These days it’s nearly impossible to run a business without the use of technology, and the animal health care industry is no exception. The modern veterinary clinic must rely on tools, like computers and software, to manage everything from scheduling clients to keeping staff on track. Likewise, most clients today prefer vet practices that offer high-tech options, like online appointment scheduling and prescription refills.
But what happens when you have those clients who struggle with technology, for whatever reason? Here are a few pointers that will help get more people on board with your practice management system.
Raise Awareness – The way you communicate information about the technology you use in your veterinary practice can influence the response you get from your clientele. Utilize all the various channels that are available to you, such as social media, email, your website and in-clinic signage. Be positive and excited in your communications.
Present Solutions – If you want your clients to be excited about a new technology you’re using, you need to demonstrate to them how it solves their problems. It’s more about what’s in it for them than it is about you. As such, present your tech options as a tool to make their lives easier and show them how.
Make it Personal – Touting the overall benefits of your new system is one thing. Personalizing those benefits to each client and patient is another. For instance, saying: “Mary, the online portal will help us keep track of Buster’s medications and save you a lot of time,” is much more powerful and impactful than simply handing her a flyer with a generic bullet pointed list.
Educate Them – Don’t just assume your clients are all comfortable with technology. Some may need a little assistance along the way. Figure out the best way to educate your clients, whether it’s a video tutorial that you share, an instructional flyer or having a staff member walk them through it in person.
Integrate and Talk About It – The technologies you use to better serve your clients and patients should be a part of everyday conversations you’re having within the practice, particularly when it comes to interactions with your clientele. For instance, if you have to order diagnostic tests, let the client know the results will be available in the online portal. Remind clients that appointments can be scheduled and prescriptions refilled conveniently online. Train staff to suggest and encourage the use of technology.
Be Responsive – Understand that a portion of your clients may have questions or concerns about the tech you’re using in-practice. Meet those issues head-on by keeping the lines of communication open and encouraging feedback. If there are a number of similar questions being asked, compiling a list of FAQs might make things easier for everyone. Acknowledging and addressing fear is the only way to overcome it.
Be Patient and Persistent – Just like any type of marketing, it can take multiple “touches” to get a person on board with a new technology. Sending out one email blast when you first roll out your new system probably won’t get you the results you’re after. Keep talking about it, sharing it, promoting it and encouraging it. Over time, you’ll notice some of those who may have been on the fence beginning to warm to the idea. Above all, be patient and understanding. Your consistency will eventually pay off.
If you’re struggling to help your clients adapt to new technology, remember that veterinary medicine isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some clients may simply choose not to engage with the solutions you offer, and that’s okay. But with the tips listed above and a little bit of patience, you should be able to successfully change the minds of many.