As vets, we are all looking for ways to bring more revenue into our practices. It can seem counterintuitive, however, to offer discounted services to our clientele. Yet, that’s exactly what a good number of successful practice owners have done and with great results. Ever hear of the old adage, “You have to spend money to make money?” The concept of wellness plans is similar. Offer pre-packaged services at a more attractive rate and bring in more long-term business in return. Still not convinced? Here are four reasons you may want to consider adopting a wellness program for your practice.
Attract New Business
The cost of caring for a new kitten or puppy can be surprising – especially for people who are new to pet parenthood. Add up things like exams, recommended vaccinations, microchipping, parasite prevention and spay/neuter procedures and it’s easy to understand the sticker shock many new pet owners experience.
You can capitalize on this in your practice by bundling these services into a package that not only offers a rate that is lower than the individual services on their own, but also enables the pet owner to spread out the cost of those services over time. And since other practices in your area may not yet offer wellness plans, doing so can give you competitive advantage. The more prospects you can get through your door, the greater your practice growth and profitability will be.
Generate More Loyalty
Most wellness plans require the client to sign a contract for a specified amount of time – typically 12 months. The pet owner pays a monthly fee and, in exchange, receives certain services for his or her pet over the course of the contract. Those services usually include exams, laboratory tests, deworming, vaccines, etc. They may also include recommended procedures, such as dental exams and spaying or neutering.
When a client becomes locked into a program like this, they are more likely to adhere to it, which means more frequent visits. While this may not equate to a spike in revenue, as most of the services will already be covered by the wellness plan, the regular visits provide the distinct opportunity for staff to develop a relationship with the client and bond with the animal. This personal connection can go a long way toward ensuring that you’ve got yourself a loyal client for life.
Better Cash Flow
What’s better for your bottom line: taking on sporadic, one-time clients or setting up a steady stream of predictable, recurring revenue? The latter is, of course. Yet this is where many veterinary professionals overlook the value in wellness plans. With a wellness program, not only is there typically an up-front signup or membership fee, but there is also a monthly recurring fee as well. This makes it much easier to project and plan for the future because it provides a reliable income stream you can count on.
Furthermore, as we already mentioned, when clients come in more frequently, they develop a stronger sense of trust for the vet and support staff. This improves the odds that when health issues that extend beyond the scope of the wellness plan crop up, it’s your practice they’ll turn to. And because your clients trust you, they’ll be more likely to take upsell recommendations, which can boost revenue even further.
Last, but certainly not least, offering wellness plans can result in healthier, happier pets, which is always the biggest goal. When pet owners are invested in the ongoing wellbeing of their animal companions, they’ll be more attentive to their needs. Routine visits will help prevent illness and provide the opportunity to identify potential health concerns so they can be addressed right away. This can ultimately extend and improve the quality of those patients’ lives.
By offering wellness packages, you can demonstrate to your clients and prospects that keeping your patients in optimal health is your highest priority and you’re willing to make certain sacrifices to achieve that goal. This will foster good will, which again leads to increased loyalty, more word-of-mouth referrals and, of course, healthier, happier pets.
Wellness plans can be a wise and profitable business initiative. Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing some additional tips and advice on how to develop and implement these programs in your own practice. Be sure to bookmark our blog and stay tuned so you don’t miss out!