Transform Your Practice
Visiting the pet vet clinic cat vet is becoming a dying habit. So what friendly procedures can you adopt to turn your practice into a more profitable business?
How to take Dr. Google head on and improve profits
Cat owners find their veterinary practitioners are becoming less and less relevant, lacking any meaningful connection with either the practical nor with the emotional needs of highly connected cat owners. You may think the problem is Dr. Google. Yes – it can be an issue.
You may think that the new vets on the block are taking business – and yes that could also be true.
But they are not the problem and they are definitely not the solution!
A recent report from the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s showed that 91% of vets could see more cats, with 50% of vets filling less than 70% of their appointments!!
They went on to say that by increasing cat visits, general practice revenue goes up 8%, but PROFIT goes up by at least 20 and up to 40%!
So how could this be possible when you may have staff that don’t enjoy working with cats, when the cats are often feisty and when the Bayer Brakke Report found that 50% of owners get anxious just at the thought of sending their cat to see you!
The future of your practice depends on change
To survive, vets have to become meaningful for felines in the modern household. Cats matter.
My message on this and related pages is directly addressed to vets who aren’t profiting in their business, who have a bad time with cats or, who just ignore them as too hard to deal with.
It’s also for the nurses and support staff who find them difficult to deal with in the waiting and prep rooms. A great place to start is by watching this video to understand who you are dealing with. Cat’s have history!
7 Basic Steps towards becoming Feline Friendly
I discovered long ago that anyone can make a superficial change appear to work for 3 weeks, but it takes 3 months to realign the whole ship of state, and you certainly won’t see any big changes in under that length of time. So TIME and patience is of the essence.
Whatever your experience, my message is about tweaking, not revolutionising YOUR veterinary systems
You, or a committed and competent member of staff are going to have to initiate the material that is on this site and what you learn from my private mentoring sessions and perhaps in other reputable places such as International Cat Care .
If you are ready to even take the smallest step, work with these insights and suggestions a few at a time.
- Focus your marketing towards feline interests.
- Tune your receptionists’ questions. They need to ask every client whether there’s a cat in the house.
- Tweak your appointment system to ensure you allow enough time to accommodate cat patients and comprehensively answer ALL their questions.
- Tweak your cat wrangling skills.
- Focus your clinical pathology collection system (take all your samples at once – cats do not like revisits!).
- Tune your medicine to accommodate cat peculiarities
- Focus your recommendations to be Feline Friendly, making them more likely to be instituted.
How do you make cats pay now?
- For biting you or your nurses?
- For spraying VERY sticky urine in your consult room?
- For disappearing at an inopportune moment and making the owner cancel their appointment, or arrive late and flustered?
- For that blood-curdling screech that sets the adrenalin rushing?
What is your payback?
Do you, like some cat vet’s, make them pay by:
- Ignoring them and hope they suffer for their ingratitude, complexity and fight or flight skills?
- Or embrace them for who they are and what they can be for you, the clinic, your prosperity and of course the owner?
How you can really make them pay and begin the transition to Feline Friendly cat care
- Accommodate cats, perhaps a little easier than you already have and then steer their owners through good feline medicine for the better health of the cat and your clinic.
Those fast becoming disenfranchised feline patients’, are already on your books. You are already talking to their owners. This makes them SIX TIMES MORE LIKELY to bring their cat to you than take it anywhere else, if you can engage, eduCATe and encourage them to do so.FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT – 83% of felines go to the cat vet in the first couple of months after acquisition – 60% will never see you again – because the owners think they don’t need to. EduCATion is the key. First time then every time.
- Ask yourself: What will cat owners pay for? Routinely
- Educate your owners and staff
So what does owner education look like?
- Start by showing them some of the videos and material on this site so they can understand the philosophy behind cat friendly care.
- Explain why you are showing them. Use any of the material I have freely available and there are also private powerpoint trainings you can study.
- There is no reason to hold off on educating owners. 50% of owners only bring you their pet when it is sick or injured. That has been the same for a long time. Once educated, they’ll know the early signs of illness or disease. They can then bring you their cat before the outlook is hopeless, and the default becomes ‘well, I took him to the vet but they couldn’t do anything’ and, even worse, ‘or only if I had a million dollars’.
- Do your staff know what the early signs of illness in a cat are so they can educate or are they saying things like:
‘well, that doesn’t sound very important, are you sure you want to bring him in?”
“Drinking more? Well, that is probably her kidneys and we can’t do much for those”