The Power of Educating Pet Owners

author

Jack Peploe
Veterinary IT Expert
April 22, 2021

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We’ve heard it said quite a few times that Pet owners are often the hardest part of the job. As you are delivering critical care to their pets it is of upmost importance that they understand what is wrong with their pet, how you intend to treat it and how much it will cost (this last one is extra important, as setting expectations of cost will negate any uncomfortable situations further down the line).

In this day and age, it’s also likely that you have come across a ‘Googler’ – a client that will have googled their pets symptoms before the appointment (probably the same group of people that google their own symptoms on WebMD before their doctor appointment). They will already have an idea of what they think the problem is and may or may not share this with you, when they leave the consultation, they might still think the answer Google gave them is a possibility and not be entirely satisfied with your service.

The point is, your clients need to be educated about their pet care.

 

Answer Their Questions

How often should I worm my pet? When do I clips my dog’s nails? What’s the benefit of having my pet spade? What kind of diet should I be feeding my rabbit? How do I know if my dog needs their anal glands done? What should I do if ….? If you’ve suggested a certain treatment for a pet, perhaps your client will have questions about why that specific treatment over another. This is just a quick example of the sort of question that pet owners might have about caring for their pet.

So why not address these questions head on? Educational materials go a long way to concreting the relationship that you have with your current clients and might even help to encourage new clients to register their pets.

These could just be short social media posts or if you are feeling ambitious or are wanting to educate on a larger subject, these could be anything from a blog on your website to a downloadable ebook, perhaps even a video?

Don’t be scared to go big with these educational materials, if there just too much information to put in a single SM post you could write a blog and put a link in your social posts or even just post a short video. Once you have done a few you could even re-use the material to create a pack for pet owners, such as a ‘New Puppy Guide’ that you could send to newly registered dog owners.

Why not try a ‘day at the vets’ story, following a pet that is in for treatment that shows the whole journey throughout the day. Owners are curious of what their pet experiences behind your doors and they want to know that their pet is getting lots of love as well at the treatment that they need.

 

Producing Educational Materials

We are huge advocates of using the tools you already have at your disposal. Because of this we often recommend tools that sit within the Microsoft 365 Suite. The Apps within 365 we would use for educational materials are Microsoft Sway for production and Power Automate to distribute.

Microsoft Sway enables your team to quickly and easily produce professional, interactive, and visually appealing designs such as newsletters, presentations and documentation. Benefits include:

  • Create outstanding interactive presentations and documentation without the need of having high level IT or design expertise.
  • Easy to embed video and audio, which means that your content is far more dynamic. An example of this would be basic puppy training videos, included in a ‘puppy pack’ for newly registered clients.
  • Easy to share your document with both your veterinary teams and your clients.
  • See how many people access and view your newsletters, presentations or documents in real time.

We’ve seen practice managers and vets use Microsoft Sway in the follow ways:

  • Create brochures for their practices.
  • ‘Your New Puppy’ Guides.
  • Create Patient care or health plans.
  • Estimate for procedures.
  • Expectations for procedure outcomes, timings to go home, post-operative care and likely recovery clearly explained and sent in advance of treatment.

 

With Power Automate you can easily add automation to your education materials by allowing you to quickly automate your workflows, enable business logic to simplify tasks and connect your processes. (It might sound complicated but its relatively simple to use, and your IT provider can help if required). Benefits include:

  • Enabling your team to focus their precious time on what they do best – patient care.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Create custom workflows that suit the way that your practice runs.
  • Save time.

We’ve seen practice managers and vets use Power Automate in the follow ways:

  • If a new client registers their puppy at your practice using Forms, Power Automate could send a welcome email which includes a Welcome Pack and New Puppy Guide which you’ve created in Sway.
  • Automate sending pet breed/type specific information and advice to pet owners are specific times of the year (ie Holidays, Tick season etc).
  • Automate sending treatment info and procedure outcomes to clients whose pets are receiving specific treatment.

 

So, it’s time to get started on creating this content. Start by writing a list of question you get from your clients, pick one and go from there. Remember to go back and update them after a while, as having out of date information won’t help your relationships with your clients.

If you have any questions about Microsoft 365, Microsoft Sway or Power Automate don’t hesitate to contact us, we are more than happy to help you get you started.

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