As a veterinarian, you know that running a successful practice is about much more than just providing excellent medical care to your furry patients. It also involves creating a positive customer experience for their owners, and part of that experience is being available to answer their calls and inquiries. However, as your practice grows, so too does the volume of calls you receive, making it difficult to provide the level of customer service you want.
As a new vet practice, you may be planning how best to grow your practice, but you are probably struggling to allow enough spending to truly invest in your expansion. Growing a vet practice on a budget is hard work, and there is often risk associated with a drop in customer service levels.
If your expansion comes at the cost of service or customer experience, you may end up in a much worse position than you started in. Animal owners are unlikely to tolerate poor service for long and will likely look for an alternative vet. Currently, it almost certainly won’t take them long to find a new practice; many vet practices suffer from strong competition, particularly for small animal vets.
The importance of planning for your vet practice
To reduce the risks associated with expansion, you must ensure you have a well-prepared plan for your growth. This includes considering how you will facilitate the expansion.
Will your current premises be large enough for your planned growth?
How many new vets might you need to hire?
Will you need to invest in new equipment or systems?
How will you ensure the quality of service remains the same?
Will you need to hire new administrative employees?
Once you have considered what you will need to facilitate the expansion, you will have to consider the growth’s cost. How will you fund all these new investments in your vet practice?
One way to reduce the risks is to expand on a budget, but this requires careful planning to ensure you maintain service, reach your goals, stay competitive and remain on budget.
How to expand your vet practice on a budget?
One lower-cost option for expansion is to increase the opening hours for appointments. This allows you to welcome new customers who might not otherwise have been able to access your service. But it is also fairly low cost, as you don’t have to purchase additional equipment or expand your premises.
This could include opening late on specific days or offering Saturday appointments. Pet owners working full-time are likely to be particularly grateful for this service, and you may be able to target them directly in your marketing to tap into a new customer base. This is particularly effective if your local competition is not open during these times.
The most significant increase in costs for this form of expansion is wages. You will need to consider if you can ask your current veterinary staff to work additional hours or if you will need to hire new vets and/or vet nurses.
You will also need to consider the level of service you offer to your customers and whether you will need additional administrative staff. This is where Kernow Vets Messaging can help.
How can Kernow Vets Messaging reduce the cost of your vet practice expansion?
Rather than hiring internal administrative employees to answer phones outside of regular working hours, you can outsource your call handling to us. We can put processes in place to support the growth of your practice. We can provide call answering and customer handling within set hours when you may wish to avoid having in-house administrative employees, such as during unfavourable hours or weekends.
Or we can take over all the call handling for your vet practice day and night. In this way, you can reduce your spending on administrative staff and focus that extra budget on investing in your expansion.
We can remove the stress of customer services and call answering, giving your veterinary team the space to focus on their core roles as medical professionals.
We can also offer out-of-hours call handling to facilitate emergency vet call-outs. Many smaller vet practices have stopped offering this, so it could provide an ideal competitive advantage over the other vet practices in your area.
To learn more, check out this blog or contact us to discover how we can help.