How to track lapsed clients and bring them back.
Is your practice growth stagnant? Or worse, are you seeing a decline in transactions and revenue? You have something real and tangible at your fingertips that can turn your compliance and profitability around—your clients!
Veterinary practices that are growing and profitable today monitor and track their lapsing clients, then take action to bring them back to the practice.
Problem: Lapsing Clients
In most veterinary practices, at least four percent to 12 percent (or more) of the client base hasn’t been in to see a veterinarian in 14 or more months. Additionally, many practices stop contacting clients within two weeks of a pet’s overdue reminders.
1. Calculate lost revenue. The first step is to face and quantify the problem. Do some math to calculate the value of bringing these clients back to the practice. You must first determine the average revenue per unique client visit in your hospital. This isn’t a national benchmark, but the number of unique clients seen in your practice on a monthly basis. (A “unique client” is defined as an individual client, no matter how many times they’ve been to the practice in a given period of time.)
2. Reach out. Regaining lost clients comes down to communication. It is essential to first determine why clients are taking their pets elsewhere or not seeking veterinary care at all.
Step 1: Client survey. Begin with a client survey via Crowdsignal or SurveyMonkey. You can create a free account through either platform and send a link in a brief email, asking your clients to answer a few questions to help your practice as you plan for the coming years. Include comment boxes to gather more specific information.
In your opinion, what could we do at ABC Veterinary Hospital to improve our service to you, your family and your pets?
Step 2: Personalized emails. Supplement your current reminder system with an additional personalized email when a pet at four to six weeks overdue for a visit.
Subject line: Extend Fluffy’s life by an average of two years
Body copy: Hi Mrs. Jones, Did you know that studies show your dog can live up to two years longer if you: (a) keep up on his/her physical exams to detect problems early, and (b) work to optimize his/her diet and exercise? It sounds simple, right? It turns out it really is! Our records show that Fluffy is overdue for a physical exam and parasite check. Please email me back or call us today at (555) 555-1212, and we’ll book an appointment for you immediately. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon! Your friends at ABC Animal Clinic
Step 3: Phone calls. At eight weeks overdue, follow up with a personal phone call.
Hi! This is Cindy at ABC Animal Clinic. How are you doing today? And how’s Fluffy doing?
(If issues) Well, let’s get Fluffy right in to check on that; s/he’s overdue for a physical exam anyway.
(If fine) The reason for my call today is that Fluffy is overdue for a physical exam and parasite check. I have a couple of openings available. Would you be able to come in next Tuesday or Wednesday?
With continued communication and advocacy for pets’ preventive care needs, even the busiest practices can implement a solid action plan to bring back lapsed clients and revenue.
Active patients: 4,000
% lapsing: 8%
Patients needing care: 320
Average revenue per unique client: $210
Value of scheduling 320 patients: $67,200
Set a goal: By reaching out to these clients and scheduling half of them, you could earn $33,600 in additional revenue.