depending on your local laws and website security setup, you may be able to post these online, giving new clients a chance to check their records for information. This approach saves time and eliminates confusion at your office. Whether you send a packet for your client to fill out or offer online forms, make sure you cover:

Basic client and pet information: What's the name and breed of the pet? Where do the pet and owner live?

Medical history: Has the pet been diagnosed with any diseases? What medications are they taking? Do they currently suffer from any health problems that haven't been treated?

Preferred form of contact: What is their cellphone number and email? Do they prefer getting messages via text or email, or do they prefer phone calls?

Other legally required forms: Depending on your state laws, you may need a separate form to show that you've notified the client about medical records access or have limits to the level of care you offer.

Marketing release form: If you plan on including patients and their owners in online or print marketing materials, you need the owner's permission first.

Medical records release form: A release form for records from their previous veterinarian.

New Patient Packet

While forms give you the information you need to care for your new patient, the new patient packet should help clients better understand how to care for their pets. This includes information they need when working with your clinic and staying on top of their pet's health at home.

  • Clinic policies, including hours, appointment cancellations and emergency contacts.
  • Policies on prescription medications, including how to contact the office for questions and refills.
  • General health tips for their pet.
  • Advice for local or seasonal pet health issues: This can include information for medical issues like heartworm, or advice for protecting their pet in cold or hot weather.
  • A form to keep track of immunizations.


Including a few freebies can help clients feel welcome and can be a powerful marketing tool. This action can help steer clients toward buying pet-safe products at your retail space, use your other services, and give them a few more items to keep your clinic information at hand.

Labeling these items with your clinic name will help clients refer back to your practice, whether they want to buy more of a product or they're thinking about their pet when they're on a walk.

Also, provide a fridge magnet with your clinic's information. Fridge magnets last longer and are less likely to be lost than paper business cards. If the client puts care instructions on their fridge, the magnet keeps your contact information on hand if they have questions.

Additionally, consider their pet's all-around care with coupons for other clinic services, including grooming and boarding. This will encourage new clients to use more of your services as needed.

Packing it All Up

A pet-themed bag makes it easy to store all the new goodies and forms your new client needs for their pet, and it helps leave an overall better impression. Your employees can pre-fill bags with all the forms, paperwork and goodies, so they can be handed to clients as they enter or leave your location.

Think About Your Office

What impression does your office give? Avoid creating a sterile, impersonal environment. Be ready to greet your new client with branded products that they'll use - we offer some recommendations below - as well as a few treats for their pet. Also, consider adding the following:

  • Set up a photo display along the walls or with a bulletin board, using pictures of your clients' pets.
  • Highlight any recent pet birthdays or anniversaries - for example, a client who has been with you for five years.
  • Consider setting up a display with informational brochures or packets about basic pet care.

Begin With Communication

Remind your client of their upcoming appointment: Send a welcome card in the mail expressing how grateful you are that they're joining your practice and including the date and time for their first visit. Follow this up with a phone call or an electronic notification as a secondary reminder.

Also, make checking in convenient. Offer the option to confirm their appointment on your website, via text or even with an app.

Be Ready to Address the Pet's Medical History

Now that you've reviewed the medical history of your client's pet, be prepared to talk about their care during a client's first visit and any follow-up treatments or appointments. This may entail:

  • Any vaccines
  • Bloodwork and urinalysis
  • Monitoring procedures for chronic conditions
  • Diet and nutritional needs
  • Activity in relation to breed and lifestyle
  • Routine visits
  • Specialized treatments for the eyes, ears or heart

We Can Help You Make Clients Feel Welcome

Positive Impressions, LLC is known for our high-quality reminder cards, but we can do a lot more for your clinic. Looking for branded goods to promote your practice? We can customize print pens, leashes and calendars with your contact information. Need some veterinary business cards? We can print your clinic information on standard or premium paper stock or magnets. Want to add some pizazz to your goodie bags and retail products? We offer several pet-themed plastic and Kraft paper bags. Get started by checking out our latest specials on our website.

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