With Animana’s waiting-time report, you can get insights into your clinics’ performance from a customer perspective, and learn where resource and process adjustments need to be made.

It starts with an appointment.

Often the waiting room is seen as the starting point of the customer journey, but the first contact actually takes place when the customer books the appointment. During this exchange, you can begin to set customer expectations which will prevent unexpected questions or delays when the customer is in the clinic.

Here are our tips to create a great appointment booking experience for the customer while ensuring you get all the information your team need.

  • Remember that the customer is looking for an appointment that is convenient to themselves – don’t let yourself be tempted to plan an appointment that fits the clinic’s agenda.
  • An owners view of an emergency is not the same as yours. Find a way to explain this to the owner, given their knowledge is different to yours – a vaccination may not always have to take place immediately.
  • Keep the conversation short – remember the goal is to book the appointment only. Guide the conversation to this goal, if an owner has questions, take the time to answer them, but stay efficient – especially if you are also responsible for other tasks such as managing reception.
  • Ensure the expectations of the visit to the clinic are clear – try to establish if the pet has any other problems which you can note for the appointment. Ask; “Can we help you with anything else while you’re at the clinic?”. For example; many owners may want pets’ claws trimmed, or ears checked.
  • Inform the customer of any clinic complications which may affect the efficiency of their appointment, for example, is there a shortage of staff due to vacations or sickness?
  • At the end of the call, repeat the appointment back to the customer: “We look forward to seeing you and Bobby tomorrow at 2pm for his annual vaccination and his bad breath, don’t forget to bring his pet passport.”
  • Send an appointment confirmation by e-mail (or by text message). This is a great way to avoid any ambiguity with the appointment time, but also it’s a great way to ensure you have the latest contact details. If you use email, you could also send a confirmation containing specific information about the treatment and even directions on how to get to the clinic from the client’s address!
  • Try to organise the clinic calendar – calendar planning is quite a challenge, so by pre-determining staff meetings, holidays and specific treatments days (e.g. vaccinations on Tuesday mornings). You can also cluster appointments in time blocks – leaving scope for empty blocks for customers who call during the day.
  • Make online appointments. Animana’s integration with Vetstoria allows customers to make an appointment online 24 hours a day, giving your customers not only a more convenient booking experience, but also giving you complete control of what appointments are made, with who, and when. Want to only vaccinate dogs on Tuesday morning between 10.00 and 12.00? no problem.

Back to part one of this article.