When it comes to knowing how to prepare your veterinary practice time off, it’s really all about client communications. Funny, that because, repeat business, better patient care, and client base growth is all directly related to client communications. So, how can it be utilized to keep all three of those elements running smoothly while offices are closed?
Know how to prepare your veterinary practice for time off and holidays such as Thanksgiving where business hours might be adjusted. Easily and quickly apply the below steps using tools built-in to Hippo Manager to keep business and patient care, in tip-top shape.
How to Prepare Your Practice for Time Off
Firstly, let’s tackle some housekeeping questions. When will your practice be closed? Days, dates and times are important. Secondly, will a veterinarian or, any staff members be available in case of an emergency? If so, how? If not, what are clients to do in case of an emergency? Lastly, exactly when your veterinary practice will resume normal business hours.
Know the answers to these questions so your veterinary practice can effectively communicate to clients and set expectations. This is relevant for all times a practice might be closed over planned holidays and break periods. It is also extremely useful protocol to have on hand should your veterinary practice need to shut for a time due to unforeseen reasons.
3 Steps in Preparing for Time Off
The upcoming Thanksgiving break is a great time to start knowing how veterinary practice hours will be adjusted and how to use client communication efforts to keep business running smoothly.
1. Know what you want to say. What is your veterinary practice closed for? Communicate why your veterinary practice is closed and any necessary specific details such as those mentioned above.
2. Who you want to say it to. Clients, but, this is likely in three categories:
- Existing “regular” clients. Those that rarely miss an appointment and have high loyalty to your practice.
- Potential untapped clients. These are the ones that search for your practice when in need, and should be delivered the right message if your doors are closed so they can become clients.
- Clients with pets that are “at-risk”. These clients have pets that have recently been patients of a critical nature or, could still be under hospital care, despite offices being publicly closed.
3. And how you want to say it. Client communications include a variety of methods. Considering your client audience, how do you want to communicate your veterinary practice time off? It’s possible to use existing tools, like those built-in to Hippo Manager such as; emails, phone lists, 2-way text messaging and more.
5 Tools to Easily Communicate Veterinary Practice Time Off
Use built-in tools in Hippo Manager such as client emails and services such as text messaging to keep clients informed. It’s simple to use existing client communications in ways that continue business while veterinary practice staff is enjoying some well earned time off.
- 2-way text messaging
- Good old-fashioned phone
- Email communications
- Website/Social Media
2-way Text Messaging
If your practice is using Zipwhip, set your auto-response to any incoming inquiries to state when offices are closed and what to do in an emergency. Easily schedule auto-replies and out of office messages. Keep all communications recorded directly in the patient file in Hippo!
Checking text messages in Hippo Manager can be done from anywhere. Use any computer or cell phone to check incoming messages for any emergencies. Capture better work-life balance while the office is closed while keeping an eye on the business.
Run the call-back list report to check on any patients before the break and get an up-to-date status going into the long weekend. This is so that coming back fro break, you’ve got a good “temperature” on the patient beforehand and can compare to that baseline.
Also, run a recent call back-list on upcoming appointments, reminding clients for visits after the long weekend. Long weekends tend to get people off-schedule and calendar commitments can get forgotten.
While we’re on the topic of the phone, don’t forget to change your voicemail to the same message you’d use for text messaging auto-responses.
Send an e-blast! Easily gather all client email addresses located in your Hippo Manager client database and send a quick email beforehand. Use the existing email reminder system in Hippo Manager to send the e-blast to clients. It’s important to email clients to let them know your staff will be taking some well-earned time off and your veterinary practice will be closed for the holiday. Don’t forget to let clients know how to reach your practice in an emergency or, alternative steps to take while your practice is offline.
Website & Social Media Pages
If your practice operates a website, be sure to change the “Contact” page to include dates and times when the office will be closed. It’s sometimes possible to add a message to the homepage of your website for any out of office messages. Otherwise, simply update the office hours page to include all veterinary practice time off dates, and you won’t have to update the website every time! If your practice operates a Google Business page, be sure to adjust office hours there too.
Everyone has a Facebook page, or, twitter account, maybe your practice prefers to use Instagram. Veterinary practice time off is a great chance to get a little creative and have some fun. Using a program like Canva, grab some free stock images of the upcoming holiday and post to your social media pages. Letting all clients know upcoming changes to office hours can be a little fun and using social media can help cover all the places clients search for your practice.
Use the upcoming time off as a chance to mail clients a reminder about a service as well as changes to office hours. Never miss an opportunity to remind clients of a needed vaccination or, wellness visit. Take advantage of the mailing to notify clients of the planned office closure.
Hippo Manager offers postcard reminders for practice partners. When combining text messaging, mailers and email appointment compliance go way up! Using a variety of methods to communicate with clients increases loyalty and keeps everyone happy, not to mention pets healthy!
Enjoy your time off!
Adequately preparing your veterinary practice for time off is quick and easy with Hippo Manager. Using existing built-in tools alongside additional services can keep both staff and clients happy. Inform your clients with communication tactics that give peace of mind to everyone. Enjoy better work-life balance and keep patient care top of mind even when offices are closed. Using text messaging in Hippo, keep client needs at your fingertips while enjoying family time, and respond to requests as needed.