The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of daily life including veterinary visits, as telemedicine and virtual care became more prevalent and now continue to be an option many clients take.
However, while the rise of technology in veterinary medicine has brought about easier access to information and communication, it can sometimes hinder the personal connections that are crucial for providing top-notch care in an in-person veterinary clinic.
Fortunately, there are ways to incorporate the efficiency and convenience of technology into in-person veterinary care without compromising on its personal touch.
Here are some of the ways veterinary practices can foster personal connections with their clients while still using technology to streamline processes and enhance patient care.
1. Train Staff on Communication
Even with an in-person veterinary visit, communication is the main difference between a good experience for pets and their owners and a poor-quality one.
Effective communication requires staff to put clients at ease, provide clear explanations, and answer questions in a compassionate manner. On top of excellent communication skills, you should be able to read and respond to clients’ nonverbal cues.
Providing training is a proactive way of ensuring staff members are able to effectively communicate with clients during veterinary visits. This can include role-playing exercises to practice empathetic listening, effective questioning techniques, and clear explanations of medical procedures and recommendations.
2. Improve the Waiting Room Experience With Technology
The waiting room is often the first point of contact for clients and their pets during a veterinary visit. As such, it is essential to make it a comfortable and welcoming environment.
Fortunately, the technology used during the pandemic can also come in handy here.
Here are some ways you can enhance the waiting room experience and create a more pleasant environment using these tools:
- Digital check-ins: Allow clients to check in for their appointments electronically via a tablet or smartphone, reducing the waiting time and chances of no-shows.
- Communication tools: Speaking of no-shows, messaging and appointment reminders are a great way to keep clients informed and engaged, thus improving follow-through on veterinary visits and overall satisfaction.
- Electronic boards: Use digital signage to display important information, educational materials, and upcoming events, creating an interactive and informative atmosphere.
Remember, clients who receive good in-person veterinary care are more likely to return for future appointments and recommend the practice to others.
3. Maintain the Positive Changes of Virtual Communications
Before rushing to encourage in-person veterinary visits, identify the digital aspects that enhanced care during the telehealth boom. One way to do this is to survey clients about the remote care they received.
Ask your clients what they loved about being able to access their pet’s health records online or receive reminders and updates via text. If your clinic did not provide these services, ask them if they would prefer them as an option moving forward.
Once you’ve gathered your responses, decide which virtual and distanced options you want to keep or add to your practice’s day-to-day operations.
Onward Vet Can Help
Ultimately, your in-person veterinary clinic should prioritize better communication and understanding while using virtual communication to enhance the experience.
With features such as automatic appointment scheduling and reminder postcards, Onward Vet’s cloud-based system can simplify your processes while improving client veterinary visits.
Get access to a free two-week trial today and see how.
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