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Most practice owners tell us they are focused on growing their business by getting customers through the door and selling more products and services.  At the same time, many admit they struggle to sell enough products, especially with increasing competition from online retailers and pet store chains.

They also think their current approach to marketing is effective.  They believe that by sending manual postcards and making phone calls in-house, they’re able to drive appointment activity and sales at a low cost.  What they fail to consider is that only 20 percent of their clients respond to these traditional methods of communication, resulting in fewer client visits and poorly educated customers who chose to spend their money elsewhere.

For an average two-and-a-half doctor practice, sending postcards in-house costs approximately 80 cents in staff time, printing and postage per postcard.  Sending 500 postcards per month costs $4,800 per year, and only 20 percent of clients will respond.  However, even this cost is minimal when compared to the lost revenue that the 80 percent who don’t respond could be bringing into the practice.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the average charge per visit is $140, so these missed opportunities represent up to $64,000 per month, or $768,000 per year in lost revenue. This doesn’t take into consideration clients who are never reminded and who are missed, or the negative impact these manual tasks have on staff morale.

What percentage of your clients schedule a visit in response to the postcards that you currently send?

In one example, a local practice had an experienced Certified Technician spending 10 hours per month printing and mailing reminders. She wanted to treat and heal animals but was spending a lot of time performing repetitive clerical work. Fed up, she quit and went to work at the practice down the street. The practice owner was forced to take on the burden of her responsibilities. As a result, marketing became an even lower priority, compliance dropped well below 20 percent, and the practice entered a downward spiral of revenue and client loss.

What if you could modernize the way you reach and engage with your customers?

The most successful practice owners implement a marketing strategy that educates their customers through direct and digital marketing, in-clinic materials, and office interactions.  We see this type of strategy driving a 31 percent increase in compliance, and it brings better-educated clients into the practice, who purchase more products.  It also allows your team to focus on patient care and customer service.  How could this strategy help you achieve your practice goals?

At Henry Schein Veterinary Solutions, our mission is to help you achieve the freedom that comes from a successful practice. Our AVImark and ImproMed practice management software, Rapport client communications suite, and manufacturer marketing programs provide a comprehensive approach to customer communication. We configure our platforms to your specific needs and help you automate back-office tasks like manual postcards and phone calls. Our services are proven to increase customer compliance and drive more revenue for your practice.

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