Avoid Client Culture Clash

August 2022 |

How to attract the clients that will help your practice grow and thrive.

A major goal of every business website is to attract more clients and drive growth, right? “For a healthier, more sustainable kind of growth, you want to attract the right clients for your practice,” says Robert Sanchez, CEO of Digital Empathy, a veterinary marketing and web design firm. “But most practice websites appeal to pet owners like they’re a homogenous blob.” Instead, Sanchez recommends trying to attract people who fit the mold of what you’re offering.

For instance, let’s say your independent veterinary practice offers a personalized, high-touch experience for medium to high cost. But your website attracts clients who are primarily price-driven and view veterinary medicine as an interchangeable commodity. These clients are more likely to fight you about prices, be suspicious of your motives, and not want to follow your recommendations.

“That can introduce financial and emotional stress to your practice, because you’re just not set up to serve those clients’ needs,” says Sanchez. “There are wonderful people operating in high-volume, low-touch environments that would be able to serve them better.”

Different Clients, Different Messaging

Think of the distribution curve of clients as divided roughly into 3 segments:

Segment 1: Only the best. For the first segment of clients (often with incomes of $150,000 or over), money is no object. “For them, price really isn’t going to matter,” says Sanchez. “The point for them is having someone they trust to get their pets the best care at all times. Once the bond is there, they’re not going to leave you, even if you raise your prices.”

Sample messaging: “We exist because we believe that pets truly are family, and we understand how important it is to you that they have the best possible care at every visit—and even in-between visits.”

Segment 2: High quality at reasonable costs. The second (and largest) segment of clients generally identifies as middle class. “They really care about their pets and want to provide them quality care, but they’re a little more price-conscious,” says Sanchez. To appeal to them on your website, he recommends, talk about what makes your practice unique and also promote any subscription-style wellness plans you offer, since these help clients predict and control their costs while providing high-quality care for their pets.

Sample messaging: “We’re here to make high-quality veterinary care transparent and easy to access, because we believe that every pet is family.”

Segment 3: Accessing the basics. The third segment of clients can afford basic preventive care for their pets and not much more. To target this group, focus your website content on the “how”—what veterinary care at your practice will look like and cost, Sanchez recommends. “Websites of low-cost practices absolutely should include basic pricing,” he says. “People in this segment are highly price-conscious, and they really need to know whether something will fit into their budget.”

Sample messaging: “You are doing the best you can for your pet, and we’re here to help you to do that.”

Every segment needs its own practices. “There’s no right or wrong type of practice to have,” says Sanchez. “Getting really clear about which pet owners you serve and targeting them with your web messaging is an important part of helping your practice, your team and your finances thrive.”