Technology presents multiple opportunities for veterinary practices to improve communication with clients. A website is one of those digital tools that can provide veterinary practices a chance to reach and communicate with current and potential clients at all hours. One aspect of a website clients seek out is the ability to look for an appointment online.
Nowadays, pet owners don’t always want to take the time to call your practice to make an appointment. Or pet owners are at work and can’t call to schedule an appointment until after your practice has closed. Visiting a website for your pet’s appointment is quick, efficient, and doesn’t disturb others; thus, it appeals to a multitude of pet owners. If your practice is considering adding online appointments whether it is through your website, Facebook page, Google Business page or elsewhere online, there are a few things to consider.
How do I implement online appointments for my practice?
Figuring out how to implement online appointments can be intimidating, but it is not impossible. There are two popular ways veterinary practices can incorporate online appointments with either direct booking or an appointment request page. Either method can benefit your practice, but the success rate of either depends on your practice’s culture and workflow.
What is direct booking?
Direct booking is where clients can directly schedule their own appointments within the practice’s schedule from your website or designated portal. Clients will have access to available appointments and find a time that works in their schedule. Direct booking can be incorporated into your practice by hiring a company to install the software by accessing your practice management system and sync the scheduling software.
What is an appointment request page?
An appointment request page is less involved on the digital front and often a less expensive option for veterinary practices. This option typically requires your website to have a page dedicated to appointments where clients can fill out a form with essential details and their preferred dates and times. After clients have completed and submitted the form, your practice would receive an email with the information from the request. From that request, your staff would be responsible for scheduling the appointment based on the criteria provided by your client and communicate that the appointment is confirmed. VitusVet partners can communicate with clients using text, email, push notifications and of course phone calls. Our partners love this flexibility and typically see a 70% reduction in routine phone calls to the front desk.
How does either feature benefit my practice?
By offering online appointments, you will achieve a few things. Your clients will appreciate the flexibility of booking or requesting appointments at their convenience – often after hours. You’ll increase the number of appointments you see, thus increasing your revenue. From our experience, VitusVet partners see a 17% increase in bookings. Collecting new clients’ information will get streamlined since their information is easily captured upon filling out the form. Finally, your website’s traffic will likely increase as new clients choose your practice due to the convenient option to request an appointment on their schedule.
To learn how your practice can benefit best from online appointment requests page contact us to schedule a demo.